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Don’t forget to Tax your used car – is the message Trusted Dealers is putting out this week following news that the number of cars clamped by the DVLA has risen by thousands since the paper tax disc was abolished in October 2014.
From the 1st October, the paper tax disc ceased to exist, which meant that buyers of used cars were required to tax their new vehicles straight away to avoid getting fined by the DVLA.
However, despite most drivers being aware they no longer need a paper tax disc, thousands of drivers have failed to recognise the new arrangement whereby a vehicle’s tax is automatically cancelled when it is sold – even if the tax disc is still in date.
As a result, buyers of used cars are increasingly being forced to serve fines by the DVLA, or even worse, having their vehicles towed away.
The Guardian newspaper reported this month that since the paper disc was abolished, the number of cars clamped per month by the DVLA has risen from around 5,000 to more than 8,000, with many drivers having their cars towed without warning.
The DVLA as responded to say it has worked closely with the Motor Traders to make people aware of the new rules, but many motorists have protested that they have received no right of appeal from the DVLA against fines for their cars that have been clamped or towed away.
The Guardian refers to a couple, Christopher and Marianna Webb, who swapped ownership of their two cars and informed the DVLA of the change, only to come back from holiday to discover one of the cars had been impounded.
Mr Webb, was forced to pay £822 to get his car back, comprising a release fee of £200, storage charges of £462 and a surety fee of £160, refundable when the car tax was paid, but was told that had he left it just a day longer, his car would have been sold at auction, with no comeback.
Mr Webb accepted that he should have read the one DVLA letter sent in October, but questioned why a reminder letter had not been sent in the months to follow.
A DVLA spokesman said: “The changes have been widely publicised and we write to every vehicle keeper to remind them of the new rules before the vehicle tax expires.
“We also write to every new vehicle keeper when they buy a used vehicle to inform them that they must tax the vehicle before they use it.
“In addition, if a driver does not tax their car we will send a warning letter to remind them to tax as they are at risk of enforcement action.”
For all the information you need to know regarding the recent changes to the tax disc, please click here.