back to article DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

The UK's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) collected £400m less in tax during the first 12 months of moving paper tax discs online, according to a Freedom of Information response. From October 2014 to September 2015, the DVLA collected £5.71bn in vehicle excise duty, £412m lower than in the previous 12 months - …

  1. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Flame

    This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

    Untaxed vehicle drives past ANPR camera. Local enforcement wardens are notified. Car located. Towed and impounded. Only returned after tax and fine are paid (no cheques).

    Car is sold at auction after 4 weeks otherwise.

    Simples.

    So *why* in the name of all that is holy is there so much hand-wringing.

    In other news, police to "patrol" Facebook and Twitter with jail sentences for people who say nasty things.

    (p.s. if you are caught using a smartphone driving ... see the first paragraph of this post).

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      Even better launch a game - take a picture of a car registration with your phone, check against DVLA database and if it comes back "no tax" or wrong model/colour etc then automatically report location and time to local enforcement. I could have field day in the local multi-storey. Sort of real world pokemon.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Pokemon go..

        true .... if the Great British public put 1/100th the effort they put into Pokemon Go ....

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Pokemon go..

          I am still trying to find out why the three words "tax collection failure" brings out the raving fascist in the most normal individuals. Pavlovian reflex instilled during a lifetime of being fed state propaganda?

          Further experiments are needed!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pokemon go..

            Comrade, have you again forgotten your pills today?

      2. Mutton Jeff

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        Even better, pay a bounty on each tax dodging car owner.

        Snoopers economy?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          Tax dodger bounty hunters; do they get to dress like Jango Fett?

        2. tinytony

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          Is that dead or alive ?

        3. Haku
      3. Neill Mitchell

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        "Even better launch a game - take a picture of a car registration with your phone, check against DVLA database and if it comes back "no tax" or wrong model/colour etc"

        Even better - make it a requirement to have a little round piece of paper located in the windscreen for all to see, that shows if the vehicle is taxed. You could even buy it online.

        1. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          Even better - make it a requirement to have a little round piece of paper located in the windscreen for all to see, that shows if the vehicle is taxed. You could even buy it online.

          Easy enough to falsify for casual inspection. The only real check is against the DVLA database. Personally I'm rather pleased to see the back of paper discs, and the introduction of monthly direct debit payment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

            "Easy enough to falsify for casual inspection"

            One year there was a tax disc that looked very like a Guinness bottle label.

            1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

              Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

              "One year there was a tax disc that looked very like a Guinness bottle label."

              In one of his books David Niven claimed that during a broke period he'd used a Guiness bottle label instead of a tax disc.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                "In one of his books David Niven claimed that during a broke period he'd used a Guiness bottle label instead of a tax disc."

                I remember once seeing a car with a Newcastle Brown label in the windscreen :-)

        2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          "Even better - make it a requirement to have a little round piece of paper located in the windscreen for all to see"

          I do this purely to remind myself when the VED runs out. I once drive for about a month without VED paid as I'd completely forgotten it was due. The monthly direct debit sounds like an even better idea.

      4. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        Even better launch a game - take a picture of a car registration with your phone, check against DVLA database and if it comes back "no tax" or wrong model/colour etc then automatically report location.....

        Half of this is in place, in that the DVLA MoT and tax checker is publicly available - you just need make and reg to check the tax status, and there's an online form to report where you saw the vehicle:

        https://www.gov.uk/report-untaxed-vehicle

        Part of me says pay a reward for reports leading to tax recovery, the other half says that's too Stasi-like.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          Have you lived under a communist regime?

          Do you really know what it is like?

          I did, and must be said is not fun.

          Likely the untaxed vehicle is also uninsured.

          So who wants to have a dear friend or a family member in a hit-and-run by uninsured driver, likely DUI (sorry, can't help use the Americanism)?

          I suspect - nobody.

          So please, no more Stasi references.

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

            If you see a bright orange Tatra T2 603 going cheap let me know (orange cos its not a good idea to leave them black as they were used by Soviet bloc security forces, people have long memories). A V8 VW beetle with petrol fired central heating, what's not to like but remember the carbon monoxide alarm!

            As for the getting shot of the paper discs, everyone could see this coming, except DVLA. Add to that a DVLA computer system that consists of daisy chained ZX Spectrums and a call center straight out of Dilbert and it's only going to get worse..

            You're actually more likely to be hit by a tired driver or hit because you were walking out into the road engrossed in your phone or arrogantly assuming traffic light controlled crossings don't apply to you. It annoys me no end when someone whines about a family member getting killed by a drunk driver - and two minutes later you find out said Darwin Award nominee was cycling at 3am with no lights down a road that even locals avoid in the daylight because it's so dangerous.. That's about where my sympathy dries up. Given the standard of driving instructors around here I'd rather take my chances with a load of chronic alcoholics driving Hellcats than the average stone cold sober Bini basher.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

              It annoys me no end when someone whines about a family member getting killed by a drunk driver - and two minutes later you find out said Darwin Award nominee was cycling at 3am with no lights down a road that even locals avoid in the daylight because it's so dangerous..

              I have never driven a car before with any alcohol in my blood, and we're talking well over 4 decades worth of driving anything from pizza bikes to 50 tons HGVs, some at legally permitted speeds of well over 200 km/h.

              It's pretty simple: you KNOW your driving will be impaired if you drink, so if you harm or kill anyone with alcohol in your system you can not really claim a lack of intention and you should suffer the full consequences and no, I don't accept any affluenza defences for that either (you should not be given access to 2 tonnes worth of killing equipment if you're not capable of comprehending consequences)..

              1. Jemma Silver badge

                Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                Yes, you're completely correct, but it's immaterial whether you're stoned/pissed out of your box or sober.. If you can't see a cyclist or pedestrian because they're wearing black on a bike in pitch black on a single track country road in the middle of nowhere, with a speed differential of up to 50mph they deserve everything they get, it's common bloody sense. I built my autocycle on the basis that it was economical transport, environmentally friendly and could travel (with a tuned pipe at 35-37mph on the flat and just under 30 uphill) at a reasonable speed compared to traffic - I upgraded brakes and lights to the absolute best I could get... Result I'm not dead (notwithstanding the attempts of local Audi drivers).

                Ditto the idiots who just wander out in the road as if the 2 tonne BMW SUV driven by a pint sized lass who can barely see over the dashboard doesn't exist.

                Then you have the mindless idiot who was towing her two kids down the middle of a busy road in rush hour in the middle of a snowstorm (more like rush slither) and had "done nothing wrong".

                It's scientific fact by the way that you are more likely to case a major crash from tiredness than you are from being ratted, simply because in a lot of cases drivers don't realise they are losing concentration until they've buried their landrover in the front of a class 66. Even the traffic reichpiglets admit this, but since you can't test for tiredness, at least not in any quantifiable way, it's easier to put the boot into drug & drink drivers.. Ably supported by "grieving mothers" who conveniently forget to mention the bit where little-miss-whole-life-in-front-of-her had the attention span of a goldfish, the spacial awareness of a narcoleptic sloth, and may or may not have been out of her gourd as well. It's collectively better for the human race that they're removed from the gene pool anyway.

                Why do you think tachographs and monitoring systems were installed in trucks and coaches - it wasn't for fun, it was because tired drivers are the most dangerous, so they were made mandatory in those vehicles to combat tiredness. I'd like to see tachographs put in all cars, and the UK made entirely free of booze for a year - I'll bet money the highest reduction will be from tachographs, not lack of alcohol.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                  The highest reduction _WOULD_ be from tachygraphs - because we've already had a huge reduction in DUIs (the only people who do it now either do so unintentionally or are the hardcore who've been doing it for years and believe they'll never be caught - the latter being almost entirely a rural phenomenon in most countries.)

                  In any case, what you're arguing for is the removal of human driver entirely (robots don't get tired, don't get distracted by the cute ass on the girl walking by or the kids in the back fighting, don't get tunnel vision and don't miss one hazard whilst concentrating on another.)

                2. Ian Emery Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                  "If you can't see a cyclist or pedestrian because they're wearing black on a bike in pitch black on a single track country road in the middle of nowhere,"

                  Had this several times on a narrow, twisty lane near where I was working, 2am on a call out and a bike comes around the corner with no lights on, see's me and dives into the ditch.

                  Mind you, at 20MPH, I had a good chance of stopping, my really closest miss was on a dual carriageway near midnight; while overtaking a slower car, I came over the brow of a hill at ~ 70mph - and found a guy in a mobility scooter in the middle of the outside lane, weaving his way home from the pub.

                  To this day, I dont know how I missed him.

                  Not a coat, but newly browned trousers

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                Don't go victim-blaming you piece of scum!

                Wake up to reality - people get run over on zebra crossings, traffic lights when it is green (for pedestrians), getting T-boned while having fluoro green vest and having right of way when riding bicycle/motorcycle, lollipop ladies being knocked at school crossings - you name it.

                Often by either sober drivers who don't pay attention or equally drunk as a skunk drivers.

                It isn't just people with a death wish who get killed on the road.

                Nincompoops like you should be made to work as a porter at a major trauma A&E to see the outcome of RTC to pedestrians and cyclists.

                See if you can keep your breakfast in the stomach next time you see someone mashed up.

                1. Jemma Silver badge

                  Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                  Sorry kiddo, I worked in two hospitals and have seen the result of accidents so understand this because I'll only say it once.

                  If someone driving a car mashes someone as you so delightfully put it by their own mistake, pissed or sober, or by deliberate stupidity then by all means, the "mashee" is the victim and the person behind the wheel should be dealt with accordingly.

                  However if the mashee walks out into traffic oblivious, and gets hit, or is distracted and gets hit or is drunk or drugged up and gets "mashed" then it's their fault and the driver should not be punished. I've had people walk out in front of my bike despite the fact it sounds like a wasp being played through a guitar amp. I had a pretty Chinese teenager decide she was going to walk out onto a light controlled crossing when it was my right of way and if I hadn't been watching her going to cross she'd have been mashed - but that's not a victim that's an idiot waiting to breed.

                  Stop blaming the driver for everything (they're probably traumatised enough already if they've just reduced a teenager to wallpaper paste), it takes two, or more, to cause an accident and I'd like to see police instigate breathalysers for pedestrians in accidents - I'll bet the results will be interesting.

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                    " I had a pretty Chinese teenager decide she was going to walk out onto a light controlled crossing when it was my right of way"

                    Unlike the USA, pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way on UK roads except where expressly prohibited (motorways, etc)

                    The lights are advisory, not regulatory.

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                      "Unlike the USA, pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way on UK roads except where expressly prohibited (motorways, etc)"

                      Although that's true most of the time, wandering randomly through moving traffic probably isn't a good idea, especially when drunk or just being stupid and running out into a road, and that will be taken into account.

                      Likewise, obstructing the highway is an offence punishable by a fine. You could argue that a pedestrian running out into the road without warning doesn't have right of way but is causing an obstruction. Pedestrians, and I one too, as well as a driver!) might legally have the right of way, but they also have a duty of care to themselves and others.

                      1. thegroucho
                        Stop

                        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                        Last time I checked, apart from traffic lights (if it is red for vehicles) and pedestrian crossings that isn't quite the case.

                        Notable exception is if a vehicle turns into a side road and a pedestrian has started crossing (rule 170).

                    2. paullaz

                      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                      California is an exception:

                      21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to

                      a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or

                      within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise

                      provided in this chapter.

                  2. Ian Emery Silver badge

                    Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                    " I had a pretty Chinese teenager decide she was going to walk out onto a light controlled crossing when it was my right of way and if I hadn't been watching her going to cross she'd have been mashed"

                    That wasnt her being an idiot, that is how they cross the road in China, you walk out slowly and let the traffic flow around you, while watching for any vehicle that looks like it might not.

                    When not even the buses stop at a red light, that is the only way to get from one side of the road to the other.

                    (Hence the 300,000+ road deaths per year)

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                      "That wasnt her being an idiot, that is how they cross the road in China, you walk out slowly and let the traffic flow around you, while watching for any vehicle that looks like it might not."

                      Universities, at least here in the UK, mostly run special courses at or just before the start of term to teach the new foreign students a little about how life works in the UK. Crossing roads is one of the topics taught. Whether it sinks in or not is another matter.

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                  "Don't go victim-blaming you piece of scum!"

                  Ummm....I think you missed the point. It's not always the drivers fault. No idea of the stats and I don't really care, but your holier than thou attitude that it's always the drivers fault tells me that you are little more than an idiot yourself and probably one of those self-important morons than saunters across roads with no thought of all the people you are holding up "because it's your right". Courtesy goes both ways.

                  No one deserves to be injured or die in an RTA, but the culpability needs to be assigned justly. Why should some poor car driver have to live the rest of their life feeling the horror and guilt at having run over and killed a drunken pedestrian that runs out in front of them? Or jumped off a motorway bridge?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

                    You are entitled to your assumptions.

                    I drive, but also I think I have the right to be on the road and expect equal respect from drivers if I am cycling (no, three abreast is just selfish, not sure if two abreast is OK) or riding a motorcycle.

                    Also the number of mad and bad cyclists and the oblivious pedestrians doesn't stop to amuse me.

                    No, it is not always the drivers' fault, there has to be reasonable precaution - lights, something reflective, paying attention, defensive riding, etc.

                    Not getting drunk as a skunk behind the bars/walking.

                    I get it.

                    However the law as it stands currently puts the onus on the drivers.

                    If you can afford a tank of fuel you can afford a forward crash-for-cash camera which can exonerate the driver if it is not their fault when somebody stumbled on the road and got run over.

                    Lastly - remind me the last time when a pedestrian or cyclist killed a car driver.

      5. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        "Even better launch a game"

        You'd need to check the VIN for extra credit (see cloning comment)

      6. David 132 Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        "Be A Government Informer! Betray Your Family And Friends! Fabulous Prizes To Be Won!

        Vote Fascist For A Third Glorious Decade Of Total Law Enforcement!"

        Britain's already a nation of prodnoses and curtain twitchers, do you really want to encourage that? It would start with untaxed cars (which, by the way, I happen to agree are a menace) but would rapidly be expanded to include whatever offence is the current government's hobby-horse-du-jour. TV license evaders. People who pay the builders cash-in-hand. People who put their bins out too early.

      7. Kernel

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        "Even better launch a game - take a picture of a car registration with your phone, check against DVLA database and if it comes back "no tax" or wrong model/colour etc then automatically report location and time to local enforcement."

        Yes, and each morning school teachers could ask the kiddies what Mommy and Daddy watched on TV last night and send a list of those watching non-approved material to local Plod as well.

        Win all 'round, really.

    2. Neill Mitchell

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      Problem is with the "Car located" step. Serious dodgers have ways of getting hold of cars that have an incorrect keepers address or have been declared scrapped.

      So unless they are stopped by the Police with the power to impound the car, then driving past a noddy DVLA ANPR vehicle is of little consequence to them.

      Especially as the ones I see round my way with surprising (and I would imagine expensive) regularity all sit there with very visible flashing orange lights that can be seen way before a handy turn off.

      With a paper disc, anyone walking past the car could see it was untaxed. That in itself had a deterrent effect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      I think you confuse VED non-compliance (and possibly driving with no insurance, possibly DUI, etc) with online bullying.

      I don't condone either.

      Do you?

    4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      I saw one of these naff police documentaries a while ago. The copper was saying that the in-car ANPR notifies them of so many suspect cars (Tax, insurance, MoT, "wanted for questioning", etc) that they ignore it a lot of the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        The copper was saying that the in-car ANPR notifies them of so many suspect cars (Tax, insurance, MoT, "wanted for questioning", etc) that they ignore it a lot of the time.

        That's true. We unintentionally forgot to get one of our cars MOT'd a couple of years back, and it wasn't until we were arranging the subsequent years' test that we realised. All year long, no attention from DVLA or Plod in 11,000+ miles, despite the prevalence of ANPR and the ACPO camera network.

      2. Nifty

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        My brother got stopped on suspected insurance dodging because a person of unexpected gender was driving, he had to prove he'd just done a transfer and was indeed insured.

        1. kmac499

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          Thinking about Car Sales :-

          Don't the new rules also mean the previous owner looses the balance of a month whilst the new owner has to back pay for the same month as well??.

          Relatively Trivial amounts maybe, (against the overall sale) but still annoying.

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

            "Don't the new rules also mean the previous owner looses the balance of a month whilst the new owner has to back pay for the same month as well??."

            Yes. Should boost VED receipts by just over 4%.

            From the DVLA site:

            From 2016 to 2017, our priorities will be to:

            use our assets to grow new revenue, efficiency and opportunities across government

            "grow new revenue" = steal from UK vehicle owners

      3. Def Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Naff Police

        Are you implying that in some far off fantasy land there exists some non-naff police?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      Even better, crush the car. No appeal. The message would soon sink in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        Sell it if it is worth something, crush it otherwise.

        Use the proceeds of either to fund some road-safety initiative.

        I mean, a real one, not like the ones run by 'Brake'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        Even better, crush the car. No appeal. The message would soon sink in

        That would assume perfect IT and even more abandoning the right of appeal a reasonably functional legal system would maintain.

        On the former - you clearly haven't been here long enough (yes, yes, back there, stop laughing we;ve all been there once, briefly), on the latter we can but dream..

    6. mark 120

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      ANPR camera at every petrol station. No current record, no petrol (and maybe the drive-off barriers come up for good measure).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        ANPR camera at every petrol station. No current record, no petrol (and maybe the drive-off barriers come up for good measure).

        Loong list of problems with that one, starting with the fact that tax dodgers tend to be rather good at, umm, "borrowing" license plates of others. On the plus side, this could please UKIP as no foreign plate could get petrol either..

        1. Dan Wilkie

          Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

          Most petrol stations round our way already have ANPR cameras. So do most major roads, motorways etc.

          I don't think the petrol station ones are used for anything beyond logging cars registrations incase somebody sods off without paying though.

      2. Mutton Jeff

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        You could then price the fuel depending on the engine size of the motor.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        "ANPR camera at every petrol station."

        They already exist (to detect driveoffs) and most of them live-feed into the Police national system.

        Drive off barriers. At a site with flammables and a driver who may be inclined to criminal damage if restrained (or GBH). That's a seriously unthought-through option that would be disabled the first time

        a car gets torched beside a pump (to remove DNA) and the offender legs it.

      4. David_H
        Unhappy

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        "ANPR camera at every petrol station. No current record, no petrol (and maybe the drive-off barriers come up for good measure)."

        Asked my MP this a few years ago - no TAX, MOT or Insurance - no fuel.

        Received letter from then Transport Minister saying that "we could not expect non-Police Officers to maintain law, or stand in the firing line of angry customers" and a note from my MP saying that "the economy could not stand 1% of people suddenly not being able to get to work" (and some mutterings about foreign plates)

    7. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      The ANPR camera should really get stuck in police cars. It could be hooked up to a system that automatically alerts the cops of missing road tax, missing insurance, stolen vehicles etc.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        The ANPR camera should really get stuck in police cars. It could be hooked up to a system that automatically alerts the cops of missing road tax, missing insurance, stolen vehicles etc.

        COMMENTARDS! Time travel is possible and here is the proof. DrXym is clearly posting from 1983, because where I live The Filth have had ANPR linked to the relevant databases for more than a couple of decades.

    8. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      It's funny... on this side of the pond, it'd be "you haven't paid the car tax? Really? HIGH-FIVE! Stickin' it to da man, bro!"

      Most people would say if you can manage to dodge the IRS or DOT or take advantage of some loophole, more power to you.

      I know folks that have moved to a different state many years ago, but still have their car registered in the old state because it's cheaper. Ditto for states that have vehicle inspection and those that don't. Nobody other than the respective DOT agencies blink an eye.

      I know this forum bubbles over at Apple, Google, et al not paying their corporate taxes with the Irish Dodge, but in the US, that's to be expected.

    9. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      "Untaxed vehicle drives past ANPR camera. "

      Car fitted with cloned plates belonging to an identical model somewhere in the region.

      No alarm.

      Car fitted with plates which never existed - no alarm either (Police ANPR setups don't look for unissued numbers, as I discovered when one ran a stop sign a few years ago and I T-boned him. The car even had a counterfeit tax disc which looked genuine. The cops only realised it was a ghost car when they called the plates in. The ANPR aspect is that it was right beside one of London's "ring of steel" cameras, which I pointed at as I asked how such vehicles can exist.)

      Cloning and completely bogus plates have been a major issue for years, so have counterfeit tax disks and fudged VINs.

    10. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      Even easier, just add the cost to petrol duty: it would then automatically be proportionate to the number of miles driven and the efficiency of the vehicle. And swathes of administration could be removed. You could even do the same with the mandatory third-party element of insurance and save all the enforcement of that.

      Of course, electric vehicles might eventually diminish the returns, but deal with that at the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

        One day, idiots like you who think it's a tax will actually read the regulations

        VED "DUTY" = license to USE your vehicle on a road

        Else you'd need to pay TAX on it when parked on private ground

        Adding it to petrol doesnt make a difference to anything

        it also requires the vehicle be roadworthy and have insurance, something petrol stations dont give a shit about

    11. Steve Evans

      Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

      And after they did so much to try to increase income...

      Namely make it non transferable, so when you sell a car the tax doesn't go with it, so the new owner has to tax it, for the whole month... So unless you buy a vehicle on midnight at the start of the month, both you and the previous owner have paid that month.

      Which is all completely bonkers. Tax should be for the vehicle, and given it's a paperless system now, why are we still working in month chunks? I should be able to tax it on 15th of July, with it running until 15th July next year.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Megaphone

    £400m left in the productive economy due to "mistakes"

    Must destroy harder!!

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The travelling community

    Are absolutely loving this.

    We have a local Facebook page highlighting these vehicles and the admin reports tens of untaxed or lapsed MOT vehicles to the police a week and they will do absolutely nothing.

    They say it's a DVLA problem and they can't challenge the owners (if they could find them) however the vehicles must have a residency address for the V5 and insurance.

    Seems they are terrified of travellers, However if you actually have a fixed address then watch out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The travelling community

      "Curtain twitching" doesn't even begin to describe this...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The travelling community

        > "Curtain twitching" doesn't even begin to describe this...

        Look at the stats then.

        In almost every "bad neighbourhood" all the problems come down to 1 or at most 2 families.

        In the traveller community it's the same issue - unfortunately that particular pair of families have (in)bred like rabbits - and that pair of families are unrelated to the larger irish traveller community, let alone any other group of travellers. They don't so much have a family tree as a family vine.

        What's interesting is that they regularly spin out "white sheep" who want as little to do with their relatives as possible and will take steps to ensure that isolation in the face of (sometimes quite determined) opposition from the families. These are mostly women who want their kids to have a decent education and upbringing.

  5. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    In reality...

    The economically rational answer is to increase the tax on fuel to match what was taken in by road tax.

    No additional costs to collect, hard to avoid (maybe red diesel from farmers), no wasted court time in prosecutions, saves paying the salary, sickies & pensions of 10,000s of DVLA pen-pushers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In reality...

      Agreed, and since you will pay more if you use more fuel the little granny with 1000 miles a year will pay way less than the taxi jockey who clocks tens of thousands of miles.

      Also foreign drivers visiting will end up fuelling, ergo paying too.

      The number of foreign registered cars which are permanently driven here and even have parking permits is phenomenal.

      And before you says that I am the Daily Mail brigade - I am foreign-born, legally residing non-citizen.

      1. Cheesenough

        Re: In reality...

        The tax rate for Diesel vs Petrol could also take account of the amount of CO2 emitted.

        Petrol contains roughly 88% of the carbon as the same volume of diesel, so tax petrol at 88% of diesel!

        I confess; I drive a petrol car.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In reality...

          It slightly more complicated than that.

          We were fed the Diesel nirvana, now we are told the NOX emissions are is too high and we need to go back to Petrol.

          I must admit, I will have diesel over petrol any time.

          It just fits my driving style better.

          My old 100 bhp diesel had better manners than far newer 140 bhp petrol rental I had 2 years ago.

          Don't want to scream the engine to get the car moving properly.

          That is probably however until I get to try TSI super+turbo charged petrol engine and possibly change my mind.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: In reality...

            "We were fed the Diesel nirvana, now we are told the NOX emissions are is too high and we need to go back to Petrol."

            The real issue was the balance of what was coming out of refineries. Whilst it can be tuned one way or the other there's an optimum ratio of petrol to diesel production which needs to be matched by consumption.

            Diesel was cheap, simply because the supply outstripped demand.

          2. David 132 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: In reality...

            I must admit, I will have diesel over petrol any time.

            It just fits my driving style better.

            My old 100 bhp diesel had better manners than far newer 140 bhp petrol rental I had 2 years ago.

            Seconded. My old Volvo with the 2.4l D5 was awesome. Pulled like a train, a huge surge of smooth power, and got ludicrously high MPG for the size of car it was.

            I now have a 3.0 i6 petrol motor, and it's nowhere near as satisfying, belying the higher bhp numbers :(

            1. Jemma Silver badge

              Re: In reality...

              So it wasn't the Volvo diesel that sounded like a bag of hammers in a cement mixer played though a concert speaker system from three hundred yards away?

              You could hear that thing start up from a different county if the wind was in the right direction.

              An old boss had the T5 850, that car was terrifyingly quick but still managed an average of 30+mpg. Note we've got eco-booms and Terribly Sooty Injections that seem to have all the get up and go of an arthritic warthog and the longevity of Boris Johnsons prime ministerial career.

              The thought of FIAT and "stop and go" in the same brochure makes my blood run cold, and has already emptied a friends purse.

              The right tool for the right job. And don't get me started on Tesla et al; although following a Prius that appeared to be being driven by Jason Plato this afternoon was quite amusing, in a that must be doing about 10mpg sort of way..

              1. David 132 Silver badge

                Re: In reality...

                So it wasn't the Volvo diesel that sounded like a bag of hammers in a cement mixer played though a concert speaker system from three hundred yards away?

                Surprisingly, not (current style XC70) - it was quiet and refined even at startup. And the only time I ever saw anything coming out the tailpipe was once when I floored it on the bypass after a long period of pottering around country lanes, and the DPF decided to purge/clean itself.

                My father-in-law is a Septic, whose only experience of diesels had been trucks and bro-dozers. When he visited us in England and drove my car, he didn't realise it was a diesel at all till I told him - and then wanted one of his own, which of course Volvo don't offer in the US. And now, thanks to Volkswagen's shenanigans, probably never will. Sigh.

          3. Loud Speaker Bronze badge

            Re: In reality...

            The NOx problem is caused by running the engines very hot (improves fuel economy)

            The NOx is allegedly countered by urea injection (except in VWs).

            However, if you think anyone can compute the exact amount of Urea to inject in a 16 litre truck engine which can go from idle to max RPM and from cold to hot, each time it changes through its 24 gears in climbing from 0 to 56MPH and back between roundabouts and traffic lights, then you are going to need some seriously magical thermodynamics and sensors as well as computational skills.

            The fact is, the Urea injection lobby (read people funded by the Urea sellers) are the problem here, not VW,

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: In reality...

              "The NOx problem is caused by running the engines very hot (improves fuel economy)"

              There's a lot more to it than that. It's to do with the distribution of the fuel charge in the cylinder and the localised heating of the compressed air. Lots of R&D goes into trying to get this as sorted as possible. (Stratified charge being one of the big areas of contention). Computational fluid dynamics is getting better and better every year, which helps design better geometries but it also requires higher injector pressures and faster metering valve (and eventually, fast acting pneumatic/electromagnetic poppet valves)

              "a 16 litre truck engine which can go from idle to max RPM and from cold to hot, each time it changes through its 24 gears in climbing from 0 to 56MPH and back between roundabouts and traffic lights"

              This is Drayage work and should be replaced with a diesel-electric or diesel-hydraulic Hybrid (limited RPM range makes engine management much easier) or full EV. The engine you describe is designed and intended for long-haul transportation and shouldn't be on the roads you envisage for more than a tiny proportion of its operational life.

              NOX is _only_ an issue in urban areas and even then only in the inner urban ones.

              Taking London as one example, Nox is only effectively measureable within the North/South circulars and only of concern within the Inner London Ring road (and some arterial routes to the N/S circs), with small (in most cases less than 1 block long) hotspots on some suburban high streets. Even then, as of 2007 about HALF of inner London NOX was generated by static heating systems (mostly 1970s-80s era domestic gas boilers) with most of the remainder coming from large diesel engines and only about 10% from small diesels.

              The same applies in most european cities.

              Which means that

              1: greater emissions controls on cars rapidly runs into the laws of diminishing returns

              2: Paradoxically, greater emissions controls on petrol engines starts increasing their fine particulate output, so you start needing DPFs on petrol engines too.

              3: Emissions controls to keep dense urban levels of pollutants down are useless and drive up costs in non-urban areas for no good reason.

              NOX standards for new boilers (oil and gas) have been in place since 2001. Sooner or later there's going to be a change of rules to ban older boilers in urban areas (these are almost all unsealed systems with high CO emissions that can vent back inside the house anyway - one of these nearly killed friends of mine some time back after making them sick for years)

              At some point the realisation is going to be that areas like London Zone 1 will have to effectively ban IC engines entirely and concentrate on vastly improved public transport 24*7.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: In reality...

          "Petrol contains roughly 88% of the carbon as the same volume of diesel, so tax petrol at 88% of diesel!"

          It's not quite that simple though! Diesel give better MPG. On the other hand it spits out more nasty shit.

          And anyway, this is Government you are talking about. YOU will be no better off. Diesel drivers will just be taxed even more!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In reality...

      In fact they did that in France just before the turn of the century, I think my last sticker was for 1998. Since then there are more people owning cars, at least in my part of France, and the government gets more money from the fuel used. It also means that the Gendarmes have more time for dealing with real crime.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In reality...

      that is the case in France.

      Also the Controle Technique sticker and the green insurance label are required to be displayed.

      The CT last two years, is cheaper than the MOT.

    4. Rob Daglish

      Re: In reality...

      I've said for years it would make sense to do this. Scrap VED as a standalone, charge it on fuel and you can't avoid paying for it (unless you're stealing fuel, and if you do that, would you be paying VED anyways?) Everyone pays a share based on how much fuel they use, which will be determined by driving style, engine size, mileage covered, so it's as fair as you can make it.

      In an ideal world, I'd scrap car insurance as well and have a blanket scheme paid for by a fuel levy as well, because it would mean you couldn't be uninsured as long as you paid for fuel...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: In reality...

        "In an ideal world, I'd scrap car insurance as well and have a blanket scheme paid for by a fuel levy as well, because it would mean you couldn't be uninsured as long as you paid for fuel..."

        This is getting dangerously close to state-run personal injury insurance (http://www.acc.co.nz/) and that's not allowed as it must be communism. (FWIW, with injury cover already in place, vehicle insurance gets surprisingly cheap - but not even New Zealand is brave enough to scrap the compulsary insurance as part of annual registration and switch to fuel-based fees.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In reality...

      CONGRATULATIONS! You've just put 10,000 people out of work in a failing economy! Good work!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In reality...

        I suppose I should have referenced J J Carter's post when I said

        "CONGRATULATIONS! You've just put 10,000 people out of work in a failing economy! Good work!"

        It makes more sense that way...

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: In reality...

          > You've just put 10,000 people out of work in a failing economy!

          Those 10,000 people (at the DVLA) are parasites who were just making the failing economy worse. You're better off paying them the dole as its much cheaper than keeping them employed.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: CONGRATULATIONS

        If it serves no useful purpose, it isn't work. It is just a way for some unemployed people to enjoy a higher rate of "benefits" than the rest.

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: In reality...

      "The economically rational answer is to increase the tax on fuel to match what was taken in by road tax."

      And that answer (surprisingly) is about 2p/litre.

      All that talk of "ringfencing car tax" for roads was claptrap - the UK collects a few hundred million from that whilst picking up £45 BILLION or so in fuel taxes - which were pointedly NOT mentioned.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: In reality...

        "And that answer (surprisingly) is about 2p/litre."

        That doesn't match my calculations.

        In 2015-16 I spent VED=£370, Petrol=£2035 and drove 17,000 miles, so adding VED to fuel would add 2/9th to the fuel price, say, going from 109.9p to 134.4p.

  6. Spider

    just get rid of it.

    stop arsing about an bung it on fuel.

    harder to avoid, easier to collect.

    drive more miles pay more duty

    drive a big gas guzzler pay more duty

    little old dear does a once a week shop pays virtually nothing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: just get rid of it.

      That'll work. It's not like fuel use doesn't properly correlate with road use, or that there's increasing electrification, or a trend towards increased efficiency that cause lots of hand-wringing over fuel tax rates.

      The correct thing to do is to figure out _actual_ costs and charge for them, and then work on systems to stop fraud. The good thing about cars is that their value means draconian measures can work, so I suggest getting a giant mythical flying lizard to torch it with its breath.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: just get rid of it.

        or that there's increasing electrification,

        Well, that's easy to fix. Once you've abolished VED and put an equivalent tax on hydrocarbon fuel, put a tax on electricity too. And to make sure that people don't get charged the road-tax for electricity they're using for their home (or vice-versa) - make it so that electric cars can only use a special voltage of electricity, or even, in the manner of red diesel, tag the electrons with a "non-transport use only" meta-identifier.

        What could possibly go wrong?

    2. Baldy50

      Re: just get rid of it.

      What if I want some for the lawnmower?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: just get rid of it.

        What if I want some for the lawnmower?

        Ah - now we know why this hasn't been implemented. Imagine the costs for major land owners. That manicured lawn would suddenly cost a lot more..

        Unless, of course, they come up with something like red petrol in the same way as you presently have red diesel.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: just get rid of it.

        What if I want some for the lawnmower?

        Put a seat on it and you're probably legal to drive it to the local...

    3. Blane Bramble

      Re: just get rid of it.

      The problem with this is that it penalises those who have to commute long distances - we're all told to be flexible about where we work, but then required to pay for the privilege.

    4. Soap Distant

      Re: just get rid of it.

      I get the whole payg idea behind chucking vehicle excise duty on fuel prices, it's even proportionate.

      But the whilst the idea of sticking insurance costs on there too might appeal from the get rid of uninsured drivers point of view, somewhere, somehow we need to be checking that the vehicles on our roads have been checked at least once per year that they are roadworthy - even though it counts for only one day.

      ANPR wouldn't seem to be the answer there either.Perhaps you'd need to show a valid MOT at the time of purchasing fuel also?

      Just thinkin'

      SD

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: just get rid of it.

        You can probably add the 3rd party insurance there.

        Imagine the saving you can get if you buy 25-odd million insurance policies in bulk per annum?

        #justsaying

  7. EastFinchleyite

    Losing money?

    The DVLA should have actually increased the amount of money taken in due to the double month taxing scam.

    Under the new regime you cannot transfer car tax to the new owner. The current owner cashes in the remainder but loses the current month (plus a fee). The new owner has to pay for the full current month. Every secondhand car sale results on a double month tax bonus for the DVLA.

    A bit of rule of thumb numbers.

    If a car has a life expectancy of 15 years and is sold twice in that time then scrapped, then there are two double months and the final month where you lose the remainder of the unused month. The DVLA will make between two and three extra months of tax in that time of 180 months. That is 1.1% to 1.7% . Call it 1.5% for ease.

    That means the change of rules should have creased the income by 1.5% whereas it has actually reduced by 6.7%. Job done; Gin and Tonics all round!

    1. regprentice

      Re: Losing money?

      'The DVLA should have actually increased the amount of money taken in due to the double month taxing scam.'

      Agree with this 100%.

      The dvla are clearly being disingenuous about non compliance. If the real drop was due to accruing 12 month direct debit payers then they would actually be able to strip that number out and quantify its impact on the numbers.

      Its a bit like an honesty box really. 11Mn in saved admin to find that having a paper slip in the window was actually an inducement to honesty worth 1/2 Bn.

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Losing money?

      The double taxing scam was nothing new, however. It was always the case that cashing in you only got whole months refunded, buying new you taxed from the start of the month.

      The change only affects private sales ('cause if you traded the car in the garage would cash the tax disk immediately and usually leave it for the next owner to pay for a new one).

      I'd guess, and it is a guess, the majority of car sales go through the trade. The proportion of private sales will be low so there'll be a negligible increase for that source.

  8. Valerion

    Lower tax cars

    Also, the more newer cars that are sold, the lower the take because newer ones are generally better than older ones.

    Case in point, my wife has gone from paying almost £300 per year to paying £0 after she changed her car. Although we still have to go an register for the tax and go through the whole process, all to be charged nothing which seems a waste of time.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Lower tax cars

      Part of the process is to ensure you have an MOT and Insurance. But of course the people who dont pay tax tend not to have the others either. It's like many things idiot government does - see things from the completely wrong point of view. A simple post out a window based certificate would cost around £1 a car in competent hands and a small reward for reporting untaxed cars would reduce infringement to fractions of a percent pretty quickly. Some would say that this kind of activity sets citizens against each other but the dont do anything about the Mail so that cant really be of interest.

  9. HollyHopDrive

    @EastFinchleyite - not to mention they charge a small additional premium for paying by direct debit for a TAX you have to PAY IN ADVANCE! (Some marketers would argue you get a discount for paying 12 months up front but thats shite)

    @Valerion - I think you'll find Mr Osborne snuck through a nasty shock for some new car buyers....those £0 cars are not going to be allowed much longer - read this and prepare for £140 a year if you buy from 2017..... http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/consumer-news/88361/tax-disc-changes-everything-you-need-to-know-about-uk-road-tax

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "those £0 cars are not going to be allowed much longer - read this and prepare for £140 a year if you buy from 2017"

      To play devils advocate for a moment, that was always going to be the case. The scaled down VED bands for zero and low emission cars was always intended as a carrot to encourage people to choose those options. I don't see a flat rate coming back in the near future, but the banding rates will go up as planned. It may be that this is happening sooner than planned. I don't remember the details now.

  10. Tromos

    Lost 80 megaquid...

    ...but saved 10 on admin, so that's OK then.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Lost 80 megaquid...

      There's nothing like a well costed system. And this was nothing like a well costed system.

  11. MR J

    I think the big problem with this system is a lot of people wouldn't have known or remembered about the tax. It is great to go 100% digital but sadly they tend to only go up to the "pay digital" part of things.

    Only recently has the DVLA let you check your MOT and Tax status (with dates) by using your car reg. Before you needed your V5C or a previous MOT certificate to check.

    It is still up to me to know when my MOT runs out. In this age of things I should be able to get an email or text that gives a reminder of these things. I have never missed any of mine, but I honestly feel this is a big deal and many of those who "avoid" it are not doing so to skirt the issue, they just don't know when they need to pay and are not willing to spend the time and effort to find out more.

    The fact that the TAX can no longer be transferred is also a big pain in the backside because it means others don't want to buy a car when there is a risk it cant be road legal. I am sure, and have seen first hand, that they have hit second hand sales of older cars by doing this. At least you can now get a tax refund, I seem to recall that when they first made the move you were just out of the tax.

    We purchased a car that had a £0 (nil) tax rate. The previous owner had registered it as disabled £0 (nil) tax rate. It was illegal for me to drive it until I went to a DVLA office to pay the £0 up front and have it changed. Ah well, silly stuff like that happens I guess.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      MOT

      Agree on MOT reminder stuff

      Automated MOT reminder system would be helpful, they manage it for the tax, whereas the MOT is arguably (e.g. MOT may find potentially dangerous faults) and some people do genuinely forget about MOT due to lack of reminders, lots of other stuff happening in their life

      AC as this applied to me - garage I use used to send out reminders for when MOT due, but they stopped doing this (but did not tell customers they had stopped) - which led eventually to me thinking, "odd, I'm sure MOT was around this time of year but no text about it" ... and finding I had been driving car with no MOT for nearly a month

      No longer an issue as I have set up reminder system for myself (now I cannot rely on garage reminders), but demonstrates how easy it is to unintentionally have no MOT.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: MOT

        Had this more than once over the last 10 years, to the point where my MOT is now due in June instead of January.

        I also managed to dive without insurance for 7 months; the insurance broker failed to take note of a change of address, sent a letter to the old address, didnt get a reply, so sent a letter cancelling the policy TO THE OLD ADDRESS.

        I only found out when I went to make a claim.

        Stupid thing was, when I finally got hold of the original letter, it said I DIDNT NEED TO REPLY!!!

    3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      "It is still up to me to know when my MOT runs out. In this age of things I should be able to get an email or text that gives a reminder of these things."

      I get a bleep from my garage four weeks before it runs out.

  12. Light Bulb Descendant

    Over the Irish Sea...

    I've been living and working in Ireland for a year and do a fair amount of driving (>30k for the year). In the past year, I've been stopped 4 times at a road block by the Gard checking tax discs etc. I think it encourages people to pay.

  13. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Could never move the tax to fuel ...

    If you remove the requirement for a car to be taxed, then the roads will fill up overnight with old bangers being kept for "spares". It's bad enough as it is now.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Could never move the tax to fuel ...

      "If you remove the requirement for a car to be taxed, then the roads will fill up overnight with old bangers being kept for "spares"."

      You still need MOT and emissions checks.

      Regarding the latter: California has had roadside emissions cameras for a couple of decades. Drive past one with an engine out of whack and you'll get a letter telling you to show up at a testing station by XYZ date "or else".

      The same technology can be used to spot boilers that need replacement (see previous posts, this is the source of around half the NOX in London)

  14. This Side Up
    Flame

    Double taxation

    The DVLA is clinging on to calendar month taxation so that it can charge double VED when a vehicle changes hands during the month. You pay for the new vehicle from the beginning of the month but you only get a refund from the start of the next month. That still applies if a car changes hands between family members at one address.

    They could easily modify the software to charge VED by the day. A day's overlap would be acceptable.

    The way to avoid double taxation is to sell the old vehicle at the end of the month, and SORN it to be on the safe side, then become the registered keeper of the new vehicle on the first of the next month. If you have to acquire the new vehicle at the end of the month then SORN it and don't use it until the new month.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tax Disc evasion has been used to justify mass surveillance in remote areas of UK.

    £400m less revenue, 4000% more GCHQ surveillance data regarding an unproven justification for ANPR, on roads at pinch points, aka 'trip wires' spread vast and wide into the remotest areas of the UK, where 'without tax disc evasion surveillance', the Government would have little to no justification for such mass ANPR surveillance due to such low crime statistics in those rural areas.

    This has nothing to do with tax disc evasion and far more to do with gathering mass surveillance "grey data" and far more likely, the overiding real reason for the switch away from Paper Tax discs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tax Disc evasion has been used to justify mass surveillance in remote areas of UK.

      I very much doubt GCHQ care about something like this.

      If they want to keep an eye on you they don't need none of this stuff.

      If necessary do you think they can't put their own disguised camera network?

      Just Google the terms 'black bag' and 'rubber hose' crypto analysis and think what methods can be used should they deem necessary.

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Wasnt one of the ideas behind this to sneakily make more money

    by ensuring 13 months of road tax in the year a car was sold on?

    And like any other 'saving the tax payers money' move by a tory government it costs me more.

  17. Herby Silver badge

    Better ways??

    I really don't know. Here in "Sunny" California, we have the dreaded DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) that invades our life all the time. They are the ones that issue Picture Cards (Driver's licenses) and registrations for multi wheeled motor transport. We have nice shiny-shiny white license plates (thankfully standard size for all 50 of our US states) with little fancy stickers that identify the year and month that the whole thing expires. They are nice and reflective as well as multi colored (it varies from year to year).

    Unfortunately nobody really looks to see if you are driving on expired "tags" (I know this from personal experience!). If you do get a personal greeting from red and blue lights in your direction wanting you to pull to the side of the road, the nice officer can request on his radio, or in car terminal to find out your current status so he can write you a nice yellow slip that requests your presence in front of a person in nice black robes.

    All in all it works for the most part but there are many who don't worry about such mundane decorations on their vehicle (but pay the fees anyway). Life goes on.

    There are other agencies of government that WILL take matters into their own hands to extract taxes from you. They will add fees and then ask any bank you have business with to forward then the loot they desire (and the bank will add its fee as well!). Don't ask me why I know this.

    p.s. I like the opening picture!

    1. Number6

      Re: Better ways??

      You get several months' grace on the sticker anyway, mine failed to arrive last year so I had to fill in the form and request a new one, which duly arrived a couple of months after the previous one had expired. I was expecting to get stopped but I guess they never looked closely enough or took the trouble to check with DMV that I had indeed paid. The payment is the important part, not the tag display, it seems, unlike in the UK where displaying the tax disc was the important point in law.

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Better ways??

      registrations for multi wheeled motor transport.

      Excellent, so if I move to California I can ride my motorized unicycle on the road without paying any fees?

      (actually, as a Portland resident, I find the idea of a "motorized unicycle" strangely compelling...)

  18. DaveB

    DVLA killed the golden goose

    On the face of it the changes they made should generate more revenue but

    "according to the DVLA’s 2015/16 accounts published last month, the department noted an increase in unlicensed traffic of 0.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent of all traffic compared with the previous year."

    Well under their old system they got all their revenue up front when you taxed your car. When you sold your car that tax continued. So all the cars in second hand dealership had road tax paid while the car sat in the dealers so they could say "6 months car tax and current MOT"

    As a car dealer your now have a car on your forecourt without car tax as it terminated when the dealer bought it in.

    New owners also take the view buy the car drive it home tax it later, if you get caught you have a good excuse for driving an untaxed and uninsured vehicle. Stupid new DVLA tax stuff.

    Suddenly the old system looks more attractive in terms of revenue than the new one.

    LOL

  19. Number6
    Trollface

    I have to admit I haven't given DVLA any money since they introduced the scheme.

    1. Number6

      I knew someone would bite... Probably without thinking about valid and legals reasons why someone might not be giving DVLA any money.

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    So what's new?

    The DVLA can't find their own arse with both hands, and never could. They just stagger from one fuck up to the next

  21. gh4662

    Robbing b@stards

    My old car cost £45 a month in car tax, direct debit taken on the first payment of the month, sold on 3rd of the month, new car £30 a year, so they mugged me off for the £45.

    However the dealer did get me to tax the vehicle when I picked it up, great, why not make that mandatory?

    I think the Pokemon Go idea is great, have an augmented reality app that can read a number plate, report the GPS location and credit your bank account with £5 for each untaxed car you find. Big benefit for public health as a load of obese snoopers get out to earn £5 a time and the obese people don't look like a bunch of dicks chasing Pokemon. Everyone's a winner.

  22. Vince Lewis 1

    Either the figures are wrong or 1/15 drivers are not insured

    Given you can't get insurance without valid TAX and MOT, we could assume no TAX = no insurance.

    Lets say car tax is £200 (its less but its easier for figures), that 2 million vehicles. There are about 31 Million vehicles in the UK, and about the same amount of drivers.

    So that's 1 out of every 15 drivers not insured.

    1. Carl W

      Re: Either the figures are wrong or 1/15 drivers are not insured

      Since when have you not been able to get insurance without tax or MOT? You can't get tax without MOT or insurance, but one of them has to come first.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More cameras required then.

    Groans.

  24. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "So that's 1 out of every 15 drivers not insured."

    Quite possibly that high (or higher)

    The Met Police told me in 2003 that their estimate is that 1 in 11 cars in London are uninsured and/or running on fake plates - the primary driver for the latter being the congestion charge.

    As others have suggested - an app to pickup uninsured/unregistered vehicles would be "interesting", but only if it can match VINs too, thanks to the cloning issue.

    (I've been minded for years that a potentially highly lucrative enterprise would be to get authority to impound unlicensed vehicles, then simply employ someone to walk London roads and call in a lift truck when they're spotted. The flipside being that you'd need a couple of airfields to store the things before scrapping.)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy to account.

    People were overpaying before.

    I now regularly SORN by motorcycles, as it's easier, no paper to hassle with. I only use them when I want to.

    The upside, the DVLA are cashing in on overlap tax when buying and selling.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Easy to account.

      Indeed. I do the same with my classic car.

  26. soterrik

    Add the tax to fuel

    Surely the answer is to add the tax to fuel and scrap the possibility of this type of tax evasion.

    There would be extensive savings in admin costs, including associated IT infrastructure, office costs etc.

  27. Stuart Elliott

    No Tax disc

    Well, I hope they still send out SORN/Renewal letters, because I have no idea when my tax is due any more.

  28. Sir Cumferance

    Brain-wave - not.

    10m saving for 80m loss - which numpty thought that this was a good idea?

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