[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 13:19 GMT
Untaxed vehicles show sharp rise
Owners of older vehicles are less likely to pay road tax
The number of cars, vans and motorbikes on British roads that were not taxed has risen sharply over the last year.

The number of untaxed vehicles rose from 1.55m in 2005 to 2.19m - or one in 15, government figures showed.

Evasion is predicted to cost 217m in lost revenue in the current financial year, compared with 147m in 2005-06.

People who own vehicles and motorbikes which are more than 10 years old are said to be more likely to avoid paying Vehicle Excise Duty than other drivers.

The statistics are based on checks at 256 sites across the UK.

The Department for Transport said that the number of car and light van drivers who failed to tax their cars increased from 947,000 in 2005 to 1.34m in 2006.

Hefty fines

New measures were introduced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in June last year to target untaxed vehicles.

Drivers who do not pay road tax are also said to be far more likely to have no insurance.

A DfT spokesman said: "We are working with the police and local authorities to clamp down on untaxed and uninsured vehicles.

"Since June 2006 debt collectors and clamping and removal teams have been targeting tax dodgers nationwide.

"The message is clear - not paying your road tax risks hefty fines and losing your vehicle."

In Northern Ireland, the number of people failing to tax their vehicles fell from 5.4% in 2005 to 5% in 2006.

Have you been affected by issues covered in this story?

Your comments:

Why don't we scrap the tax disc - add it to the fuel price (impossible to evade) and save money on administrative costs?
Julie, England

It serves the Government right. It has always been a ridiculous scheme and easy to avoid. It is just another tax raising method and if they had any sense, would scrap it and transfer the lost revenue by increasing petrol prices - then we all have to pay.
Andy, Guildford, UK

I have a vehicle off the road for the last year. I signed the Sorn for this vehicle and sent it off to the DVLA in October last year. Just received a letter stating that the vehicle has failed to be registered by me and I have been given a 40 fine! As much as I sympathise with the DVLA over lost revenue, I feel disgusted that I have been accused of breaking the law for their incompetence! With this, I sent the fine with a letter of complaint and the reply was - the matter has been closed!
Marc, UK

The DVLA and DfT's performance on this issue is woeful. As an example, I have reported a car in my street 10 (ten) times in the last three months for having no tax and absolutely nothing has been done. It renders utterly laughable the recent advertising campaign by the DVLA claiming that they only need to look on their computer to find untaxed vehicles. Even more galling is that the local DVLA office is approximately half-a-mile from where the car is kept.
Peter, UK

It seems to be a joke - 'we know where you are, there's no hiding etc' campaign by the DVLA. I have twice reported a car driving round with tax that expired in September 06 and yet nothing seems to have been done. The car is still picking up the owner's children from school everyday. What worries me is if the car isn't taxed then is it MOT'd, insured etc ? These people are putting others at risk every time they get behind the wheel. Scrap the tax and put the money onto petrol and diesel and then no-one will get away with it!!!!
Andy, Great Britain

All very well, but why the increase? People's disposable income has dropped, we are taxed to the hilt. I am not condoning dodgers in anyway but it is a fact, they take more and more tax in all forms. We are all on a very slippery slope, I fear for my children the way this country is going.
Colin Hill, England

Car bosses say 4x4 demand falling
04 Jan 07 |  Business
The new car tax bands
22 Mar 06 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific