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Number Of Untaxed Vehicles In UK Rises

Recent figures show an increase in the number of drivers caught without road tax following the recent abolishment of the paper tax disc.

Data released by AutoExpress and obtained by the DVLA reveal that since the paper tax disc was scrapped  six months ago, the number of enforcement cases where drivers had no road tax had risen by almost 50 per cent.

The DVLA shows 117,490 cases were recorded between October 2014 and March 2015, compared to just 82,999 and 86,939 in the previous two six-month period when the tax disc was still in operation.

A spokesman for the DVLA told AutoExpress: “We continue to operate a comprehensive package of measures which makes vehicle tax easy to pay but hard to avoid.

“We write to every new vehicle keeper when they buy a used vehicle to remind them that they must tax the vehicle before they can use it. If they don’t, they become eligible for enforcement action.”

My own experience!

At present there seems to be some confusion as to what happens when you buy a used car or motorcycle. I recently purchased a used Yamaha R6 from a private seller, and both he and I, and his wife ,and my friend had to really look through the V5 document and make our own interpretations of the procedures!

I signed the V5 document and kept the little tear-away “proof of new ownership” strip.  The seller retained the main body of the document with the responsibility of posting it to the DVLA to inform them of a change of ownership.

Not knowing quite what to do from here, I visited the DVLA website as soon as I arrived back home and began a monthly road tax Direct Debit. My advice is have you road tax in place as soon as possible!


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on the number of untaxed vehicles within UK rises.

Paperless Road Tax

After much planning and preparation the traditional UK paper vehicle tax disc, is being phased out. This change will also impact on the governing of transferring of tax when cars are sold.

From today, Wednesday 1st of October, you will no longer need to display a traditional paper tax disc in your car, or on your motorcycle.

“Announced as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement in December 2013, the Vehicle Excise Duty car tax system is moving to a fully digital service.”

If you have a tax disc with any months left to run after this date, then it can be removed from your vehicle and destroyed.

Under the new scheme, there are three ways to pay for your tax – online at the DVLA’s website, over the telephone on 0300 123 4321, or at the Post Office. As usual, the DVLA will still send you a V11 renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.

Under the new rules, tax can no longer be transferred between vehicle owners. This means that when you, as the registered owner, sell a car, you will get a refund of any remaining full months of tax when you inform the DVLA that you no longer own it. There is no need to fill in a form to claim the refund.

“If you are buying a car, you must get new vehicle tax in your name before you can drive it.”

You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by using an automated phone service.

“The number is 0300 123 4321 and the DVLA says it will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

If you wish to make a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) for your vehicle, you can apply online to do this using the 16-digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or 11-digit reference number from your log book (V5C).

The police and other enforcement agencies will use the DVLA’s online register to ensure that a vehicle has valid tax. Therefore, it is vital to ensure your correct details are aligned with your car. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will enforce the new system by catching motorists who have avoided payment.

From November, motorists will also be able to pay for their vehicle tax via direct debit, in addition to the standard six-month and 12-month options.

Early tweets from trade and retail users online have expressed frustration with the new system, and have been unable to purchase the tax they require. Later reports on the day of launch reveal the website may have crashed causing frustration for users.

“The RAC estimates that switching to a paperless tax system could cost the UK Government up to £167 million. That far outstrips the £10 million worth of savings the DVLA says it will make with the new system.”

The research also found that one in three people were unaware of the changes, and the DVLA has been criticised for not informing the public of its changes sooner.

A New Generation Of Tax Disc

The Government publishes new guidelines regarding changes to the vehicle Tax Disc.

From 1 October 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen. If you have a tax disc with any months left to run after this date, then it can be removed from the vehicle windscreen and destroyed. Customers with a Northern Ireland address will still need to display their MoT disc.

There is a video available (Goodbye to the tax disc) which explains that the tax disc will no longer be issued from 1 October 2014. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel.

You can apply online to tax or SORN your vehicle using your 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C)

What this means to you

To drive or keep a vehicle on the road you will still need to get vehicle tax and DVLA will still send you a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire. This applies to all types of vehicles including those that are exempt from payment of vehicle tax.

Buying a vehicle

From 1 October, when you buy a vehicle, the vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. You will need to get new vehicle tax before you can use the vehicle.

You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by using our automated phone service – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit a Post Office® branch.

Selling a vehicle

If you sell a vehicle after 1 October and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax.

Vehicle tax refunds

You will no longer need to make a separate application for a refund of vehicle tax. DVLA will automatically issue a refund when a notification is received from the person named on DVLA vehicle register that the:

  • vehicle has been sold or transferred
  • vehicle has been scrapped at an Automated Treatment Facility
  • vehicle has been exported
  • vehicle has been removed from the road and the person on the vehicle register has made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
  • person on the vehicle register has changed the tax class on the vehicle to an exempt duty tax class

Paying vehicle tax by Direct Debit

From 1 October 2014 (5 October if setting up at a Post Office®), Direct Debit will be offered as an additional way to pay for vehicle tax. This will be available for customers who need to tax their vehicle from 1 November 2014:

  • annually
  • 6 monthly
  • monthly (12 months tax paid for on a monthly basis)

Provided an MOT remains valid, the payments will continue automatically until you tell DVLA to stop taking them or you cancel the Direct Debit with your bank. Valid insurance should also be in place for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.

The Direct Debit will be cancelled and payments automatically stopped when you tell DVLA that you no longer have the vehicle, or the vehicle has been taken off the road and a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) has been made.

When the Direct Debit scheme can’t be used

Paying by Direct Debit will not be available to:

  • first registration vehicles
  • fleet schemes
  • HGVs (paying the Road User Levy)

Checking the tax status of a vehicle

You can check the tax status of any vehicle online. This can also be used for rental vehicles.

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Header Image Credit: Bart Maguire via Flickr