The Vehicle Licence Application form for the Golf turned up in the post today, however since the last time we taxed a car, it seems that the DVLA have taken a step forward. Rather than have to go and queue up in a local post office to get a tax disc, the envelope and renewal form were plugging the chance to pay your car tax online.
It has to be said that in typical fashion the URL they are putting all over the renewal document is currently wrong – http://www.direct.gov.uk/taxdisc producing a ‘Document contains no data.’ error. However it looks like this is only a problem with the redirect, a bit of digging around located http://www.vehiclelicence.gov.uk/, which is the site itself. (www.direct.gov.uk is the central site for government services, but it is really just a collection of links to the individual departmental sites.)
Anyway, the one obstacle I thought there would be to an online service is that the trip to the post office to tax a car has a second purpose, which is for someone official to check that each vehicle has valid insurance and if over three years old, has passed it’s MOT test. However these checks are actually done automatically during the online process by checking details against the Motor Insurance Database run by the Motor Insurers Information Centre to combat the problem of uninsured drivers, and the MOT details can be validated as a result of the new computerised MOT testing processes.
It’s a lot quicker, and is also available 24 hours a day. Essentially all you need to do is type in your reference number or car registration number, select 6 or 12 months tax, and type in a debit card number, so no more queues in the Post Office at lunchtime for me!