DVLA Clamping and Towing Cars Without Warning as Tax Disc Confusion Rakes in the £800 Fines

By Gary Cutlack on at

The changes to the UK's road tax system haven't gone as smoothly as hoped, with the number of cars being clamped and towed by DVLA enforcers rocketing -- and owners falling foul of the new digital-only system that has the power to hand out £800 fines.

According to stats seen by the Guardian, cases of cars being clamped for non-compliance with road tax rules have rocketed from an average of 5,000 a month to 8,000, with drivers furious that their cars are being seized without so much as a friendly or threatening warning letter beforehand.

The sticking point seems to be a lack of awareness that existing physical tax discs that seem to show a valid tax in place are cancelled as soon as a car changes ownership. So a printed tax disc that appears to have a few months left is worthless the moment Man A agrees to buy a car from Man B, leaving Man A untaxed from the moment the wad of £20s changes hands.

The Guardian's report is packed with tales of £200 release fees being added to £400 sureties and those added to £160 storage fees at towed car storage facilities, as drivers -- and the DVLA in some cases -- make a right mess of implementing the new digital tax system. [Guardian]