Whether you currently use a snazzy magnetic circular holder or prefer the rustic sticking tape approach to affixing your tax disc to your windscreen, George Osborne has just made your life a tiny bit less… perforated.
In today’s autumn budget statement the chancellor has called time on the 93-year-old necessity to shove a piece of coloured paper in your windscreen to prove you’ve coughed up your Vehicle Excise Duty for the next six months or year.
The humble disc, it seems, has become outmoded; the relevant data is held on computer databases, and so the authorities simply run your car’s registration plate through the system.
Such a high-tech approach would have confounded the motorists of 1 January 1921, when displaying the tax disc became law, to prove you had paid the new excise duty which had been incorporated into the Roads Act of the previous year.
Autocar of the day was vehemently opposed to the new car tax, which was ushered in with the justification that the money was needed to maintain the road network, and replaced previous convoluted taxation methods that went before with a single method of cash-generation.
Britain had just emerged from World War One, during which the roads had fallen into a bad state of repair. The Ministry of Transport Committee calculated that it needed to raise £7m in taxes to maintain the roads and enable a substantial measure of new road construction and improvement.