Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Tax Break


So, farewell then the car tax disc. Farewell to sitting outside the post office trying to make a neat job of tearing around the perforations. Farewell to know-alls tapping your windscreen and saying "Your tax runs out tomorrow" as if you hadn't realised. Funny thing, I shall miss these curious bits of paper, glancing at them every few months as I have done since I started having to buy them. Missing the feeling of relief at the post office counter when all my paperwork seems miraculously to be in order, missing the relief when a passing copper didn't realise there wasn't even one there.

Removing the plastic holder from the inside of my windscreen the other day I found the previous owner had kept every single disc from the car's first registration. A little piece of history of various post offices and various prices, and slight changes of design from year to year. I've made a double page spread out of them in my scrapbook. But oh how long will it be before I stop feeling guilty about the absence of this little piece of paper, no longer confirming me to be a proper person. Probably until I go and put a 1942 one for an Austin in the once official position, bottom left hand corner. In fact, I've gone on about this before, here.

3 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

It's interesting (to me, at any rate) how perforated stuff is disappearing. Perforated stamps went, some time ago; online payment of bills means we use fewer and fewer of those perforated payment slips; there don't seem to be as many two-part tickets about as there were (or is that just me not getting out enough?); now the most eccentric perforated object of all, the tax disc, has gone. Part of the pervasive smoothing-over and detexturing (if I may mangle language) of life, I reckon.

Peter Ashley said...

You're right Phil about the losing of texture in our lives. So I was very surprised to find I still had to lick the back of a stamp in our local post office yesterday.

Jon Dudley said...

Remember the apocraphyl story of Guinness labels doing duty as Tax Discs back in the 60s? Strange, as they looked nothing like a tax disc and were oval in shape. Also, the 'Tax in Post' notices we sellotaped onto the windscreen as we took advantage of the rather religious- sounding '14 days grace'.

The loss of perforations is to be lamented...the late Thames barge master, Bob Roberts would block up the holes of his melodeon with those useful perforated remains we called 'stamp paper'...