After death of paper disc, clamping for unpaid car tax skyrockets

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

 

Clamping for unpaid car tax has almost doubled since the paper tax disc was thrown on the scrapheap, according to the BBC.

 

Through figures released by the Freedom of Information request, the BBC have stated that in the six months leading up to October 2014 – when the tax disc was killed off – DVLA figures show that there was an average of 5,100 clampings per month.

 

An analysis of the six months leading up to October this year shows that the average has risen to 9,200 a month. At the time the paper tax disc ended, the Government said it would eventually result in saving the DVLA around £7 million a year.

 

In July, figures showed revenue from vehicle tax fell by £93 million in the year after the paper disc was abolished.

 

By having no tax disc in the window to serve as a reminder, this could be a factor as to why so many haven’t renewed.

 

If clamped, drivers can expect to pay a fee of £100 and vehicles are often taken to a pound where they face additional fees for every day before the car is recovered. 

 

The car pound charges £21 with a risk of having to fork out another £80 due to a Late Licensing Penalty.

 

The vehicle could be sent to be crushed or sold if it is not recovered by the owner within two weeks.

 

Joanne McCusker, nurse, from Salford, the cost was £340 to have a clamp removed from her car.

 

“In all my years of driving, I’ve missed one payment and that was only since they’ve removed the tax disc,” she told the BBC, adding that it is “a bit heavy-handed.

 

She said: “There could be another way, I’m sure, rather than have it clamped.”

 

Revenue from vehicle excise duty (VED) fell from £6,023 billion in 2014/15 to £5,930 billion the year after.

 

 Oliver Morley, DVLA chief executive, said: “The law is that you pay your tax.

 

“The vast majority pay with no problem at all.”

 

The RAC said several factors could help explain the fall in VED income, such as increase in low carbon emissions vehicles – which are cheaper to tax – and unfamiliarity with the new system.

 

Simon Williams, spokesman, said the drop still represents “a significant sum”, and urged the DfT to conduct a further survey to build up a better picture of the problem.

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