New DVLA stats released earlier in the week show that over 460,000 vehicles in 11 cities nationwide are clamped or fined yearly for failing to tax their cars.

The new advertising campaign targets 11 areas nationwide where the highest number of untaxed vehicles were found. It aims to raise awareness about what not taxing your vehicles will lead to, whether that is a fine, penalty or it being clamped and potentially towed.

Worst areas for clamping

The 11 areas chosen to be targeted for this advert are based on the numbers for enforcement actions taken in 2018, whether that is a penalty, fine or clamping.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London was the worst for untaxed vehicles across the UK. Whether this is down to higher numbers of CCTV cameras, a higher proportion of people packed into the area, or merely because there simply are more people not taxing their cars in London it is very unknown.

However, the high contrast between London and the rest of the UK, over 50,000 more than anywhere else, shows the drastic need to crack down on untaxed motorists.

Area Clamped Fines or Penalties Totals
London 27,605 94,550 122,155
Northern Ireland 5,516 67,944 73,460
Birmingham 5,076 50,045 55,121
Manchester 7,573 26,214 33,787
Glasgow 2,666 29,705 32,371
Sheffield 3,987 25,291 29,278
Cardiff 3,021 24,598 27,619
Nottingham 3,507 21,346 24,853
Bristol 3,496 20,412 23,908
Leicester 3,344 19,196 22,540
Coventry 1,257 18,193 19,450
Data taken from DVLA website and used under Open Government Licence v3.0 for editorial purposes only.

Removal of paper discs

Back in 2014, the DVLA removed paper tax discs, saying that an online database was a more cost-effective way forward, saving the Treasury around £10 million a year.

The lost revenue from the higher number of people not taxing their cars is predicted to be over £100 million, which is going to be a quarter of a million a year lost on average. Since 2014, experts approximate that the number of people not taxing their vehicles has increased by 28%.

Every two years the DVLA publish a report into Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) evasion statistics. The last report published in 2017 showed a drastic increase in vehicle stats compared to 2015, with a statistically significant increase of over 1%. Administrative factors such as the removal of paper tax discs were attributed along with the removal of automatic tax transfer when you the vehicle changes hands.

However, an increase from 0.6% untaxed in traffic figure in 2013 to 1.4% in 2015 and then 1.8% in 2017 shows that all the factors combined have not been as successful as perhaps thought. While these figures may seem small, 1.8% of the market equals around 755,000 vehicles on our roads.

Hence the reason for the new DVLA campaign. They’re hoping that by showing the stark consequences of not taxing your vehicle and reminding people how easy it is, they may be able to lower this figure.

Used under Open Government Licence v3.0 for editorial purposes only.

DVLA Head of Enforcement Tim Burton said: “This campaign has a clear message for anyone who flouts the law in this way – tax it or lose it. It’s never been easier to tax your car, so there really is no excuse. We would rather not have to clamp or remove vehicles, but this campaign highlights the consequences of not taxing a vehicle. Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient – and you could end up losing your car.”

Tax changes recently

In April 2017, the DVLA changed tax figures by introducing higher rates for newly registered vehicles and in last years budget, they secretly announced that it would increase in line with RPI.

It was also announced that VED would be ringfenced for the Strategic Road Network, essentially building more smart motorways and major roads. This comes into effect on April 2019 and is the third year in a row that VED has increased.

What do you think of the findings? Do you think that less people have taxed their cars since the removal of tax discs? Will this new campaign help? Let us know what you think

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