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February 2023
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End of an era

There are many small jobs there are to do on a vehicle, nothing separates cars and motorbikes like replacing the “tax disc”.

Actually, the circular piece of paper that demonstrates that you have paid your vehicle excise duty not the vehicle tax, although, confusingly, the portal for paying the duty is called the tax disc site.

Anyway, whether a car or bike, the process to buy the piece of paper is equivalent.

Physically replacing the taxdisc on a car is a three second job once you have the car key 😉

This is not the case on the bike: first I get the right hex key (2.5mm) then the right socket or spanner (4mm) and take the first three bolts out from the weather proof cover holding and displaying the tax disc on the bike.

Then the holder is manipulated so I can get a further 3 bolts out and loosen a further two.  Now, fish out the old bit of paper and replace with the new one.  Now every bolt needs to be replaced and tightened and all the others tightened.  If I am lucky, I haven’t moved or lost the bit of paper displaying the legal status of my bike.  It is a legal requirement to display the tax disc on the vehicle but on the bike this is an £80 bit of paper that can be lost or stolen.

Unlike a car, checking the bit of paper on the bike is a bit hit or miss, depending on the weather.  So the police check everything via their radios.


Thanks to the increasing number of £0 rated vehicles and a final vote of confidence, the law has changed and from the 1st October 2014, this is no longer a legal requirement to display the payment on your bike, car or anything 🙂

In January, when we bought the Leaf, more money was spent on sending out our tax disc than was collected.  The abolishment of the need to display the tax disc is to save the government money.

For every biker in the country, it is going to save them valuable time.

Originally the tax disc came in to prove a vehicle was insured and had passed its MOT.

Surely, if the technology exists to automatically prove a vehicle can be taxed, further money can be saved by just performing the joint check on the fly rather than once a year with a monetary payment?

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