So farewell then to the tax disc – which from 1920 through to this morning served as visible evidence that a British motorist had paid their vehicle excise duty. From now on, it will all be down to license plate recognition cameras and good old trust.
Although I’m not a motorist I’ll miss the old tax disc, solely for the excitement that each February 1st would bring, trying to second guess what colour paper the new years disc would be printed on (tax discs always expiring on the last day of the month).
Which leads to question most motorists must be asking. What am I going to do with that empty space which has just appeared in the bottom offside corner of my windscreen – you know that space where I used to stick my tax disc in its specially designed non-sticky/sticky holder.
Well allow me to offer you,
scourge of the pedestrian dear motorist, suggestions for how that gap:
- The tax disc (obviously) was circular, white with a coloured band and much much writing inscribed thereon. Not unlike the traditional beer bottle label. If you’re a label collector then the chance has come to display that collection in the ideal place. Ditto the label of a Marmite jar.
- People are always checking out their appearance in car windows. Help them out by removing the vanity mirror from your sun visor and sticking it in that vacant space.
- Show support for your team by putting a traditional rosette in your car window. Not recommended when parking at night derby matches with your nearest & dearest – although that could be good news for your preferred auto-glazier.
- No need to say goodbye to the tax disc by displaying a heritage version recalling an important event in your life or 20th century history. England win the World Cup – you want JUL 66. First episode of Summer Wine? JAN 73, you get the idea. And what a boon for you fans of the Jersey Boys demselves, The Four Seasons… show your love for them with a disc emblazoned DEC 63.
- And if the superstars are rocking your world, why not write to them & ask them to send you – not a signed photograph – but an old tax disc bearing the number of their personalised number plates. Like Tarby? He’ll be happy to dig through his glove compartment for that special souvenir with “COM1C” scribbled on by the lady from the post office, as will old “MAG1C” himself, Paul Daniels. And, trust me, TV tycoon Lord Sugar likes nothing better than handing out “AMS1” tabs to anyone showing an interest.
So,it’ll sad to say goodbye to the tax disc- visible proof of the honesty of the humble car owner. But that’s progress for you. No doubt we’ll feel the same way when in couple of years time – the day we throw away our passports in favour of a chip implanted in our brains.