But a DVLA spokeswoman said work could only start on adapting the computer systems to the new VED system when it was decided what format it would take and once discussions had taken place with manufacturers. She said: 'The existing system is 30 years old and we are in the early stages of updating it. All we can say is that it is due to be completed some time in the future.'
The agency will have to wait until consultation is finished and firm levels of charging have been decided before it can start to try to implement the system. The consultation process continues to January 31 and considering the scale of the task facing the DVLA, it seems the aim of launching the new system of VED after the passage of the Finance Bill following the March 1999 Budget is optimistic.