Rise in car tax evasion 'extremely concerning'

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Recent government figures have highlighted a rise in the number of unlicensed vehicles on British roads, which the RAC believes is 'extremely concerning'.

New government figures have highlighted there are more unlicensed vehicles on UK roads in 2017 than in 2015. It is suggested the phasing out of paper tax discs in 2014 could be to blame, according to RAC's public affairs manager Nicholas Lyes.

“It appears that having a visual reminder was an effective way to prompt drivers into renewing their car tax – arguably more drivers are now prepared to try their luck and see if they can get away with not paying any vehicle tax at all, or are simply forgetting to tax their vehicle when they are due to,” Lyes said.

In 2017, 1.8% of vehicles on UK roads were unlicensed, compared to 1.4% in 2015. This equates to around 755,000 vehicles, which are responsible for £107million revenue lost each year.

Over 50% of those unlicensed vehicles have been without tax for less than two months, which could suggest motorists have merely forgotten to renew their car tax without the prompt the paper tax disc used to offer. However, it has been revealed a third of untaxed vehicles have changed ownership, also suggesting that many drivers are unaware of the changes to Vehicle Excise Duty in 2014 meaning car tax cannot be transferred when vehicle ownership changes.

Every UK-registered vehicle must be taxed if being kept on public roads. If your vehicle is being kept off the road, it is required to have tax or you can apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

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