The motoring group RAC has hit out at the new changes to road tax laws that were introduced on 1st October, saying that not only did it mean that drivers would ultimately pay the price for double taxation on their vehicles, but it meant that an increased number of drivers would be willing to take the risk of avoiding paying car tax altogether. A number of other groups and individuals have also expressed their concerns over the changes.
The paper car tax disc has been in use for the past 93 years, but drivers can now throw away their paper disc. While the majority of car owners will not yet be affected by the changes, motoring groups have warned that the government could either be set to profit from double taxation, costing drivers tens of millions a year, or they could lose out on more than £100m in tax as people will be more inclined to avoid paying at all.
The new laws mean that every car owner will have to arrange car tax when buying a second hand car, and it is only possible to buy tax from the first date of the month in which the car is purchased. This means that the new owner will have to pay for a full month of tax even if the car is purchased on the 10th of the month. Meanwhile, the seller is only able to get a rebate for any full months, so if the car is sold on the 10th, they will not receive a rebate for the remaining 20 days or so.
The RAC has calculated that the average monthly cost of taxing a car is £14, and the number of second hand cars sold every year means that there will be double taxation equating to a cost of more than £30m a year to car owners.
The group have also said that abolishing the paper tax disc means that owners will be more inclined to try and get away without paying for their tax, and that this could cost the Treasury £138m a year, if the same number of people avoid paying tax as avoid paying insurance.