Unless you’ve been living on a desert island for last six months, you will know that the tax disc dies on Wednesday 1 October.
Except that even if you live in this rolling 24-hour news world and are wireless connected to just about every device and have satellite television, you may still not know this. That’s because the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has made something of a hash of keeping 30 million motorists up to speed on their administrative changes.
Obviously I’ve been doing my bit to spread the word about the changes, but it is a thankless task. Indeed I received a terse and very bizarre email from the DVLA asking who had written a story about tax disc death with my name at the end of it. That’s how clever they are.
Now it is very easy to be negative about things, but I can’t really see any upside to ditching the disc. For starters it makes the whole process of selling a car needlessly complicated.
It suddenly becomes more of challenge to buy a car at the weekend. Well actually you can use the interweb or a 24-hour automated telephone service. But actually it is the sheer fact that you can’t take the remainder of the tax away with you which is going to potentially affect the car buying cycle and maybe prices by a fairly minuscule amount.
Car owners, especially those who are selling classics, are notoriously parsimonious and so could use the tax right up to the last day of the month and only on the stroke of midnight let you take it away.
In all seriousness, I am not sure whether that will happen at all but the fact that it could seems really silly.
More frightening, though, is that as the seller you really must tell the DVLA about the change of ownership or they will fine you £1000. That might also happen if the seller has an untaxed car and lets you test drive it and you get stopped by Plod.
The simple fact is that the tax disc is a useful reminder that a car is legal as would be another disc for the MOT or yet another for insurance.
Mind you, near where I live a local Polish-registered Mazda MX-3 has evaded the authorities for three years. And they don’t seem to care that it is untaxed and presumably uninsured and without an MOT. It was last registered in 2011 because that is stamped on Polish plate.