Road tax crackdown cuts number of dodgers

December 19, 2008 | By | In Statistics

Govt says its campaign has cut evasion by over a third. But one in 100 cars remains unlicensed.

The government’s crackdown on road tax evaders means there are more than a third fewer unlicensed cars than there were a year ago.

But, as the Department for Transport admits, one owner in 100 continues to dodge paying – that’s more than 300,000 cars.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority has made it easier than before to pay for road tax, but it is also harder to avoid.

The campaign against dodgers has included putting a fleet of camera vans and cars out there to track illegal cars using number-plate recognition systems and using debt collection agencies to pursue 40,000 unpaid licences each month.

The government has also tightened up on drivers who claim that their cars don’t need taxing because they are not being used on road. It has also changed the law on road tax refunds so that only a vehicle’s registered keeper can claim.

This last move has hit car dealers who, until this change came in, relied on road tax refunds on cars they took in part-exchange as an extra source of income.

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