Tax Disc – The End of an Era

Image courtesy of The Independent

Today marks the end of an era for those of us in the UK.

Back in 1921 motorists in the UK were required to pay a fee, known as Road Tax to the Government in order to drive their car on the road.

Each year, those brown envelops would arrive in the post and would be followed at some point by the end of the month with a trip to the post office.

There we would hand over the insurance certificate, the MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate, which confirms that the car was safe on the road and the road tax request document. In exchange for cash or a card payment, motorists would receive a disc such as pictured here. 

The disc would need to be displayed in the car, otherwise there was a hefty fine of £1,000 for failing to do so. In recent years the trip to the post office was removed as the enabling of the Ministry of Transport to accept card payments and track electronically that you were insured and the owner of a valid MOT. A few days later a paper disc would arrive in the post. It’s arrival would mean spending a few moments carefully removing the disc from the paper using the perforation. For those of us that are somewhat clumsy that proved quite a challenge!
From today, it will no longer be required to display a tax disc. You still have to respond to the brown envelop containing the reminder and pay the fee, but you will no longer receive the disc in the post. Therefore this marks the end of an era.
Will we, I wonder see an increase in the hobby of Velologists, or tax disc collectors?

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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2 Responses to Tax Disc – The End of an Era

  1. Anne Young says:

    They were known as registration stickers here (or more colloquially rego stickers) and they have disappeared in Victoria too. I think some of the other Australian States lost them a bit sooner.


  2. Jill Ball says:

    Same thing happened a year or two ago here. Our system is called car registration or rego. We used to have stickers we add to affix to windscreens. Just today Mr Geniaus removed the old 2013 Rego sticker from my little car, I should have taken a photo of it.


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