Drivers under pressure to ‘run the gauntlet’ and ‘not pay their tax’ as evasion rates rise

Car tax: DVLA issues warning to drivers on tax avoidance

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Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA said owners may have “deliberately” forgotten to update their tax details in the hope of saving some money as costs rise for motorists. The warning comes after new Department for Transport data showed the number of tax evaders has risen.

The number of unlicensed vehicles was higher in 2021 than when data was previously taken in 2019.

In 2021, a total of 1.9 vehicles in UK traffic did not have the correct tax, this was up from 1.6 percent in 2018.

The data shows this was an estimated £119million of potential tax revenue loss.

However, they warn some of this would have been recovered through DVLA enforcement or arrears payments.


Mr Cousens said: “Official figures show that the law is still on the hunt for car tax evaders.

“Some of those vehicles will have been put back on the road with the owners either mistakenly or deliberately forgetting to tell the DVLA.

“High inflation, particularly with pump prices that refuse to drop despite big falls in the wholesale cost, always pressure many low-income drivers to run the gauntlet and not pay their tax.

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“It is foolish for them to chance their arms because the penalties are severe, even potentially having the car crushed.”

The DfT data shows most unlicensed vehicles had not had any valid tax for just two months or less.

Over one-third of tax evasion vehicles had changed hands since the beginning of October 2020.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of vehicles were cars older than 10 years.

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