Last Updated: 11/03/2009
More targeted enforcement against car tax evaders
Release Date: 01/10/2008
New powers to allow targeted enforcement against car tax evaders come into force today (October 1).
Under the new rules the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland will be able to enforce against untaxed vehicles parked off the public road e.g. in local authority car parks.
The message from DVLA is that vehicles must be taxed if used or kept on a public road. If the vehicle is kept off-road it must either be taxed or have a SORN in force.
Richard Kitchen, Director of Policy and External Communications at DVLA, said:
"There is no excuse for not taxing your vehicle. These new powers will allow us to step up enforcement against drivers who think they can avoid the rules by parking their vehicle off the road."
The new powers were introduced under the Finance Act 2008 and apply across the UK. They do not apply to private driveways or areas associated with private dwellings.
Notes to Editors
New powers gained under the Finance Act 2008 will see The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland step up the enforcement effort against Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) evasion. Existing powers to tackle untaxed vehicles have been expanded and enforcement can now take place off the public road.
The purpose of the expanded powers, commencing 1 October, is to prevent evaders of vehicle excise duty (VED) from using off road locations as safe havens where the wheel clamping or removal sanction could not previously be used. Evidence gathered in 2005 estimated 150,000 untaxed vehicles in local authority car parks. These were vehicles likely to have been in use on the public road.
Expanded powers will not extend to private driveways or areas associated with private dwellings. In addition, untaxed vehicles stored on the premises of motor traders or testing stations will be exempt from enforcement.
Enforcement practitioners must carry out all reasonable checks necessary to decide if an offence is being committed. These checks include whether the vehicle is taxed, tax exempt or has a Statutory Off Road Notification in force. It will still be legal to keep a vehicle off-road as long as a SORN is in force.
In order to carry out enforcement in areas off the public road, enforcement practitioners must be licensed under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. DVLA’s national wheel clamping contractor (NCP Services) is in the process of obtaining necessary licences from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). No off road enforcement will commence in England and Wales until licences are in place. There is currently no requirement to licence in Northern Ireland or Scotland.
DVLA operates a fleet of clamping vans equipped with Automated Number Plate Recognition equipment operating across the UK. In 2007/08 they clamped over 100,000 untaxed vehicles. In addition the Agency has a number of enforcement partners using devolved powers to wheel clamp and impound unlicensed vehicles. In 2007/08 local authorities and police forces clamped over 30,000 unlicensed vehicles using these powers.
All press enquiries should be directed to:
DVLA Press Office