THE BVRLA has welcomed the news that the Department of Transport is considering abolishing the tax disc.
For as long as anyone can remember this small circular slip of paper, displayed in the lower nearside corner of a car’s windscreen, has served as evidence that the required Vehicle Excise Duty (or road tax) has been paid. If the DoT’s plans go ahead, road tax will still be payable but the administrative burden on businesses will get a lot lighter because all of the work associated with physically procuring the discs and making sure that they are displayed correctly, will be eliminated.
Online payments and renewals have already streamlined the payment of road tax quite a bit and are now being used by about half of all car owners. The authorities can easily check whether road tax has already been paid on a particular vehicle without physically inspecting its tax disc, so doing away with the disc itself is a logical next step.
The possible elimination of the tax disc is part of a wider drive by the DVLA to drive unnecessary paper out of the system – for example, it is consulting on the introduction of a possible paperless “electronic channel” that would parallel the current paper-based system for vehicle registration documents.
The BVRLA, whose members operate a combined fleet of some 2.5 million vehicles, was already pressing for the abolition of the tax disc back in 2010, and also proposed the introduction of multi-year purchasing of VED, a move which it said would save business car managers some £5 million a year in admin costs – and make life a lot easier for the DVLA as well.
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