Since the death of the floppy paper tax disc, the DVLA have seen a spike in untaxed vehicles. You may think the wealthiest of the motoring community would be fine with paying their road tax, but as it turns out the list of premium vehicles being clamped and impounded is rather high.
This is hardly going to be down to a lack of funds though. If you can afford to run a Ferrari or a Lambo then surely £500 a year for tax is a paltry sum to pay.
The issue lies in the way road tax is now paid. Everything is online. There is a reminder sent in the post, but no longer with a physical tax disk to prompt an expiry date. Humans are good at remembering things when they’re constantly reminded. They become less efficient when you remove all physical trace of having to stump up money for something you never see.
If you’re one of those more forgetful people, or own more than one car we do have a useful car tax reminder service available. Just enter your name and email address, we’ll do the rest. We can also tell you when your next MOT is due. Handy eh?
Looking into the numbers and the DVLA clamped or impounded 118,000 vehicles in 2016. That included 68 London Taxis, three Robin Reliants and two mammoth Gulf Stream motorhomes.
As for the prestige marques, Porsche topped the list with 137 cars, whilst three Rollers were clobbered, and thanks to the new ‘Premium’ vehicle tax seven Teslas felt the long arm of the law.
Two Honda NSX owners were also found to be forgetful, a proprietor of a Hummer probably didn’t have the funds due to his or hers fuel bill, along with the six Jaguar XKR owners.
There are a few odd machines on the list. I’d have loved to have seen the DVLA clamp or tow a Mercedes Unimog. But watching a stunning VW Karmann being towed away would have been a rather sad affair. An Agromehanika was also towed or clamped…it’s a type of tractor from Eastern Europe.
The numbers might seem quite astonishing, but it turns out that 98% of all vehicles on the road are correctly taxed. Chances are that you wouldn’t even know if you’d been caught. The DVLA has a fleet of vans with number plate recognition cameras fitted to them. These drive around the UK scanning all the vehicles as they drive past, the data is sent on to the DVLA where the fines are automatically issued.
So you could be tucked up in bed one night when a van drives past or parked up at work. Unknowingly being fined. Scary.
The other side of the coin is more dangerous. I know for one that my tax was timed with my MOT. They would both run out within days of each other, prompting me to shell out for either, or.
Driving without an MOT could potentially put your safety and life at risk, as well as everyone else around you. It’s a simple thing to forget, and driving without one doesn’t generate any fine or really affect you in any way.
At least with car insurance, you’re reminded, badgered and hassled for what seems like months before the renewal is due. As we’ve mentioned previously though, those letters aren’t always acted upon promptly.
Life is busy, we all forget things. But for the sake of having your car towed or clamped, it’s worth having some sort of email reminder to bring it to the forefront of your mind.