Over a third (36%) of motorists are not aware of the imminent move to do away with the paper tax disc, despite the changes taking effect on 1st October. Almost half (47%) were uncertain of when the changes were due to take effect.
From 1st October it will no longer be necessary to display a paper tax disc in the windscreen as payment will be logged within the DVLA database, and automatic number plate recognition cameras will catch motorists trying to evade payment.
Sixty-three per cent of motorists surveyed fear that scrapping the paper tax disc will result in a rise in the number of untaxed cars on the roads and a further 44% believe it will actually encourage people to break the law.
Motorists’ fears about the number of unlicensed vehicles rising are likely to be fuelled by the estimate of around one million uninsured drivers on the road. If a similar number of motorists were to fail to pay their VED as are uninsured, the Treasury could lose a further £132m – 13 times the £10m savings identified by DVLA as part of the new system.
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “For the vast majority of law-abiding motorists the new rules will make very little difference, and in fact the option to pay by monthly Direct Debit from November will make it easier for many to budget for the payments.
“But there is clearly concern among those motorists that we surveyed over the issue of enforcement. The big question has to be whether enforcement using only cameras and automatic number plate recognition will be sufficiently effective.”