A new campaign by the DVLA has been launched to clampdown on road tax evasion which could see thousands of motorists facing unexpected fines.
New figures released today suggest around 10,000 untaxed vehicles in the UK are clamped or impounded every month.
In 2016 almost 106,000 untaxed cars were immobilised or impounded for not paying road tax in Britain.
This has almost doubled from 2014, with 57,254 being clamped in that year.
In 2015, 85,355 were clamped and 105,878 the following year.
The Driver Vehicle License Agency has launched a new campaign today ‘Tax it or lose it’ which sends a strong message to motorists looking to evade car tax.
DVLA chief executive Oliver Morley said: “This campaign targets those who break the law by not taxing their car.
“While the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road are licensed correctly, it is only right that we take action against those people who think they can get away with it.
“The law is clear and so are the consequences — if you don’t tax your car, you risk losing it.”
The law is clear and so are the consequences — if you don’t tax your car, you risk losing it
Revenue from vehicle excise duty (VED) fell in the UK by £147 million in between 2014/15 to 2016/17, due to the abolition of the paper tax disc.
Sceptics believe the removal of paper tax discs has made it easy for VED to be avoided, but the DVLA says that the push towards low-emissions vehicles is the contributing factor towards the dip in revenue.
Under the reform in 2014, car tax on a vehicles could not be transferred from owner to owner.
Even if the car has a number of remaining months of tax, the new driver has to relax the vehicle and the seller will be refunded.
Car tax warning over untaxed vehicles being clamped or impounded
Oliver Morley added that it has never been easier to tax your car, so there is no excuse for drivers not doing so.
“The fact is it’s never been easier to tax your car,” he stated
“Our online system is available 24 hours a day and with Direct Debit you can choose spread the cost over the year; there really is no excuse for skipping vehicle tax.
“Whilst 98 per cent of vehicles on UK roads are taxed correctly, the DVLA is currently clamping or impounding around 10,000 untaxed cars every month.”
Over 105,878 untaxed vehicles were clamped last year
In 2017, car tax was reformed again seeing a huge shake-up to the way car tax is calculated to reward lower emissions drivers.
From April 1st, only electric cars which produce zero emissions and cost less than £40,000 will be completely exempt from the car tax rates.
Cars costing over £40,000 will be expected to pay an additional £310 surcharge on top of the car tax rate.
Cars registered after the date will be expected to pay a standard rate for their car tax after the first year rate.
Car tax revenue has dropped by £147 million after the tax disc was abolished
This standard rate charge will vary for drivers depending on what type of car they are and what fuel they use.
-£140 per year for petrol and diesel vehicles
-£130 per year for ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles, such as hybrids
-£0 per year for zero emissions vehicles, such as fully electric
Vehicle Excise Duty price increases explained:
How tax for petrol and diesel cars compare before and after April 1st 2017
Pre- April 1st 2017
Current annual tax rate (based on the vehicle’s emissions)
120g/km – £30
150g/km – £145
170g/km – £210
Over 255g/km – £515
Post-April 1st 2017
First year ‘licence rate’ (based on the vehicle’s emissions)
120g/km – £160
150g/km – £200
170g/km – £500
Over 255g/km – £2,000
Post-April 1st 2017
Standard rate after the first year (based on the vehicle’s fuel-type)
120g/km – £140
150g/km – £140
170g/km – £140
Over 255g/km – £140