By Jonathan Davies

Cars will in effect be taxed twice under new tax disc rules which come into effect today (Wednesday), according to the AA.

From today, motorists will no longer be required to display a tax disc in their window. Instead, the DVLA will use number plate recognition cameras to detect untaxed vehicles.

But the AA believes the new rules will result in The Treasury getting "double money".

Under the new system, someone buying a car can no longer benefit from unused months on a tax disc. Instead, they must pay for car tax from that point. For the seller, they cannot be refunded for part of a month.

So, if someone sells their car at the start of the month, they will have to pay for that month - meaning both the buyer and seller will have paid tax on that vehicle for that month.

Edmund King, the AA's president, said: "Someone driving a car that costs £500 a year to tax would lose £41 if they sold it at the beginning of the month.

"Likewise a buyer purchasing a car mid month would have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty for the entire month.

The DVLA said the new rules would not result in much more income. It also argued that motorists were not refunded for part-months under the previous rules, anyway.

When the rules were announced, the RAC said it would lead to tax evasion to the tune of around £167m a year.

The DVLA expects to save around £10m a year by not having to print and send paper tax discs.

Thousands unable to renew

Thousands of people have been left unable to renew their car tax online as the DVLA website struggles to cope with demand.

The DVLA said it was seeing "an unprecedented volume of traffic" with 30,000 more people trying to use the website than on the same day last year. One person is reported to have spent 13 hours trying to renew their tax online.

The DVLA apologised for any inconvenience caused and encouraged motorists to head to their nearest Post Office.

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