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Road Tax evasion falls by more than 40%

18 December 2008

Road tax evasion has fallen by more than 40 per cent in the last year, statistics published today by the Department for Transport show.

The annual survey showed just 1 per cent of vehicles are not licensed, compared to 1.7 per cent in 2007, and that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) collected an estimated 99.1% of all potential revenue from road tax in 2008.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:
"The vast majority of motorists properly license their vehicles, keep them in a good condition and make sure they are fully insured. The small minority who refuse to do so are a menace on our roads and are more likely to be involved in wider criminality.

"The DVLA has made it easier than ever to license a vehicle and is also cracking down on those who refuse to do so - so I am delighted that we have seen such a significant fall in the level of road tax evasion.

"But we are not complacent and will continue to take action against those who fail to license their vehicles. There is no way out for road tax evaders."

The DVLA has put in place a package of measures which means that road tax is now easier than ever to pay, but harder to avoid. This includes:

  • Making it more convenient for people to pay their road tax - DVLA's award-winning Electronic Vehicle Licensing service allows millions of vehicle keepers to enjoy the convenience of re-licensing their vehicles direct with DVLA, online or over the telephone. The service is now used by over 40% of customers with over half of all off road declarations now being made online or by phone. Customers can of course continue to use the Post Office too.
  • Increased enforcement action against untaxed vehicles.
  • Introducing powers to wheelclamp and impound evading vehicles stored in certain off-road locations.
  • Putting in place a fleet of vehicles and static cameras using state of the art ANPR equipment to detect and support enforcement action against users of unlicensed vehicles from a total of more than 10 million vehicle sightings per year.
  • Continuing to work in partnership with local authorities and police partners who use DVLA powers to operate their own local wheel clamping schemes, adding more than 30,000 unlicensed vehicles per year to the total seized.
  • Generating approximately one million late-licensing penalties from DVLA records per year.
  • Using debt collection agencies to pursue more than 40,000 unpaid debts per month relating to penalities for failing to tax their vehicles on time.

Copies of Vehicle Excise Duty Evasion 2008 are available from the Department's website at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/vehicles/excisedutyevasion/ved2008

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

Department for Transport