This weekend marks the two-year anniversary of the DVLA’s ditching of paper tax discs, with new research suggesting most drivers want to bring them back.
The DVLA binned paper tax discs on windscreens in October 2014 and moved to direct debit payment.
But three quarters of motorists want them back because they are getting caught out by missing their tax renewal dates, and risk being hit by a £1000 fine, according to a study of 6000 drivers by USwitch.
The discs had been around since 1921.
When the DVLA scrapped them on October 1 2014, it prompted complaints from motorists over fines for cars they had just bought or didn’t know needed retaxing.
Many said the DVLA did not do enough to alert drivers to the changes.
DVLA revenues from road tax fell £93 million in the year following the scrapping of paper tax discs.
Commenting on the loss this summer, the DVLA said:”We have introduced direct debit to help customers spread the cost of paying for their tax disc, and more than 10 million people have taken advantage of this, so there is a lag in when we receive the money.
“In addition, there are more clean cars on the road paying lower tax.”
The scrapping of the discs annoyed motorists because they could no longer buy second-hand cars with some tax left.
It also upset drivers that when they purchased a second-hand car in the middle of the month they still had to pay a whole month’s tax, but if they then sold the vehicle they could only get a refund for the remaining full months.
Road tax can no longer be transferred to a new owner when a car is sold.
The seller must now must cancel car tax and the buyer must renew it immediately.
To help drivers remember their renewal dates, it’s been proposed the DVLA introduce text alerts.
A similar system is used by the NHS.
Motorists are also encouraged to set calendar reminders to avoid being caught out.
Moving online is believed to have saved the DVLA £10 million a year.
Vehicles are now checked by cameras placed on busy roads with automatic number plate recognition.
The images taken by the cameras are then checked against a database of drivers who have paid the tax.
The new system allows drivers to pay their tax in monthly instalments, rather than a large lump sum.