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Taxing Times

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Changing Tax

It has been a couple of years since the way that cars are taxed changed but many people are still struggling to get to grips with the new system. The previous method of checking to see if your vehicle was taxed by taking a quick glance at the corner of the windscreen was a simple one but no more.

It worked well for more than 90 years but times, they are a-changing, and much like most things in life, the internet has replaced this task.

Since the scrapping of the paper disc, a large number of cars have been clamped or towed because of confusion over whether or not a car is taxed.

Gone are the days where you could sell a car with twelve months tax – these days, when you buy a car it automatically becomes un-taxed.

For some, it’s a cunning way of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) getting more revenue. If you sell a car mid-month not only have you paid tax for that month, it is now the responsibility of the new owner of the vehicle to pay tax from the start of that month.

To their credit, the DVSA send out reminders – they have to, after making the visual reminder in the windscreen redundant.

But if you want to be 100% sure, you can visit their website to check for yourself.

The knock on effect that we, as an MOT testing station are seeing is that some motorists are speeding past their MOT due-date.

We’ve seen cars that are eight or nine months out of date because the owner is used to the MOT at the same time as they taxed the car.

Fortunately we, like many garages, offer a free MOT-reminder service that will send you a reminder to your phone a month before it’s due.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) will also do this, but charge you for this service.

For taxing the vehicle, a note on a calendar or a well-placed sticker in the car will help you avoid any nasty fines.

Also, a word from the wise – The next time you buy or sell a car, do it at the end of the month…

By Ben Morley

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