Amongst many items mentioned in the recent Autumn Statement the Chancellor George Osborne has said he will replace the traditional paper Tax Disc with an electronic version.
There will be split opinions on this as some will agree that as there is already in place the computer systems to record, update, and remind us that our vehicle exercise duty is expiring it is about time to move into the electronic age. Do we really need to have the extra cost of printing and posting a piece of paper to each and every motorist?
Others, traditionalists you may say will be sad to see the 93 year old tax disc disappear from our windscreens. They will argue that by going electronic we could see confusion in the system. In circumstances such as buying a used vehicle how will you know the vehicle is licenced, and when does it expire?
There is also the cynic who may question what will happen with the extra data collected by the new system. Will this be sold on to make profit?
At present there are some 44 million tax discs issues each year and the vast majority of Vehicle Exercise Duty (VED) evaders were caught by police on their Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems (ANPR). The DVLA have reported that around 200,000 unlicensed vehicles were reported either by members of the public, the authorities, or both. They have also stated evasion is estimated at 0.6% the second lowest figure ever.
The other major change to way we buy our VED will be the option to pay over direct debit. This would cost 5% more than paying in one go.
There is also good news from the Autumn Statement as the Chancellor has also stated that the planned rise of 2p per litre of fuel next year has been scrapped.