The original paper tax disc was scrapped back in October 2014. It was replaced with a new online system that was created for a quick and easy way to pay vehicle tax for road users. However, has it really turned out that way?
Since its implementation, the DVLA has lost over £93m in revenue. Its last issued tax discs became obsolete back in September 2o15, meaning that vehicle tax is completely governed online. Now road users will no longer have to show any paper documentation of their road tax. This is because cameras installed on motorways can compare registration plates to a giant online database filled with road user information, including whether or not they have paid their road tax.
It’s thought that the downfall in revenue is due to a number of reasons, including the somewhat sloppy change in road tax for vehicles. As well as this, it’s thought that an increase in people who aren’t complying with the new online system is affecting this number as well. This has increased the number of people being arrested and fined for not paying their road tax.
The RAC is worried at the significant loss of money for the DVLA, and believe it is due to a number of contributing factors, such as the larger number of cars on the road today with lower carbon emissions with a lower tax price. The company, with Head Offices in the West Midlands, are now calling for a survey to be done on unlicensed cars.
The DVLA still collected £6bn last year in road tax, and the number is rising. However, this is still a giant loss for the company, and they plan on implementing new ways to make people pay their tax on time. They have already implemented a direct debit system which allows road users to pay their tax over a period of time. This delay in the money they receive also has an impact on the recent figures about their current money losses.
Experts originally stated that the change from the paper tax disc to an online service would lead to more tax evasion and higher levels of driver confusion as to what they need to do. However on average the DVLA collect £10m more a year than the old system, and has saved tonnes of paper in the process.
Since the change, there are still many mixed reviews at online slip-ups and people wrongly being fined despite paying their tax on time. The change also stops the transfer of tax and ownership during the sale of cars. Old owners must cancel their vehicle tax, and new drivers must renew it as soon as possible.
A spokesperson for the DVLA has stated that they are still working on major issues with the system, but aim for it to be back on track with no faults by 2020. It’s unclear whether a process to reinstate the paper tax disc is underway.