Car tax disc changes: DVLA website crashes as drivers rush to renew tax in new online system

Website received more than 6,000 visits a minute on Tuesday

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The DVLA’s website for taxing vehicles under the new system crashed this morning as drivers rushed to register their vehicles.

Many drivers took to Twitter to report that the website was not working for them or that they were unable to access it.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said on Tuesday evening it was receiving more than 6,000 visits a minute, hours before the old tax disc system became obsolete.

In a post, the agency said it received “unprecedented demand” on its website, which was causing a “slow response”. An estimated 270,000 people had taxed their cars by the end of the day – 30,000 more than on the same date last year.

A spokesperson said the website is running but is being slow for some people.

In the new electronic system, vehicle owners will no longer have to display the vehicle excise duty (VED) disc on their screens. Instead, VED will be renewed either online or at Post Office branches.

The DVLA has a digital record of payments and number-plate recognition cameras are used to track vehicles and identify those that are not taxed.

One key change from today is that those purchasing a vehicle will not be able to take advantage of the remaining months and days of the car's existing VED and will need to renew the tax on it.

A spokesperson for the DVLA said: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented demand which means that some customers may be experiencing slow response times or having difficulty accessing the service.

“We are of course very sorry for any inconvenience and we are urgently investigating to improve service quality for the minority of our customers that are experiencing issues.”