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The 11-year-old car tax disc collector

The youngster with a collection worth thousands of pounds says scrapping the car tax disc on 1 October, 2014, is a big mistake.

Jude Currie, 11, from Cobham in Surrey, is an enthusiastic collector.

But unlike others of his age group he's not into football stickers or science-fiction figurines: he likes collecting car tax discs – and now has over 12,000.

Collection worth £10,000

They date from 1926 to the present day and Jude estimates they're worth about £10,000.

Jude was fascinated by cars from an early age. "He was able to recognise different makes and models from age two," says his father Garnet, 58.

"He would point at vehicles and say 'BMW' or 'Renault’.

"Shortly afterwards he became interested in collecting hubcaps and would call out if he saw a discarded one on the road and we'd have to pull over and pick it up."

Jude's interest in car tax discs developed in 2009, when he was seven.

"I was surfing the internet when I saw a picture of an abandoned car," explains Jude.

Scrap happy

"I spotted the tax disc in the window and thought that would be a nice thing to collect.

"The next day I asked my parents to take me to a local scrapyard and we got one from 2003. It was a good place to start.”

Jude has built his collection up since then, acquiring the discs from a variety of sources.

"I love going to scrapyards and have got loads from there.

"Family and friends know about my hobby and so they give me their expired discs. And I buy them on eBay too, with my pocket money.

"Generally the older they are the more they cost – a disc from 2012 would be about £1, one from the 1980s about £5, from the 1960s, £10, and then ones from the 1920s can be as much as £80."

International collection

Jude's favourite tax disc is one from 1926 which his parents bought him as a Christmas gift.

"I keep my collection in date order in folders," he says.

"So it starts with that one – I think it's really special. I also have tax discs from other countries such as Australia, South Africa and Ireland."

Jude thinks it's sad that the tax disc is set to be abolished on 1 October, with records going online.

"I think George Osborne has made a mistake. We've had car tax discs since 1921 – that's 93 years," says Jude.

"It's the end of an era and it's sad to see the tradition die.

"I think it's better to have a tax disc as it's good to have something tangible for your money."

Unfair system

Jude also believes that car tax – or vehicle excise duty, to give it its official name – should be structured differently.

"I don't think it's fair that a retired person who only does 5,000 miles should be paying the same as someone who drives 20,000 miles a year.

"The payment should reflect the mileage driven."

However, Jude does support the new option to pay monthly by direct debit as he thinks it will help people spread costs throughout the year.

In addition to his car tax disc collection, Jude enjoys collecting other car memorabilia including Dinky Toys and dealer brochures.

New experiences

He also loves attending classic car shows and was lucky enough to win an East German Trabant in a car show raffle – though it'll be a few years before he'll be old enough to drive it.

"I never imagined I'd be spending my Saturday afternoons at a scrapyard or travelling to classic car shows in Germany," says Jude's mum, Candice, 42.

"But he enjoys it so much and it's introduced Garnet and me to people and experiences we never would have had without Jude."

Jude prefers older cars to modern or supercars and his favourite motors include cars produced by British Leyland, especially Austin Metros.

He also loves east European cars. His dream job would be to design cars or to be a TV presenter on a programme about classic cars.

Perhaps Jude Currie is destined to be the younger, better-looking version of Jeremy Clarkson.

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Maria McCarthy

Maria McCarthy

Maria McCarthy is a motoring and lifestyle journalist and author of The Girls' Car Handbook and The Girls' Guide to Losing your L Plates published by Simon and Schuster. She's also a regular on BBC Breakfast news, and local and national radio, commenting on motoring matters. Her pet motoring hates are potholes and high fuel prices.

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