Recent Poll Finds That 30% of Motorists Don't Know When Their 'Road Tax' Is Due, Do You?
Results from a recent poll we carried out have revealed that a staggering 30 per cent of motorists do not know when their vehicle excise duty (VED) is due.
If this number is a true reflection across the UK that means out of the 45.5 million people who hold driving licences in the UK, over 13.5 million could forget to pay their vehicle tax on time.
Since the abolition of the tax disc, we have been researching and recording findings. According to the DVLA, taxing was supposed to become easier thanks to a new digital system that was set up. However, it seems from these figures that more and more UK motorists could be driving without valid tax.
In September 2015, we revealed that 1 million plus motorists in the UK are driving vehicles that are not taxed. That number could rise dramatically if this new poll is correct.
We also found, that on average, 'car tax' costs £170 per vehicle - with this in mind that means the DVLA is losing out on around £170m per year.
Millions tax on time
A spokesman from the DVLA has refuted the claims that its new digital system is failing and said: “The vast majority of people tax their cars on time, with over 42 and a half million drivers taxing their vehicles since 1 October 2014“.
He continued: “Of these more than 29 million have chosen to tax their vehicles online or by phone. [The DVLA] also still send reminders to motorists when their vehicles are due to be taxed. [The DVLA] send V11 reminders to all motorists except those who have chosen to pay by Direct Debit - they would receive a Direct Debit reminder.”
Motorists driving without valid tax could be fined up to £1,000 and face having their vehicle impounded.
Surge in clamping
Our findings also coincide with a huge rise in clampings. Last week The Guardian reported that the removal of paper tax discs has led to nearly a 60% jump in car clamping by the DVLA in the past year, with some drivers facing huge fines.
The DVLA said that a staggering 99,307 have been immobilised or towed away in the past twelve months - a rise of 58% compared with the previous year.
The Guardian also found that the number of clampings rose from around 5,000 a month to 8,000 a month after the change in DVLA rules.
It is not known how much extra revenue the DVLA has earned from the rise in clamping, but the figure has been estimated at around £15m.
Tax disc a 'major factor'
Terry Hogan, Co-Founder and Director said, “This latest poll reveals that the lack of a physical tax disc is a major factor in motorists forgetting to tax their vehicles, meaning large numbers of motorists are failing to renew their car tax, driving illegally and liable to fines”.
Have your say
Do you think the abolition of the tax disc to blame for the rise in untaxed vehicles and ultimately a surge in clamping? Tell us your thoughts below and we'll feature the best comments, right here.
Colin Brazier makes the point: "If the DVLA send out reminders what's the problem?"
Rodders suggests the government should bring back the tax disc, "then we, the general public know who has paid and who has not."
Steve P thinks the government should abolish VED altogether and increase fuel duty so "you pay for your usage and emissions" - do you agree?