Death of paper tax disc sees evasion double

27 November 2015

tax disc Instances of car tax evasion has more than doubled, after the scrapping of the old paper tax disc, according to official figures. If you put your head out of the window now, you'll be able to hear a load of people muttering 'I told you so.'

Now, the number of people dodging tax is 516,000 according to Department for Transport statistics. That's a loss of around £80 million according to their figures. Not to be sniffed at, given that this new system was brought in to save £10 million (thanks to not having to print out discs, and the removal of some red tape).

The Department for Transport said: "The rate of unlicensed vehicles observed on the road was much higher in 2015 than when previously surveyed in 2013, following changes in the licensing system."

Other than people just thinking they can get away with it, what's caused this rise? Well, the new way of doing things ended the practice of letting drivers transfer unspent car tax across to a new owner; now, each owner must re-tax a car when they buy it. This extra bit of hassle for drivers looks like it has resulted in them not bothering to do it at all.

The DfT report continues: "The increase is probably due to major changes to the vehicle licensing system which took place in October 2014, especially the automatic refund of tax when a vehicle changes hands. This could cost about £80million in lost VED revenue over the course of a year, about 1.4 per cent of the total amount due."

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: "These are very worrying and disappointing statistics indeed. Sadly, the concerns we raised about the number of car tax evaders going up at the time the tax disc was confined to history have become a reality."

"The number of car tax evaders has more than doubled from 210,000 in 2013 to 560,000 in the latest statistics and is now at its highest level for eight years. We really cannot afford for this to increase again for the sake of both road safety and the country’s finances. Hopefully, much of the increase in evasion is due to the system being new and these figures will reduce as motorists become more familiar with how it works."

TOPICS:   Motoring   Tax


  • Meekon
    I must be missing something here, but why can't the "Gov" put a few extra pence (or whatever fee is appropriate) on per litre at the pumps? That way, every vehicle that fills up, automatically contributes to the "Tax". High consumption/heavy vehicles or high milage users contribute more by using more fuel and more efficient or low mileage users pay less.. They wouldn't even need to fit trackers to work out how far you traveled, just by how much fuel you consume. Ok, I can see that then you might have diesel users trying back street fuel alternatives like chip fat etc, but I can't see many doing this.. It really seems daft to me to have another separate tax to pay in this day and age..
  • Father J.
    > you might have diesel users trying back street fuel alternatives like chip fat etc Plenty are already doing this. Older diesels fitted with mechanical fuel pumps are entirely capable of running on such fuel.
  • jenny
    The problem with 'taxing per mile' is it hits rural communities where owning a car is not a luxury it is an essential for employment.
  • Bottom I.
    Taxing per mile....typically fucking English idea screwing over the Cornish.
  • Noghar
    And the process of renewing your car tax is a way of checking you have an MOT and insurance, which you can't do through a petrol pump. The fact that they have 'saved' £10m and lost £80m is typical of this government's penny pinching idiocy. Like 'economising' by cutting back on the tax inspectors who cost £20m a year thus losing track of tax dodgers who cost this country £20bn a year.
  • Adolf
    Stay in Cornwall then you pasty eating twat
  • Father J.
    Most of the one-eyed cunts are too inbred to pass a driving test anyway.

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