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UK Tax Disc

History of the UK Road Fund Licence

On this page we look at a brief history of the UK Road Fund Licence.
Nothing to do with the Anglia, but I thought it would be fun to look at.

Tax Discs

I know that this has nothing to do with the Ford Anglia specifically, except for the fact that in the UK,
you need a Road Fund Licence (commonly known as a 'Tax Disc')
displayed in your vehicle to be able to park it or use it on the public highway.
(I will only cover the period of time that the Ford Anglia was available to buy brand new.)

… but first a very brief bit of History ...

The familiar “Tax Disc” (to UK eyes anyway) is a circular document, approx 75mm in diameter, displayed on all road vehicles, as a receipt to prove payment of a tax that allows you to use and park your vehicle on the public highway in the United Kingdom.

Displaying of Tax Discs on vehicles started all the way back in 1921, with the implementation of the Roads and Finance Act of 1920, which laid down the specifications for the first Tax Discs and exactly how they should be displayed - "by using a holder that shall be circular". The very first Tax Disc, with no perforations, was just a plain black and white rectangular affair and could be purchased to cover a quarter of a year at a time or for the whole year, which ended on December 31st.

1921 Tax Disc

A major innovation in 1938 was the introduction of perforations around the outside of the printed circle, making the Tax Disc much easier to fit into its circular holder. This particular design of Tax Disc carried on with minor changes in colour and wording until 1956, where the disc saw it's first major redesign. This new design totally lacked the United Kingdom symbols and no longer had a box for 'colour'. It also featured two solid bands of colour at the top and bottom of the disc.

The Period the Ford Anglia was Available (1959 - 1968)

The first Tax Disc that would have been displayed in the new Ford Anglia 105E would have been of this design for 1959 (which also rolled over, but with a different colour) into 1960.

1959 Tax Disc 1960 Tax Disc

1961 bought about a major change to the Tax Disc system. In a major effort to make life harder for the forger, a new design consisting of various circular vignettes and bands of solid colour, plus a half-tone background was launched. Artwork, however was not the only big change. Monthly taxation was finally introduced to get away from the bottleneck of the December 31st expiry date. From January 1961 onwards, one could buy twelve month's car tax at any time, the Tax Disc you received having January, February, March etc of the following year as the expiry date for the first time.

If you purchased your new Ford Anglia Estate or Ford Thames Van when they first rolled off the production line,
you would have needed to display a new 1961 style Tax Disc.

1961 Tax Disc

The Tax Disc changed colour every year in the sequence of blue, brown, green, and red. The attempt to beat the forgers proved to be a little off target. The less scrupulous people found it relatively easy to 'amend' Guinness bottle labels to mimic the brown colour of the 1962 tax discs to evade payment.

If you purchased your new Ford Anglia Super when it first rolled off the production line,
you would have needed to display a 1962 Tax Disc.

1962 Tax Disc

In response to the supposedly widespread fraud allowed by the "Guinness Tax Disc" of 1962, the expiry date was duplicated in the toned area of the design from 1963 onwards.

If you had bought any of your favourite Ford Anglia models from 1963 until its demise in 1967,
then you would have had to display one of the following types of Tax Discs on your car.

1963 Tax Disc 1964 Tax Disc 1965 Tax Disc 1966 Tax Disc 1967 Tax Disc 1968 Tax Disc

This style of tax disc remained in vogue up until May 1978, when it underwent changes yet again.

The Ford Anglia still requires an up to date tax disc to be displayed, but, surprisingly for the UK Government,
the cost of this is now zero on any vehicles constructed before 1st January 1973.

Even though the tax disc is free, you will still be fined if it is not vaild and displayed on your vehicles windscreen.

In the UK the Tax Disc has to be dislayed on the right hand side of the windscreen (ie passenger side of the vehicle). This is so Traffic Wardens and Police Officers can check them at a glance from the pavement.

Tax Disc Position

Because a free Tax Disc does not generate any income for the UK Government or the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA), they have thought up another way of annoying the classic car owner, "Statutory Off Road Notification". SORN was introduced in 1998 and is required for a vehicle that is parked off the public highway, is permanently garaged or is being restored on your drive. SORN is free (for now) but failure to submit a SORN is punishable in the same manner as failure to pay duty and display a current Tax Disc.

So there you have it, a brief history of the Tax Disc over the span of the Ford Anglia’s production.

(Article Copyright MellY Designs - Please do not Reproduce without Permission)

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