Tax disc renewal change takes affect now and DVLA website buckles under the pressure

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Accident Advice Helpline comment on the changes to the tax disc policy

Accident Advice Helpline

Accident Advice Helpline

The paper tax disc has been used for centuries but from 1st October that all changed. Paper tax discs have been scrapped in favour of electronic recording, with only technology around to detect tax invaders. On the evening of September 30th as hundreds of thousands of people rushed online in an attempt to renew their vehicle tax, the DVLA’s site crashed under the force of thousands of impatient tapping fingers.

A spokesperson from the road authority told the MailOnline that “More than 270,00 drivers successfully used our online car tax service (on 30th September)- that’s 30,000 more than on the same day last year.” The system crash left many drivers concerned about getting their vehicle taxed in time as those caught without tax could face a fine of up to £1000.

Leading UK law firm Accident Advice Helpline said “If for any reason you’re not able to tax your car in time then don’t drive it until you do. It’s illegal to drive your car without tax and if you do have a crash there’s a chance your insurance company won’t pay out for the damages.”

Sadly there seems to be issues with the technology responsible for picking up on tax evaders; motorists have been warned that faulty number plate tracing cameras could see drivers wrongly penalised. The new system uses automatic number plate recognition and scans registration plates to inform the DVLA if a vehicle has been taxed or not. Figures have shown that up to 1.2 million vehicles are wrongly identified every day; this amounts to 4% of all vehicles.

Common mistakes on number plate recognition includes the letter ‘O’ being mistaken for an 0 in 27% of cases, whilst broken number plates caused mistakes in 25% of cases and dirty number plates were problematic in 22% of cases. Screws or bolts being too close to characters also caused problems for the cameras automatic recognition.

Under the new schemes drivers can pay for their tax in three ways, online at the DVLA’s website where you’ll also get the option to pay by monthly direct debit, over the phone or at a Post Office branch that deals with vehicle tax.

With the change to renewing tax discs, drivers must be careful when they buy and sell vehicles. When you sell a car the registered owner will get a refund of any remaining full months of tax left once you inform the DVLA that you no longer own it. When you are buying a car though you need to get a new vehicle tax in your name before you’re legally allowed to drive it; there will be no instances of buying a car and having a few months tax left on it.

If you’ve been involved in a non-fault accident then make sure you pick an experienced specialist injury solicitor to suit your needs. Accident Advice Helpline are endorsed by Esther Rantzen and have been helping people with their personal injury claims for over fourteen years: you can give them a call on 0800 689 7221 to talk over your claim.

This press release has been created in accordance to the information in The Guardian’s article ‘DVLA tax disc renewal website buckles under pressure of high demand’ published on 1st October. You can view the original press release through Accident Advice Helpline here.

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David Brown
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