Car clamping soars after DVLA scraps tax disc

Car clamping soars after DVLA scraps tax disc
The number of drivers whose cars have been clamped because they've failed to pay vehicle tax has doubled since the paper tax disc was axed two years ago.

Figures obtained by BBC News through a Freedom of Information Request show there are now more than 9,000 clampings a month.

The data shows that only around 5,100 cars a month were clamped in the six months leading up to the physical tax disc being abolished in October 2014.

It is thought some drivers forget to renew because they no longer have a disc in the windscreen to remind them to do so.

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If clamped, drivers can expect to pay a fee of £100 and vehicles are often taken to a pound where they face additional fees for every day before the car is recovered.

The DVLA is cracking down on drivers who have not paid, and use a fleet of vehicles fitted with number plate recognition technology to identify road users without valid tax.

The organisation’s chief executive Oliver Morley told the BBC: “The law is that you pay your tax. The vast majority pay with no problem at all.”

In 2014, when the tax disc was removed in favour of an online system, it was hoped the move would save the DVLA millions of pounds a year.

However, it was revealed earlier this year that the Government’s income from vehicle tax dropped by £93 million following the switch.

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According to information from DVLA, revenue from vehicle excise duty (VED) fell from £6.023 billion in 2014/15 to £5.930bn the year after.

The drop sparked calls from the RAC for a further investigation, amid fears that the abolition of the tax disc has caused an increase in vehicle tax evasion.

The RAC said several factors could help explain the fall in VED income, such as the increase in low carbon emission vehicles – which are cheaper to tax – and unfamiliarity with the new system.

But spokesman Simon Williams said the drop still represents “a significant sum”, and urged the DfT to conduct a further survey to build up a better picture of the problem.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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