Why I hate the next six weeks…

Nicola Elphick

Well it’s that time of year when everyone starts wondering what the Budget has in store… I am just the same.  I used to work for Barclays Financial Planning so the Budget always meant extra work, which in turn, meant more income, which meant a bigger bonus…. (the only bit I miss about working for Barclays).

I now work in a rural Post Office for two days a week and we are ‘lucky’ (so I’m told) in that we sell car tax. I call it a pain in the backside, as for the six weeks following the Budget, the V11s (your car tax reminder) which are sent out are always wrong as they are prepared to be sent, you’ve guessed it, six weeks before and they don’t know what the new rates will be – they add a note to the V11 in red stating that the rate may be different if they are changed in the Budget, but the customer doesn’t read that.

Then the moaning starts, usually because the press/news pick up on one point but not the full facts. Last year, for example, people were coming in to tax their 1995 Land Rover heaps expecting it to be £400 as that’s what it said on the news.

The worst customer I had was taxing a 2007 Porsche and was really complaining, almost to the point of shouting at me that it was £400 for the year.  He was even less happy when I pointed out that it was a £70,000 car. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job and am known to be the smiley, happy, helpful one – even the Postmistress tells customers to come back when I’m in on a Thursday and Friday.  But it does become wearing after the 50th time you’ve had a conversation about how awful the price increase is.

So when you go to the Post Office to tax your car spare a thought for the person behind the glass – they didn’t put your car tax up and it’s not their fault.

Posted in: AROnline Blogs
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

6 Comments on "Why I hate the next six weeks…"

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  1. 406v6 406v6 says:

    Sorry folks, I know this isn’t the right place to record it but the ability to login to the ARO Forum to post comments and replies has been broken for days. Because it’s not possible to log in, the problem can’t be recorded there. Can one of the admin team fix it and then delete this comment.

  2. Andrew McCheyne says:

    Why did you refer to Land Rovers as heaps?

  3. lord sward says:

    I honestly believe that those people tasked with handing over Tax Discs smile first thing on a morning. Then its over and done with for the day.

  4. Chris Chapman says:

    Presumably a rural Landie that’s 14 years old might be showing quite a few dents and rust patches (but at least it’s still on the road!)

    Andrew McCheyne :
    Why did you refer to Land Rovers as heaps?

    )

  5. Nicola Elphick says:

    Lord Sward – Are you referring to your Mam again.

    Chris Chapman – you are correct these are old Land Rovers that have been used on local farms – was not referring to the 08 plate sports or disco 3’s.

  6. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick says:

    I’m happy to pay the tax on my car. It’s not that I like the amount, but I argue for environmentally responsible car use yet let my head rule that choice when I bought a 1,975Kg, 2.7 litre saloon car. I knew how much the tax was when I bought it and I know I have to pay it. *shrugs*.

    It did make it really easy to justify a private plate from DVLA though. Which definitely helps with “keeping the car a long time” plan; I don’t look out of the window and see a marker that my car is 18 months old (even though I’ve had it less than a year. (It’s the car model and initials, btw, not a “word” or a “name” or anything daft, and really did cost less than a year’s tax – unlike M3/M5 etc. owners, there are plenty of plates for big Citroëns!),

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