The DVLA Is Clamping Down On Car Tax Evasion

The DVLA is running a ‘tax it or lose it’ campaign to highlight the consequences of car tax evasion. It follows thousands of enforcement actions last year…

Clamping Down

Tax it or lose it. That’s the message the DVLA is promoting in order to clamp down on car tax evasion. A giant car clamp is at the heart of the campaign and will feature in a number of towns and cities across the UK. When tax is evaded, perpetrators face fines, clamps and (in the worst-case scenario) losing their vehicle. Enforcement teams across the UK, equipped with number plate recognition cameras, are constantly on the hunt for offenders. Action will be taken if a car isn’t taxed or is incorrectly declared to be SORN (off the road).

Naturally, your chances of being caught very much depend on where you’re driving; some areas have a much higher number of offences than others. Twenty hotspots have been named and shamed by the DVLA. Collectively, these racked up 590,000 enforcement actions alone in 2019. Belfast topped the list with a whopping 78,501 actions. It was followed by Birmingham, where 61,531 actions took place. Glasgow also made the list with 34,375 offences.

Julie Lennard, chief executive of the DVLA, acknowledged that the number of people failing to pay car tax is falling; but she stressed that more needed to be done. She said, “the number of untaxed vehicles on the road is falling, but we are determined to reduce this even further. We operate a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay and hard to avoid, so there really is no excuse if you fail to tax your vehicle”. She added, “while the vast majority of motorists do the right thing and tax correctly, this campaign highlights the real consequences that motorists face if they don’t tax their vehicles”.

Car Tax Evasion Hotspots 

Some areas are more affected by car tax evasion than others. If you’re driving in a hotspot, the chances are there will be more measures in place to catch people out.  Here are the top ten areas for enforcement actions…

1) Belfast 78,501
2) Birmingham 61,531
3) Bristol 24,747
4) Cardiff 28,857
5) Coventry 23,739
6) Doncaster 17,885
7) East London 26,005
8) Edinburgh 24,779
9) Glasgow 34,375
10) Leicester 23,174

Simon William, a spokesman for the RAC, welcomed the DVLA’s campaign. He said, “while the vast majority of motorists abide by the law and tax their vehicles correctly, high-profile enforcement campaigns like this are needed to make sure the consequences of not doing so are fully understood. This DVLA campaign gives a very clear warning of the action that will be taken on untaxed vehicles. Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient; so it’s far simpler to make sure you tax it”.

Taxing Your Vehicle 

Taxing a vehicle has never been easier. Motorists can tax theirs 24/7 via the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service on GOV.UK. All you need is the vehicle’s registration number. It’s also wise to notify the DVLA if you change address, that way they can ensure you receive reminders when you need them. Amazon Alexa and Google Home can also be instructed to remind drivers when they need to tax their cars. Nifty. Either way, there are few excuses for forgetting. If you do, the penalties can be severe. Don’t fork out on fines or, worse, lose your vehicle.

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