From 1st october 2014, it will no longer be necessary to display the good old fasioned tax disc in your vehicle’s windscreen. Instead the police, having nothing better to do, can check each and every vehicle on the road by means of sophisticated computer wizardry, paid for by all motorists,to see that each vehicle is insured, has an M.O.T.’ where required, and has actually paid Road Fund Tax.
We the general public will not be able to tell at a glance if a vehicle presented to us for sale, or involved in an accident with us, is actually road legal.
There is a dedicated telephone line you can ring 0300 1234321. to buy Road Fund Tax when required or a website, >www.gov.uk/tax-disc, or you can still enjoy a trip to the Post Office and queue up in the usual way. No one will now give you a Tax disc, but, providing your vehicle is insured and has a current M.O.T. certificate, you will be permitted to use it on the public highway.
What happens when I sell a vehicle or if I buy one?
Notify change of ownership in the normal way, using the green slipV5C/2 if selling to a private individual or, if you are selling to a Trader V5C3, the yellow one.
DVLA will automatically refund any surplus Road Fund Tax, accruing to the Vendor, but it does of course mean that the vehicle is no longer taxed and can’t be driven away by the Purchaser. He/She must straight away, use the telephone number or website as above, or call at the nearest Post Office to re tax the vehicle. If you want to pay by monthly direct debit, this can only happen if you use the post Office.
How does this effect the Trade?
The Trader is going to have to reach for his Trade Plates. Once he has taken a car in part exchange, or purchased it, he can clearly not drive it anywhere as any tax which might have remained on the vehicle is void. He could register the vehicle in his company name and effectively pay for Road Fund Tax, but presumably he cannot pass the benefit on to a purchaser, as once again the tax disappears at point of sale. Current rules do not allow for a Trader to recover any unused Road Fund Tax on a vehicle as in the past, so does he lose any money he has spent having the car taxed whilst in his ownership?
So how does this effect Classic Cars, or Historics as DVLA call them ?
Currently there are thousands of Classic vehicles running about perfectly legally with no M.O.T. and being exempt from Road Fund Tax .However a Classic Vehicle does have to display a tax disc. Presumably when such a vehicle is pinged by a police camera, it will only show it as insured. The owner is up to 30th September, required to display a Tax disc, but on 1st October he is no longer required so to do.
So if you sell a Classic vehicle, you would send off the green or yellow slip in the usual way to DVLA. There is no Road Fund Duty to claim back, but the change of ownership is recorded. The Purchaser must ensure the vehicle is insured before driving it away, but presumably needs to take no further action, or does he/she need to telephone DVLA or go on line to the website to apply not to have Road fund tax? Is DVLA satisfied of the new ownership by virtue of the fact that the sale has been notified to them by receipt of the green/yellow V5C slip? It seems logical that the new owner of a Classic vehicle need do no more, but is that correct?
Likewise, is it also true that a Classic Car Trader need also do nothing, as there is no need to Tax the vehicle whilst in his ownership? DVLA will have been advised by the Vendor that the Trader has acquired the vehicle, it doesnt require a Road Fund Licence, so provided the Trader’s insurance is in order, he can go on using it without trade plates can he? Or is the Exempt Tax status lost on sale, just like the normal one, so that even the Trader will have to re apply for a Tax Exemption on the vehicle.
When the Trader sells the Classic vehicle on, provided the Purchaser has insured it, can it be driven away? The next few Classic Car Auctions will be interesting! In the good old days one could turn up at an Auction, bid on a vehicle, and if it had Road Fund Tax, you notified your Insurance Company and drove it home. For Traders with a Trade Policy it was dead easy. It rather sounds like a telephone call to DVLA or a visit to their website, may be required just to apply for No Road Fund Duty. There won’t be a Post Office anywhere to hand, especially at the weekend, so forget that angle. Hopefully this has been carefully thought about and someone will have a ruling.
Meanwhile keep calm and carry the can if you have got it wrong.