On the first day of this month motorists across the country were officially able to take their tax discs out of their vehicles as going forward all information concerning road tax will be stored on an electronic database. However, even though in the run up to the change the DVLA issued information to both motorists and those that work in the insurance industry there is still much confusion over the new system.
As a motorhome insurance broker it is therefore essential that you understand the new system so that you can provide your customers with optimum services. It is very likely that over the coming weeks your customers will call you asking questions about their motorhome’s tax including how to pay it, what they need to do should they sell their motorhome and what happens when it comes to taxing a new motorhome. Even though some of these questions will need to be directed to the DVLA, it’s important that you are able to help your customers as well as protect your business.
As a broker it is essential that you only do business with those that have taxed their vehicles, however under the new system some people may make mistakes and therefore be left vulnerable. One of the biggest changes under the new system is that tax is no longer associated with a vehicle but with the registered owner, meaning that if a motorhome owner decides to sell their vehicle they will receive a refund for any full month’s worth of tax remaining. This also means that when buying a motorhome the new owner must tax the vehicle straight away and then send the V5 logbook to the DVLA.
If you have worked in the insurance industry for a substantial amount of time then you will already know that some people find it hard to keep track of all their vehicle’s documents. Now that they will no longer have a physical document proving that they have paid their road tax and reminding them that they need to renew it these people could find the process even harder. Things become even more complicated if your customers keep their motorhomes on the road while not in use, as even though they may consider them to be ‘laid up’ they still need to be taxed.
In one of our previous blog posts we discussed how over the winter months motorhome insurance brokers will likely have fewer leads for new insurance policies and more leads for laid up cover. If you do have a customer who requires laid up cover it may therefore be wise to ask them whether they are keeping their vehicle on the road or not, and if so remind them that they will need to make sure the vehicle is taxed at all times. Luckily, the DVLA will still be sending reminders to motorists concerning their road tax payments, however it may be wise for them to also make a note of when they run out.
If you provide insurance products for motorhome traders then you will need to keep in mind that they will have recently had to adapt their businesses. Previously, motorhome traders could drive used vehicles in their possession as long as they were covered on their insurance and the tax disc was still in date. However, from now on they will only be able to do so if they register the vehicle in their name, tax it, and then cover it on their insurance, or if they have trade plates and only drive the vehicles for demonstrational purposes.
As you can see the new system for taxing vehicles has thrown up some issues for both motorhome owners and motorhome traders, issues which as a motorhome insurance broker you need to be aware of. The insurance industry is prone to changes, however those that adapt to these changes in a smooth and efficient manner will find themselves managing their businesses much more efficiently and therefore be able to provide better services to their customers.