Confusion Over Tax Disc Delays

Over three months ago, the government issued a rules change permitting a 14-day grace period for the drivers of commercial vans and other vehicles to drive without displaying their tax disc. The new grace period was introduced in conjunction with the shutdown of over three-dozen DVLA offices and the introduction of a newly automated system. The grace period was designed to make things easier and allow vehicles to be delivered more expeditiously. But now comes word that despite the new rules, fleet-leasing companies are not complying with the new regulations; instead of releasing the vehicles immediately upon arrival they are holding on to them until the tax discs arrive. This has some fleet managers more than a little upset.

 One fleet manager reported that he had not realized that delivery of his van was delayed by the tax disc issue, and that had he known he would have taken action.

“The reason for the delay became apparent only after the vehicle joined the fleet. Had I known the reason, I could have spoken to the leasing company and perhaps taken delivery sooner.”

For their part, many of the leasing companies have acknowledged that they are holding onto the vans longer than they need to, but explain that it is either company policy not to release the vehicles without the tax discs or that they are concerned about a delay in the disc’s arrival, which would make matters more complicated. GE Capital Fleet Services, Hitachi Fleet and many others have indicated that despite the change in rules they would not be delivering vehicles before the tax disc was properly displayed on the vehicles.