How driving an untaxed car could see you fined £1,000 – as number of cases double since tax discs abolished


MILLIONS of UK drivers are being hit with hefty fines for driving an untaxed vehicle.

It comes after the Government’s contentious decision to scrap the paper discs, which served as a physical reminder to motorists across the country.

 More than 1.2million people were caught driving untaxed vehicles in 2019

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More than 1.2million people were caught driving untaxed vehicles in 2019Credit: Corbis

More than 1.2million Brits were caught driving an untaxed motor last year, up from 693,000 in 2013 when tax discs were last used.

At the time, the Government argued abandoning the paper discs would save the taxpayer £14million a year.

But the switch to the online system has seen the number of drivers who forget or evade their tax double.

The move has been widely criticised by motoring experts, with it costing the Treasury £94million a year in lost revenue.

 Police can hit you with a £80 fine, which can increase to a maximum £1,000 ticket if you fail to pay it

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Police can hit you with a £80 fine, which can increase to a maximum £1,000 ticket if you fail to pay itCredit: Alamy

The number of motorists fined for forgetting car tax increased every year from 2014 to a peak in 2017, with more than 1.3million cases.

Previously, police used to check paper discs displayed in the front windscreen to find out if a car was taxed, but now all checks are carried out electronically.

Drivers who fail to tax their vehicle will receive an automated letter and a fine of £80, with a 50 per cent discount offered for those who pay it within 28 days.

If you fail to pay the fine, you could be taken to court and the penalty could be increased to a maximum of £1,000.

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The DVLA even has the power to clamp your motor until the correct amount of tax is paid.

Duncan McClure Fisher, chief executive at MotorEasy, said: “Vehicle tax is levied as an excise duty and must be paid for vehicles driven or parked on UK roads.

“Modernising the way it’s handled had to come at some point, but it seems overall there’s been a bit of a bump in the road – with a large increase in the number of people not paying last year compared to 2014.

“This means an exercise designed to save money on printed discs has resulted in a huge loss in tax revenue for the UK Government, which has a knock-on effect on public services such as road maintenance

“If fines have doubled you can be sure the number of untaxed vehicles has also grown significantly.

“It may be that people think they can avoid paying vehicle tax because they don’t have to display a disc, or because they don’t have that physical reminder of their expiration date.”

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