There are countless different examples of tax discs, and it really is fascinating to discover how they have evolved since the first issue back in 1921.

December 1921 Tax DiscDecember 1931 Tax DiscDecember 1941 Tax DiscDecember 1951 Tax DiscDecember 1961 Tax DiscDecember 1971 Tax DiscDecember 1981 Tax DiscDecember 1991 Tax DiscDecember 2001 Tax Disc

Although vehicle taxation had been in place for many years, it wasn't until the implementation of the Finance Act 1920 that the issuing and displaying of tax discs became a legal requirement, and from 1 January 1921 motorists were obliged to display a disc on the vehicle. The option was available for quarterly and annual discs.

Originally, the discs had no perforations to separate them from the outer margins (selvedge), and as a result early discs were often poorly cut out. Any disc with selvedge still attached, but particularly these early ones, are more valuable to a collector.

December 1924 tax disc with selvedge

In 1923 rules were changed so that expired tax discs had to be destroyed. As a result, it can be harder to find discs dating from this period

December 1923 Tax Disc

Interesting discs to watch out for include:

Those from 1925 with advertising on the reverse

1925 tax disc with advertising on the reverse

Those allocated to agricultural machines, known as Farmers Discs

December 1971 farmers issue tax disc

Emergency discs, issued when normal discs became restricted

February 1972 emergency issue disc

Welsh and Northern Irish issues

Northern Ireland December 1943 tax disc with selvedgeWelsh July 1980 disc with selvedge

Even more information on this fascinating subject can be found in the book Trade And Collect Tax Discs.