How to buy a digital tax disc

Buying road tax

On October 1st 2014, the paper tax disc was scrapped in favour of a more modern, electronic database which enables the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to easily monitor who – and who has not – paid their vehicle tax. 

Yet, despite the changes coming into effect almost a year ago, research shows that many motorists are still unaware of the full extent of the new system; namely, that road tax is no longer transferable with a vehicle. 

As a result, more and more drivers are getting caught out for not having sufficient road tax. Before the changes, the DVLA clamped around 5,000 cars each month, but that figure has now jumped to well over 8,000 cars a month. 

And it’s not just the inconvenience of having to get the vehicle released; drivers also face fines of up to £1,000 if their car or van is clamped. It’s an expensive mistake to make, particularly when you assumed that your vehicle was taxed. 

Buying road tax

So, to ensure your vehicle is adequately taxed and avoid any nasty fines, here’s a brief rundown of the new system:

Why the change? 

The move to digital has helped streamline the taxing system and as a result, it’s saving UK firms millions of pounds in administrative costs each year. 

Police cameras can now automatically check whether a vehicle is taxed by scanning its registration plate. This has made it easier to identify untaxed vehicles, which helps to keep our roads as safe as possible. 

How do I pay? 

The easiest way to pay your road tax is online via the Tax your vehicle page on the website, using your reminder letter (V11). If you don’t have a reminder letter, you can use your car or van’s log book (VC5), a new keeper supplement if you’ve just purchased the car (V5C/2), or a ‘last chance’ warning letter. 

Buying road tax

You can also pay for your tax by popping into your local Post Office, or by calling 0300 123 4321. You’ll need all of the above documents for reference and may be required to show a valid MOT certificate if paying for tax at the Post Office. 

Direct debit 

It’s now possible to pay for tax through direct debit on a monthly, 6 monthly or annual basis. Your tax will be renewed automatically - meaning that payments will be taken automatically - so long as your MOT is valid. You need to notify the DVLA if you no longer own the vehicle, or have declared it SORN, and payments will be automatically stopped. 

Changing ownership 

Under the new changes, tax cannot be transferred with vehicles; this means that buyers will no longer be able to benefit from vehicles with remaining tax. Now, if you buy a car, it is your duty to tax it immediately after purchase. 

You are eligible for a refund for any full months remaining on the tax if you: sell your car, have it scrapped or exported, declare it SORN, or change it to an exempt duty class. So long as you notify the DVLA, you will receive an automatic refund within 4-6 weeks. 

For peace of mind, if you want to double-check your vehicle is taxed, simply enter its registration plate number on the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry system. 


Insurance, just like tax, is essential. But, unlike tax, there are many different types of insurance policies. Here at Stride, we can help to find the correct level of cover you need to ensure that you, and your vehicle, are fully-protected while on the road.