In a move that will affect drivers across the country, the DVLA has confirmed that from 1st
October 2014, paper tax discs will be replaced by a completely digital system; this means that physical discs will no longer be issued, nor will they be required to be displayed in vehicle windscreens.
Drivers and businesses will be sent a renewal reminder before their tax is due to expire, explaining the new system, which they will now be able to pay for by Direct Debit on an annual, biannual or monthly basis.
This move to digital has been a long time coming and is designed to make life easier for vehicle owners, as it effectively reduces the administrative stress of obtaining tax discs. When it comes to fleet owners, individual vehicles can be registered by Direct Debit. At the time of writing this article, there is currently no system by which fleet managers can process an entire fleet at once. In addition, the system does not allow HGVs to pay the Road User Levy, though the DVLA is apparently considering an expansion to the scheme should the haulage industry deem it necessary.
Further to making drivers lives easier, the DVLA stands to save approximately 7 million pounds per year by moving to an electronic system. Another bonus for drivers; the DVLA believes that the ability to pay monthly may help businesses and drivers establish a more efficient cash flow.
The decision to abolish paper tax discs has been commended by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A spokesman for the SMMT said that the old tax discs were an "unnecessary cost and time burden on owners, operators and retailers".
The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) has also welcomed the move. Steve Latham, senior operations manager of RMIF, said: "There wonT be any noticeable difference on used vehicles but on the new market, it will be much better."
This follows the news that certain UK dealers have faced difficulties in recent times, as legislative changes have meant that they sometimes have to wait for up to two weeks for a vehicle's tax disc to arrive before they can sell it.
The haulage industry is always looking to become more time and cost-efficient with the help of technology, as demonstrated by its use of HGV tracking and van tracking systems
. But how do you feel about this change from paper to digital tax discs? Do you think it will be more convenient and save time, or do you prefer the idea of having a good old fashioned paper trail?