A new study has revealed which UK cities have the most drivers dodging car tax.
The Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) reported a 4.6 per cent decline in cases where enforcement action has been taken against keepers of untaxed vehicles in 2019 – but some locations are still much worse than others.
Belfast is the number one postcode area for the highest number of tax offences per capita. Over 2,400 vehicles were caught by the DVLA last year, a new report says.
Car tax offence hotspots revealed: An investigation has identified which locations are worst for VED evasion when taking into account the number of people in the area
Vehicle tax offences not only cover those who are registered owners of untaxed vehicles, but also those found to be driving a motor with a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) status, or parking it on the road.
An freedom of information request made by Moneybarn to the DVLA revealed the statistics.
To ensure the data was representative of population size in each city and county council area, the total number of vehicle tax offences was divided by the total number of drivers registered as living in each locality and then multiplied by 100,000.
Croydon (1,368), Birmingham (1,310), Cardiff (1,258) and Enfield (1,250) postcodes complete the top five.
Newport (1,123) is the only area in Wales – ranking ninth – that features in the top 10 postcodes for highest number of vehicle tax offences per capita.
Glasgow narrowly misses out on the top 10 for highest number of vehicle tax offences, ranking 15th with 1,049 vehicle tax offences, says the vehicle finance firm.
In contrast, it was Scottish locations that appeared most commonly in the 10 areas with the lowest number of vehicle tax offences per capita in 2019, with Inverness (223), Aberdeen (312) and Kirkwall (354) all featuring.
Inverness took the crown with the lowest offences per capita overall.
Norwich (250), Aberdeen (312), Carlisle (353) and Kirkwall (354) complete the bottom five cities with the lowest number of vehicle tax offences per capita.
These are the locations with the most – and least – car tax offences in 2019
Tim Schwarz, head of marketing at Moneybarn, said: ‘Although it’s great to see the overall number of tax offences are decreasing, it still shows there is more to be done to ensure UK motorists are fully educated on this subject and aren’t committing vehicle tax offences.
‘We urge motorists to be careful and pay attention to when their vehicle tax is due and to check if they’re eligible to SORN their vehicle, to avoid potential penalties.’
Before the coronavirus pandemic forced Britain into lockdown, the DVLA revealed the 20 UK areas it was targeting for untaxed vehicles.
It named and shamed the locations where it took nearly 600,000 enforcement actions against keepers of motors without tax in 2019.
The DVLA listed the regions – which was topped by Belfast with 78,501 enforcement actions last year for untaxed vehicles – it was due to concentrate on as part of a new campaign.
Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield have also been identified as locations of high importance based on the number of enforcement last year.
Around 1.2million individual enforcement actions – from late licensing penalties, out of court settlements and wheel clamping – were taken for untaxed vehicles in total in 2019, the DVLA confirmed.
That compares to 693,270 in 2013 – the final full term when owners had to display paper tax discs.
Around 1.2million individual enforcement actions – from late licensing penalties, out of court settlements and wheel clamping – were taken for untaxed vehicles in total in 2019, says DVLA
It’s yet another reminder to the Government that the decision to move vehicle excise duty online has backfired, with lost revenue for car tax evasion estimated to be costing the Treasury £94million a year.
Failure to tax a vehicle can escalate to a fine of £1,000 for motorists who ignore penalties and the case goes to court – and the DVLA has the power to clamp cars until the correct amount is paid.
If motorists are caught without tax, they’ll receive an automated letter and a fine of £80 will be sent to the registered address.
This is reduced by 50 per cent if paid within 28 days – but drivers don’t get points on their licence.
Since paper tax discs were abolished on 1 October 2014, it’s believed the overall cost to the government is closer to £300million.
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