Well, after 93 years perched in the corner of our windscreens, doing a perfectly good job of reminding us to pay up on time or else and adding just that little bit of extra colour to our motoring lives, the tax disc is getting the chop.
And it isn’t just at some distant point in the future, it’s right now, on October 1.
Who knew? Well apparently not that many of us. Most people either had no idea or had an inkling it was going sometimes, but weren’t really sure when. In fact officially we can all bin (or frame for posterity) our tax discs the moment October arrives.
So why is the government changing a system that has worked pretty well all this time? Officially the reason is that the new system will be cheaper and more efficient. Unofficially, it appears to be an excuse (picture government official rubbing hands in glee) to train even more sneaky cameras on us – in this instance, numberplate recognition cameras, which will be affixed to every car park, public building and so on.
The RAC is claiming that any savings to the Treasury will soon be lost because lots more people will be able to dodge paying car tax, and that the change will actually encourage people to break the law.
Meanwhile, for most of us it’s business as usual. Our DVLA reminders will still be sent out, we’ll still have to pay the tax in the same ways as before (post office, online or phone) and we’ll still have the choice of paying for 6 months or 12 months – with a new option of paying monthly by Direct Debit, for a 5% surcharge, which is less than the 10% currently added when you pay for six months. The good thing about the Direct Debit is that you won’t need to renew, just to cancel if you sell your car. And with no need to think about your car tax you can get on with much more exciting stuff, like remembering your MOT.