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What DVLA has been doing to clamp down on vehicle tax evasion

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Enforcement, Features, Statutory Off Road Notification, Vehicle tax

A car parked in a street with a giant clamp on it which says "We're clamping untaxed cars in your area"

It’s been a very busy start to the year for all of us on the DVLA enforcement team. We’ve been all across the country in various locations looking for vehicles that have not been taxed - and we're not done yet.

Why we’re doing it

It’s all part of a wider campaign targeting the 11 locations of the UK where vehicle tax evasion is highest. In 2018, we took enforcement action – ranging from fines to clamping – on more than 464,000 vehicles in these areas.

As well as the hard work we’re doing out on the roads every day, we’re running local advertising in each of the regions including radio, printed publications, poster sites, websites and on social media. All of these activities together are designed to make the driving public think again if they’re considering not taxing their vehicle.

There really is no excuse not to tax. It’s never been easier for motorists – on GOV.UK you can tax your vehicle 24 hours a day and if you are not sure when your tax is due, you can check your vehicle tax is up to date. You can even check on Amazon’s Alexa or check on Google Home if you want. All you need is your vehicle registration.

Driving the message home

One of our highlights of the campaign has been taking our giant clamp to some of the locations and putting it in city or town centres to see what reaction it gets from the general public.

A stark physical image like this has really attracted people’s attention and made them think, as you can see from this video:

Other comments we received from the public after seeing the giant clamp included:

“A lot of people are reluctant to do their car tax because they think it’s difficult – this campaign will show them how easy it is.”

“Pay your tax – it’s as simple as that. There’s no excuse is there, really.”

What’s next

We’ve clamped nearly 9,000 vehicles so far during this campaign, but we’re not stopping there. Our enforcement teams work across the country on the look-out for untaxed vehicles, and our message is the same wherever we go: tax it, or lose it.

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  1. Comment by steve askey posted on

    "Not before time" I say

  2. Comment by John Jinks posted on

  3. Comment by Steve Baxter posted on

    Should never have done away with the tax disc.There should also be one to show the vehicle is insured.

    • Replies to Steve Baxter>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      Hi Steve - see my reply to Roger L.

    • Replies to Steve Baxter>

      Comment by Brannon posted on

      In Ireland cars must show a tax disc, insurance disk and an MOT disc. Far better system.

  4. Comment by Brian Smith posted on

    Its about time, maybe us taxpayers may get a drop in tax if more are caught.
    Too many people have got away with it for FAR too long.

    • Replies to Brian Smith>

      Comment by Paul Johnson posted on

      You could save even more time and money if they put extra tax to cover vehicle excise duty on fuel, the more you drive the more you pay, the less thirsty the vehicle the less you pay

  5. Comment by P Brooks posted on

    It's good to see positive action being taken. I know the road tax doesn't all go to repairing roads but the extra funds I hope help improve road safety and vehicle damage.

    • Replies to P Brooks>

      Comment by Dan T posted on

      Whilst I agree with your sentiment you are way behind the times. There has been no road tax since 1937, it is Vehicle Excise Duty.
      It is not spent on the roads. Roads are the responsibility of councils.
      VED goes to the Treasury coffers and is not ring fenced for anything. It is spent as other general taxation is spent. It is a tax on vehicle ownership where the vehicle is on public ground.

  6. Comment by Roy Rogers posted on

    About time that action was taken against those who choose not to tax their vehicle.

  7. Comment by Arwel Owen posted on

    This is a great idea, I agree with this fully, I'm no genius by far, but even I managed to tax my car online, and if I am correct,if a vehicle is untaxed then the likely hood of MOT or insurance is non existent also. Keep up the good work

    • Replies to Arwel Owen>

      Comment by ALAN Emberton posted on

      good point'if no tax' it means its not insured' very risky

  8. Comment by Roger L posted on

    Bring back the tax disc, that does away with the guess work!

    • Replies to Roger L>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      Hi Roger L - it’s never been easier to tax your car, it’s just a few clicks to do it online and you can do it 24 hours a day. Customers can also pay by Direct Debit or at the Post Office.

  9. Comment by rogerhitchins47 posted on

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Comment by May Pulham posted on

    Well done I’m all for what your doing make them pay like rest of drivers

  11. Comment by Cathy posted on

    Well done.......check their MOT and insurance too .........!!

  12. Comment by Glenn Glen posted on

    Confiscate the cars AND permanently ban the owners/drivers from driving. NO MORE SOFTLY SOFTLY TREATMENT FOR OFFENDERS AT THE TAX PAYERS EXPENSE !

    • Replies to Glenn Glen>

      Comment by Rohan Thomas posted on

    • Replies to Glenn Glen>

      Comment by Jack posted on

    • Replies to Glenn Glen>

      Comment by Dave posted on

      Not before time should have been done years ago NO TAX NO CAR CRUSH THEM

    • Replies to Glenn Glen>

      Comment by Ken Moore posted on

      I agree with Glen 100%, I also think the road tax should be done away with, but instead put it on the price of fuel, so if you are using a vehicle, you are paying road tax.

    • Replies to Glenn Glen>

      Comment by Gillian Sebright posted on

      Good idea but totally impossible to police. Too many disqualified drivers as it is causing mayhem that dont get caught

  13. Comment by Theresa Bennett posted on

    I agree, taxing your car online is so easy. Five minutes and it is done.

  14. Comment by R Bennett posted on

    The campaign is to be applauded. But, when did the tax cease to become the Road Fund Licence? Surely the revenue that the tax generates should be ring fenced for the maintenance of our roads - some of which are in an appalling state!

    • Replies to R Bennett>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      Hi R Bennett,
      This is a common misconception – there’s been no direct relationship between vehicle excise duty (VED) and road expenditure since 1937. The revenue raised from VED goes to HM Treasury.

  15. Comment by Chris Godfrey posted on

    I wish they would target the coil estates and no go areas of the cities and towns rather on the mostly law abiding. It’s always the same, easy wins with no hassle.

    • Replies to Chris Godfrey>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      Hi Chris - we’re all across the UK with our national wheel clamping partner and clamp or impound any untaxed vehicles, as well as issuing fines and penalties if a vehicle is untaxed.

      We have a range of enforcement measures and they remain a very effective tool for ensuring an untaxed vehicle isn't driven on the road. Not all of these measures are visible.

      • Replies to Bethan Beasley>

        Comment by Dan h posted on

        Hi Bethan
        I've reported my neighbours 7 times in 15 days. Why do they still get to drive their vehicle?

  16. Comment by R Ward posted on

    A good campaign. Paying monthly by monthly direct debit helps spread the cost and ensures that tax is renewed automatically each year.

  17. Comment by Richard posted on

    It is unfair that DVLA taxes cars twice in the month they change keeper. The previous system was better. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the evasion is because you’re collecting double the amount you’re entitled to.

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      Hi Richard,
      It's been a long-standing feature that vehicle tax is issued from the first of each month and refunds are issued for only complete calendar months remaining. This didn't change when we got rid of the tax disc.

      When a keeper sells the vehicle they must tell DVLA and we'll automatically issue a refund of the remaining months. All new keepers must tax the vehicle when they buy it, rather than having to find out if it's taxed or asking the previous keeper if they're going to apply for a refund.

  18. Comment by Peter posted on

    VERY glad to read about this action!

  19. Comment by David posted on

    Yes great job keep it up if you own a car pay your tax and your insurance and get it MOT'd why should you get away with it if you can't afford a car don't buy one

  20. Comment by Rob Evans posted on

    Agree entirely with this campaign and comments-to-date. And for persistent/repeated avoidance, tax it or lose it, no excuse.

    • Replies to Rob Evans>

      Comment by Jordan Evans posted on

      I agree as I tax my car and like dvla say there's no excuse tax it or lose it

  21. Comment by Old Austin posted on

    I live in rural Essex and there are more vehicles driving round the lanes without tax than those paying the tax. Why should I as a disabled pensioner feel that I should pay up when many of my local neighbours completely ignore the duty to pay up? Nobody ever checks up in the villages and B roads. Taxing the car is so easy these days but evasion is widespread and without a tax disc nobody will ever know.

    • Replies to Old Austin>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      You’re right to say that it’s never been more straightforward to tax a vehicle – it takes just a few clicks using our online service on GOV.UK. Customers can also pay by Direct Debit or at the Post Office.

      More than 98% of vehicles on the road are correctly taxed, which clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of motorists do the right thing, but it’s right that we take action against those who don’t tax.

      About the tax disc, it’s been nearly 5 years since we got rid of it; this clearly isn’t about people not knowing their legal responsibilities and this campaign highlights the consequences for those who choose not to tax.

      And regarding those who ignore their duty to pay up - we’re all across the UK with our national wheel clamping partner and clamp or impound any untaxed vehicles, as well as issuing fines and penalties if a vehicle's untaxed.

  22. Comment by Karen whattam posted on

    I agree with what you are doing, keep up the great job that you are doing!, taxing the car /vehicle is so easy to do, either on line or at a post office that deals with taxing vehicles

  23. Comment by John posted on

    Great keep it up. Shame that you cannot get uninsured vehicles of the road as well.

    • Replies to John>

      Comment by Chris Goddard posted on

      John think you will find that particular legislation is in existence and is being LADLED out accordingly!
      Be lucky ?.

    • Replies to John>

      Comment by A Emberton posted on

      they could get all vehicles that are not taxed and insured or motd' so easy now because its all on data base'the police have onboard computers that are linked to the huge data base'

  24. Comment by John Smith posted on

    Not working in Luton six untaxed vehicles reported and nothing done on Marsh Farm

  25. Comment by Mr J.A.Williams - Service Vet of 86 posted on

    Why not go back to the Car Disc. Others can see if it has been paid. So can the Police & Traffic Wardens. Then you would have no need to spend time & money using your present methods.

  26. Comment by John Lock posted on

    I agree with the comments above but you need to bring back the tax disc. Then everyone can see if an untaxed car is on the road - and report it. As things are now most people won’t know if an untaxed car is on the road and it may be a long time before DVLA finds it.

    • Replies to John Lock>

      Comment by Bethan Beasley posted on

      Hi John - we’re all across the UK with our national wheel clamping partner and clamp or impound any untaxed vehicles, as well as issuing fines and penalties if a vehicle is untaxed.

  27. Comment by Jack posted on

    It's only difficult to tax it if you don't believe in MOT or insurance!

  28. Comment by Walter Holmes posted on

    Keep up the good work..

  29. Comment by Nigel north posted on

    What if I see a car with no tax. Who do I contact

  30. Comment by Eric Walker posted on

    I agree it is good that you are taking action, but it seems that tax evasion has increased since you abolished the tax disc!

    • Replies to Eric Walker>

      Comment by Beth Beasley posted on

      Hi Eric - more than 98% of vehicles on the road are correctly taxed, which clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of motorists stay legal and tax their vehicles on time.

      It’s been nearly 5 years since we got rid of the tax disc; this clearly isn’t about people not knowing their legal responsibilities and this campaign highlights the consequences for those who choose not to tax.

      We know that more people are chancing and skipping one or more months of vehicle tax – which is exactly why we're running this campaign.

  31. Comment by Brian Mallory posted on

    Well done get the dodgers off the road.

  32. Comment by Jeff posted on

    It's great to read that the DVLA are taking the necessary enforcement action against tax dodgers, it's a shame to report that after making numerous report online to the DVLA about a Sorn vehicle that is parked up on the highway that nothing has been done about it

  33. Comment by Roger posted on

    In all cases the action to be taken on an unlicensed vehicle should be:
    1) clamp vehicle
    2) charge a release fee of one years tax
    3) add a fine in addition to the above of one years tax
    4) check data base and charge all previous years unpaid tax at the relevant rates
    5) do the same for MOT's
    6) do the same for insurance
    7) add the lot up, add 20% for costs / loss of interest etc
    and demand payment in full within 72 hours otherwise vehicle will be crushed without mitigation of above total cost.
    HIT these dodgers HARD - they deserve it.

  34. Comment by Frank posted on

    I'd rather the vehicles were removed from the roads than clamped and left as an obstruction.

  35. Comment by Kevinclavin posted on

    Good work DVLA if you can't be bothered to tax it don't drive it

  36. Comment by Brian posted on

    There not that great I reported one 3 times it’s being used with no tax

  37. Comment by Walter Alan posted on

    Whoever was it who thought it was a good idea to do away with the very visible tax disc in the first place ?

  38. Comment by Heather posted on

    Keep up the good work. It’s long overdue

  39. Comment by Gordon Laurenson posted on

    Comments are all about doing it online but don’t forget the post office so it is not difficult.

  40. Comment by Arun thakkar posted on

    Wow fantastic at last DVLA is clamping non tax cars I m a small man get by day to day and I pay my road tax monthly by direct debit in that case I don't have to worry about my road tax thank you very much DVLA keep it up

  41. Comment by Raymondo posted on

    Keep doing it. What else are these offenders hiding..dodgy fuel..mot.. insurance.. stolen..

  42. Comment by G. Baker posted on

    Waste of time and effort.You would be better employed following up on reported untaxed cars on your website.I've reported over a dozen in my street and you've totally ignored them.Tell the public why.!!!!

  43. Comment by Mark Wiltshire posted on

    It's about time it's never been easier to tax a vehicle especially now u can pay monthly

  44. Comment by eric mckeown posted on

    I am sorry to say this but no amount of threats will work. The people who commit these crimes do not read your E mails. Therefore the only answer is to act , convict, destroy vehicle

  45. Comment by Margaret Werrett posted on

    Well done also check their insurance and mot before they get their car back a car near me was clamped. Maggie

  46. Comment by Stephen posted on

    It’s not because it’s difficult they simply don’t pay the tax because the chances of getting caught are minimal.

  47. Comment by Tony posted on

    No excuse .....and you don't have to pay it in a lump sum any more monthly direct debit spread over 12 months .....if you can't afford car tax it's most probably not insured or moted as well.

  48. Comment by D Harri posted on

    Well I've reported cars parked in my street by someone that is buying and selling vehicles with no tax or not on them and DVLA has not been around

  49. Comment by Angie posted on

    Keep up the good work there are still a lot of people that haven’t been caught out yet but good on you for starting this campaign

  50. Comment by John Gould posted on

    Yayyyy ? FINALLY!!!

  51. Comment by Michael Newsham posted on

    If you do not pay your road tax then it is your own stupidity if you have your car taken off you it is so easy to tax your car now and you can pay monthly

  52. Comment by Stephen woodhall posted on

    I see untaxed and no m o t cars on a regular basis hope you come to my area

  53. Comment by Rob child posted on

    About time it's easy to tax now.. No going to the post office handing all that money over in one hit... Don't miss it comes out monthly...

  54. Comment by Mohammed Aslam posted on

    Brilliant work

  55. Comment by Harry posted on

    Maybe people would tax their cars if the roads were better looked after.

  56. Comment by E Brown posted on

    About time, fed up with those not paying but still driving on our roads.

  57. Comment by Ralph Marwood posted on

    I reported an untaxed car two months ago on the dvla website. Still there and no action taken.

  58. Comment by Paul white posted on

    I've reported an untaxed vehicle 3 times and DVLA has taken no action

  59. Comment by Pam Chapman posted on

    I’m 72 years old and could easily sort out my vehicle tax in line. I pay monthly and don’t feel the pinch of a lump sum. Easy peasy. Stop dodging and start paying your way like the rest of us!!

  60. Comment by Steve posted on

    If I have to pay for car tax then they should have to pay....they would be the first to complain if they kill someone or child

  61. Comment by Eric posted on

    Do away with this out dated system. Just add duty to fuel. Use it you pay for it. Simples!

  62. Comment by Steve posted on

    I noticed there are a lot of favourable comments for catching untaxed road users but if the cost of road tax wasn't such a rip off maybe more people would tax their vehicles

  63. Comment by Andy posted on

    Seems all the comments are from dvla workers.... I have 4 vehicles insured, mot'd and taxed but I still think vehicle tax is legal robbery

  64. Comment by Les fid posted on

    I pay my car tax ? Pay yours

  65. Comment by Bob Douglas posted on

    Crush the cars ,no tax means no mot or insurance, they are a liability , keep up the good work

  66. Comment by Ken posted on

    Stop messing about. Check for tax, insurance and MOT and if they haven't got any of them, take the car and crush it.

  67. Comment by Beryl posted on

    I totally agree with everything that has been said,why should they get away with it.Keep it up catch them all.Who knows we may get a reduction.

  68. Comment by Sarah Williams posted on

    We have a car by us no tax no insurance still been driven on a daily basis

  69. Comment by Mike posted on

    I moved onto an estate 3 years ago and used the app on my phone " Is this car taxed" out of 6 cars I checked 2 had No tax, 2 were on SORN and 2 were legal and were being driven daily. Chances are no insurance either.
    Carry on DVLA it's a great campaign!!!

  70. Comment by Alan Myers posted on

    Very good however i do think they should still send the little windscreen sticker it was usefull

  71. Comment by J Holloway posted on

    Brilliant! Let's get those who cheat to have a pang of guilt and pay up.

  72. Comment by Roy Northcote posted on

    Great but tax dodgers should be fined very heavy say 5 years road tax don't clamp the cars but take them away and crush them,if they are over a certain value DVLA should be allowed to sell them to get some of the tax money back

  73. Comment by W Royal posted on

    Keep it up I have to tax my car so shoud every one else well done.

  74. Comment by Mike P posted on

    Keep up the good work!!!

  75. Comment by Kevin Bardsley posted on

    It is easy to tax on line even harder to get your refund BK

  76. Comment by Paul Topping posted on

    Strange report. I had an untaxed vehicle parked outside my house earlier this year. Police weren't interested & said report it to DVLA. I did.....TWICE....but nothing happened and the "owner" eventually came along and drove off in it four days later.

  77. Comment by Bazza posted on

    Great stuff get them all off the road

  78. Comment by Dave posted on

    I have reported untaxed cars to you twice and still no action taken

  79. Comment by Mike posted on

    Saw a car clamped in my area ( Plymouth) man just cut clamp off, no one said anything and he drove the car off leaving clamp in road. I think the car should be towed away immediately

  80. Comment by Sarah posted on

    We've had a van and car in our road that haven't been taxed since April last year. Reported it over and over again even infomed the police who were not interested. DVLA stop talking the talk and do something about it. Look at your emails.

  81. Comment by Chris Goddard posted on

    Yes GREAT NEWS!! But what about the TRUTH? I and my Brother reported a vehicle left outside his house after I was defrauded by a seller. The bahiclr was 'Not as Described' and that is the NICE version. Anyway after advice from DVLA reported vehicle to Council. Then Police. Was told Vehicle will be clamped by DVLA and notice appended. Vehicle will be removed and disposed of within 28 days.
    Vehicle was not Roadworthy. No Tax. No Insurance.
    It Was removed a little over 6 months later!? NOW read the article again.

  82. Comment by Brandon posted on

    I agree with all the comments been given.This should have been done years ago.If people are on a low income and struggle to pay.Just put a little away each week then when its due you will have enough to pay it and won't miss it so much.

  83. Comment by Chris posted on

    Cartax should be added to fuel then it would be much more fair. As some people simply can't afford to run a car 7 days per week.

  84. Comment by Tom posted on

    I've got three vehicles all taxed, mot'd and insured. Just taxed one of them using the monthly direct debit just to make sure I don't forget. Simple. Happy to report suspect vehicles.

  85. Comment by Matilda duck posted on

    So a car in our street, that has been reported twice is still facing the wrong way on a one way street, no tax, no insurance.
    Believe it when I see it!

  86. Comment by Toni Green posted on

    I have reported an untaxed car with expired MOT several times on your website. But there it is everyday. Parks in the same spot so what is the point?

  87. Comment by Andrew McDonald posted on

    We all need to pay our car tax. If you want a car you pay""simple""

  88. Comment by Deadilus posted on

    One of my neighbours has two cars - currently one has no tax (from 1st Feb) and I am reliably informed that the other had no insurance.

    Both have been reported several times, yet neither have been clamped and certainly one is still untaxed 🙁

  89. Comment by Ian Mackman posted on

    Hi there to ALL readers,
    Why do we not have a Tax disc an MOT disc and an Insurance disc.
    EVERYone can see and ANYone can report the culprits.
    I have seen on a documentary in other countries they confiscate the vehicle for 14 days too, just to emphasise the point !
    The vehicle gets crushed if the keeper fails to respond.

  90. Comment by Tom posted on

    OK good try, but it would be so much easier to spot an untaxed vehicle if you issued a TAX DISC. Then even we the people could help.Mind you I was a bit miffed to have to pay £130 tax on my electric car with a small engine driving a generator. I have used less than 5l of petrol in 2years and 7000 miles.Just doesnt seem fair when my daughter drives a diesel Audi and pays £0 tax!!!!!

  91. Comment by William Rowlands posted on

    It is obvious to most people, that the tax disc system should not have been abolished. However, I don't think you want to hear that.

  92. Comment by Brendan Pearson posted on

    I agree 100 % but I've had a fine about my project car which is on private land and sorn as per the land
    No clamp fitted and photos to prove its never moved in 18 months so how many others have been wrongly fined all photos available to any one to see.

  93. Comment by Lewis Smith posted on

    I guess they just haven’t gotten round to my area yet.
    I have reported numerous vehicles for no tax/MOT, and nothing seems to be being done about it.
    One vehicle was a taxi that had been without tax for over 6 months, another vehicle has had neither since 2016!!