Half of drivers unaware of new tax rules

Autumn statement 2013

From 1 October we Brits will be waving goodbye to the paper tax discs that have been adorning car windscreens since 1921, yet a high proportion of drivers are still oblivious as to the new system, and what it could mean if they miss a payment deadline.

Though drivers will no longer be required to display a tax disc from October, police cameras will automatically check number plates on the road to see whether they are fully taxed. If not, motorists could be face a £1,000 fine.

According to a poll by comparison website money.co.uk, almost 50 per cent of drivers are oblivious to the rule change, and of those that are aware, almost half are unsure of the exact date that the changes come into force, with six per cent believing they take effect next year.

The survey also revealed that 32 per cent won't bother to look into the new rules themselves, with a third of those polled saying they would wait for further instruction from the DVLA.

Under the new system, drivers will be able to choose more flexible payment options, such as paying by direct debit or, as is currently the case, every six months (incurring a five per cent additional charge), but any delay in payment could mean a sizeable fine.

And the rules will put the onus very much on those selling a car to inform the DVLA of a change in ownership straight away, or they could find themselves with penalty charges for a car they no longer own.

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of money.co.uk, told the Daily Mail: "Changes to the vehicle tax system are no bad thing and we fully welcome the introduction of direct debit payments, particularly for consumers who may be struggling to keep up with the soaring cost of driving.

"It will also help to eliminate the problem of people who genuinely forget to renew their tax and end up being stung with a hefty fine.

"However, I suspect the new system may experience some teething problems so drivers really need to make sure they're on top of their game."

What do you think of the new system? Is it an improvement on the paper discs? Leave your comments below...
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