The paper tax disc was abolished back in October 2014
According to new figures revealed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the number of vehicles being clamped due to owners not paying for road tax has doubled since the disc was done away with.
The DVLA have said that since 2013/14, the number of clamping incidents involving motorists not paying for their vehicle tax has jumped up by an alarming 166 per cent. This equates to around 160,000 drivers here in the UK being clamped every year for non-payment of vehicle road tax, some of whom experience having their car towed away.
Many who were against the abolition of the paper tax disc, which ended in October 2014, warned that this would lead to motorists forgetting that they need to pay for their annual road tax.
The DVLA would not confirm exactly how many motorists were clamped each year and would only reveal the true numbers following a Freedom of Information request.
Figures released before the abolition of the tax disc showed that nearly 60,000 vehicles were clamped by agencies who were employed by the DVLA.
It’s now believed that as a result of the 166 per cent increase, as many as 160,000 motorists here in the UK could be being targeted each year.
According to the DVLA’s annual report, there’s also been a significant increase in fines and prosecutions for drivers not paying for their road tax – some motorists have had to pay around £800 in fines because they didn’t pay for their road tax on time.
Motoring organisations have been left furious, believing these new enforcements have led to road tax just becoming a money making exercise, as the VED raises nearly £5.9 billion per year.
Roads policy spokesman for the AA, Jack Cousens, says that it’s right the DVLA penalise those who deliberately flout the law, however many drivers simply forget now the paper tax disc is no longer in the windscreen to remind them, plus new rules regarding taxing a vehicle after selling a car privately have left many people confused.
Once over, the tax would go with the vehicle but now the new keeper has to tax the vehicle before they drive off.
As well as a rise in clamping, the DVLA’s report also shows a 168 per cent increase in out of court settlements due to road tax, a 155 per cent increase in the amount of penalties handed out and a 159 per cent rise in the number of prosecutions.
“Rather than fining, prosecuting and clamping people, perhaps the DVLA should consider whether it should be bringing back the tax disc in people’s window,” said Tory MP Charlie Elphicke.
However, a spokesman for the DVLA said: “It’s easier than ever before to tax your vehicle, and more than 98 per cent of vehicles on the road are correctly taxed. The law is clear and that is why we take action against those who break the law on behalf of the taxpayer.”
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