MOTORISTS in twenty regions across the UK have been named and shamed as targets for authorities hunting down untaxed vehicles.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DLVA) released a list of locations they’ll be honing in on over the coming weeks, warning those who take a chance on not taxing their vehicle to “tax it or lose it.”
The crackdown comes after DVLA took nearly 600,000 enforcement actions against car owners without tax in 2019.
Authorities confirmed they will be on the prowl in twenty UK destinations, armed and ready with wheel clamps.
Belfast is at the top of the list, receiving 78,501 enforcement actions for untaxed vehicles last year.
Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield have also been warned as being locations of high importance.
Tax evaders have been warned they face licence penalties and fines, and risk having their vehicles clamped – even losing their cars altogether.
The DVLA will use its own database to identify cars that are being driven without having tax, and punish owners retrospectively.
Enforcement teams will also be on the road in vehicles specially equipped with automatic number plate recognition cameras.
The cameras can rapidly run the details of any motor that it snaps against the VED database to find out if it is being driven without tax.
The teams will be able to take immediate action and clamp or impound cars.
The new campaign follows growing evidence that vehicle tax evasion has soared since the paper disc was abolished over five years ago.
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 last month.
That compares to 693,270 in 2013 – the final full term when owners had to display paper tax discs.
This was 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.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams welcomed the targeted scheme, claiming that “high-profile enforcement campaigns like this are needed to make sure the consequences of not doing so are fully understood.”
He added: “This DVLA campaign gives a very clear warning of the action that will be taken on untaxed vehicles. Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient so it’s far simpler to make sure you tax it.”
Motorists can go online, 24 hours a day, to tax a vehicle or check whether their vehicle tax is up to date.
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