We’ve already said goodbye to the tax disc, which is a shame. We’ll get over that one I expect. The more challenging concept has to be that we can no longer inherit the seller's tax disc when we buy a used car from 5 October.
I think we can all understand why this is being done. It may be hard to believe but there are some naughty people who very rarely bother to pay vehicle excise duty (VED). Without reading the convoluted ‘Draft Clauses and Explanatory Notes’ for the proposed Finance Bill 2014, the gist of the new rule is that the seller has to cash in the old tax disc and the buyer has to get a new one.
Under the regulations, the seller would not get a full refund unless the transaction was completed at the very start of the month. Meanwhile the buyer would have to pay for an entire month whatever the date. So there is a potential for the government, which never has its own money except ours anyway, to get even more of it.
I spoke to the DVLA about all this, and you know what? They are still working on the final details. I gave them my ten pence worth about us being able to do everything through our smartphones, so it shouldn’t be a problem. They weren’t interested, of course, and have promised to get back to me once they have worked it all out. I do hope that it is a very simple system which means that everything is online and that the tax will run from a particular date, just like insurance. We’ll see.