By Laura Thomson
In the six months since the tax disc was scrapped, enforcement cases against untaxed cars have risen by almost 50 per cent, it has been revealed.
Auto Express obtained data from the DVLA that revealed that 117,490 vehicles were found to be without tax between October 2014 and March 2015, compared with 82,999 for the preceding six months.
Out-of-court settlements issued to drivers without tax also nearly doubled, from 53,799 to 97,348 over the same six-month period.
The paper tax disc was scrapped in October 2014, following 93 years of being displayed in windscreens. Because they are no longer getting a reminder to renew their Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), many drivers are forgetting to pay the monthly or annual premiums and are being caught out by police number plate recognition technology.
Also contributing to the rise in untaxed vehicles is drivers not realising that VED is no longer transferable to a new vehicle owner. Instead they must take out new tax, while sellers can claim back money for any full months remaining.
The DVLA maintains that it has an extensive list of measures to make sure vehicle owners pay their tax.
A spokesman told Auto Express: “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.”
The automotive website also took a reader poll in order to discover the practicality of the new, online vehicle taxing service. Of the 6,514 readers who responded, 16 per cent were found to be unaware of the changes, 10 months after they had gone into effect.
Eleven per cent of participants claimed to have noticed no real difference, whilst 42 per cent found the new system to be better than before.
What do you think of the online vehicle tax system? Let us know in the comments section below.