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Number Of Untaxed UK Vehicles Hits Record High

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

01 December 2015


The number of untaxed vehicles on the UK's roads more than doubled between 2013 and 2015, with the annual cost of vehicle excise duty evasion (VED) estimated at GBP80m (USD120.3m).

According to the latest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) survey data, this figure is higher than in any year since at least 2007 and equates to approximately 1.4 percent of the total VED due.

On October 1, 2014, the requirement to display a valid tax disc in the windscreen of all vehicles used on the road was abolished, and no new paper tax discs were issued. The DVLA sends reminders before renewal is due and it is possible to check the license status of a vehicle online.

Any existing vehicle tax now automatically ends when a vehicle changes hands and the new owner must tax the vehicle immediately. According to the DVLA, there is "potential for evasion rates to increase if the new keeper fails to understand or comply with the new arrangements." Of the unlicensed vehicles identified in the survey, 41 percent had changed hands since transferrable vehicle tax was abolished on October 1, 2014.

DVLA Chief Executive Oliver Morley said: "Almost 99 percent of all vehicles on the road are correctly taxed: that's around GBP6bn in vehicle tax passed to the Treasury every year. We write to every registered vehicle keeper in the UK to remind them when their tax is due, and we have introduced a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay. At the same time, we are taking action against those who are determined to break the law."

David Bizley, Chief Engineer at motoring organization the RAC, commented: "These are very worrying and disappointing statistics indeed. Sadly, the concerns we raised about the number of car tax evaders going up at the time the tax disc was confined to history have become a reality. Prior to the new system going live last October the RAC made the point that enforcement would principally be carried out by automatic number plate recognition cameras as is the case with motor insurance where the exact number of evaders is not fully known, although the figure is thought to be over one million."

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | vehicle tax | law | insurance | United Kingdom | excise duty | enforcement | tax authority | trade association | trade | Tax | Tax Evasion

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