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DVLA targets untaxed drivers in areas with highest evasion rates

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The DVLA has launched a campaign urging drivers to ‘tax it or lose it’ as it focuses on the 20 regions with the highest level of road tax evasion.

There were nearly 600,000 enforcement actions in the 20 regions with the highest number of untaxed vehicles in 2019, DVLA statistics show.

Belfast is the area with the highest number at 78,501, followed by Birmingham with 61,531 and Glasgow with 34,375.

As part of its campaign to clampdown on road tax evasion, it will visit these 20 areas to highlight that owners could face penalties, fines, have their vehicle clamped or lose their wheels.

When an untaxed vehicle is clamped, owners are charged a £100 release fee. If they can’t show it’s been taxed when it has been released, they have to pay a surety fee of £160, refunded within 15 days if they can prove they’ve bought tax.

Where a release fee isn’t paid within 24 hours, the DVLA can impound the vehicle and the fee rises to £200. Motorists also face a storage charge of £21 a day, with a £160 surety fee applicable too.

To declare a car as SORN, it must be kept off the road and on private land instead.

‘No excuse’

DVLA’s chief executive, Julie Lennard, said: “The number of untaxed vehicles on the road is falling, but we are determined to reduce this even further. We operate a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay and hard to avoid, so there really is no excuse if you fail to tax your vehicle.

“While the vast majority of motorists do the right thing and tax correctly, this campaign highlights the real consequences that motorists face if they don’t tax their vehicles.”

RAC spokesperson, Simon Williams, added: “Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient so it’s far simpler to make sure you tax it.

“You can easily check when your tax is due using DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service on GOV.UK: all you need is your vehicle registration. It’s also really important to tell DVLA straightaway if you move house, so you don’t risk missing the reminder letters that DVLA sends to all vehicle keepers.”

Motorists can go online to tax a vehicle or check whether the vehicle tax is up-to-date. They can also check by asking Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

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