Members of the motor trade are being urged to take note of the upcoming changes to vehicle taxation, and to be prepared for the switch to electronic VED licences on October 1st 2014. The existing paper tax disks will no longer be valid from that date, and all car and van owners will update their details and pay their road tax by direct debit at that stage.
Perhaps the biggest impact for the trade is that any existing pre-paid tax will no longer be transferable from a previous owner, so when a car is sold or part-exchanged, the vehicle effectively becomes untaxed at point of sale. Cars held at a dealership cannot be test-driven without trade plates, and any attempt by dealers to take an untaxed car or van on the road will be treated as an offence and will accordingly result in penalties for the offending driver and/or the dealership or trade organisation.
If a vehicle has been left with a dealer for servicing, it is essential to confirm with the customer that the car is taxed during that period, or to perform a check with the DVLA before road-testing the car after the service or any repairs. This can be done online through the DVLA website simply by supplying the vehicle registration number and make. Dealers can also ask a customer to sign a declaration confirming that the vehicle is taxed and has valid insurance prior to accepting it for service.
Under the new guidelines, applications for vehicle tax will be possible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week either online or via a phone helpline. It is also important to note that vehicles which are exempt from any payment due to low emissions must still be registered and taxed in the same fashion. Upon trading in or selling their vehicle, drivers will be automatically refunded for any unused tax once DVLA has been notified of the sale.
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