September 1, 2014

Are you are one of the roughly half of all UK persons who have no idea that, after nine decades of sterling service, paper tax discs will be disappearing forever as of 1 October this year?

No, of course you’re not. We never seriously entertained the possibility that you might be. But did you also know that, due to government anti-austerity measures, the DVLA can no longer afford to purchase any of those little holes (or perforations to give them their technical name) which formerly made mere child’s play of separating the crucial circular paper section (the “disc”) of your tax certificate from the sheet on which it is printed, prior to displaying it in your vehicle?

Yes, really! With perforated paper stocks rapidly dwindling towards utter zeroness, the DVLA has issued detailed Blue Peter style instructions on how to create your own ‘cut-out-and-keep’ paper tax disk. It’s really quite simple.

All you need is the piece of paper with your latest (and last) tax ‘disc’ printed on it, some sticky-back plastic, and a nice sharp pair of scissors. There’s no need for string or glue or anything, as long as you’re careful to follow these simple instructions.

First, take the sheet on which the ‘disc’ is printed and ask a grown-up to cut neatly around it for you with the scissors. Then simply get into the passenger side of your vehicle and hold the ‘disk’ (that’s the round part, hopefully, not the bigger bit with a hole in it) against the INSIDE of your windscreen, ideally somewhere down the bottom where it won’t obscure your view and cause you to drive into people or things or whatever, and, making sure the richly decorated side of the ‘disc’ with all the numbers and stuff printed on it is facing AWAY from you, simply stick it in place using the sticky-back plastic. Now you are ready to drive away, completely legally! But don’t forget to shift over to the driver’s side and fasten your seat belt before setting off.

If you try to stick it to the outside face of your windscreen it will probably just come off in the rain or something. So don’t do that. Obviously. If you haven’t got sticky-back plastic, you can simply recycle some old used sticking plasters, or the cling film that sandwich came in, or something.

You could even just put it in that transparent-fronted self-adhesive/magnetic plasticy pouch thing you used to display your old tax disc in, provided the grown-up has cut NEATLY around the imaginary circle where the perforations used to go and it fits OK and everything.

Or you could save yourself the DIY hassle altogether by buying your tax disc from the Post Office where they aren’t such terrible cheapskates and still have stocks of perforations to rival those of Tetley.

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