Car tax discs will soon be a thing of the past - so here's everything motorists need to know to make sure they stay on the right side of the law
Paper tax discs will soon be a thing of the past, as Government changes come into force on October 1.
But don't celebrate just yet, as drivers still have to tax their vehicles - it's just the technology got cleverer.
With direct debit payments and online processing, it seems the old system has become outdated.
But to make sure you don't get caught out by the new changes, here's everything you need to know about paying for your tax disc.
When do the changes take effect?
From October 1, 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed on vehicle windscreens.
The little circle of paper, which has been displayed in windscreens since 1921, will vanish as Vehicle Excise Duty is brought into the modern age.
The changes were announced by Chancellor George Osbourne late last year.
To get your head around it all, here's a video the Government has put together.
Will the authorities know if I don't pay my vehicle tax?
In a word, yes. Checks to see if drivers have paid their vehicle tax will be done electronically using databases.
This comes after the number of visual checks by police and the DVLA dropped 75% since 2008.
Remember, big brother is watching your number plate and drivers can face fines of up to £1,000 for failing to tax their vehicles.
So, how will it work?
To drive or keep a vehicle on the road you will still need to get vehicle tax and the DVLA will still send you a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.
This applies to all types of
vehicles including those that are exempt from payment of vehicle tax.
You can also apply online to tax or SORN your vehicle using your 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C).
How can I pay?
From 1 October 2014, Direct Debit will be offered as an additional way to pay for vehicle tax.
This will be available for customers who need to tax their vehicle from 1 November 2014 and will be available either annually, six-monthly or on a monthly basis.
A DVLA spokesman said: "Provided an MOT remains valid, the payments will continue automatically until you tell DVLA to stop taking them or you cancel the Direct Debit with your bank."
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, paying by direct debit will not be available to first registration vehicles, fleet schemes or HGVs.
How can I check the tax status of a vehicle?
You can check the tax status of any vehicle online by quoting the registration number and the make. This can also be used for rental vehicles.
What about when I buy a new car?
From 1 October, when you buy a vehicle, the vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. You will need to get new vehicle tax before you can use the vehicle.
You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by using our automated phone service - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit a Post Office branch.
What about when I sell my car?
If you sell a vehicle after 1 October and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax.