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.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.