Surge in clamped cars after change of tax disc rules

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frv
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Surge in clamped cars after change of tax disc rules

Postby frv » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:53 am

THOUSANDS of drivers have had their cars clamped and received fines of hundreds of pounds after being caught out by the change in tax disc rules.

The number of cars that have been towed has increased by more than 50 per cent since 1 October when tax discs became unnecessary, according to figures released by the DVLA.

Before the change of rules in September 2014, 5,530 vehicles a month were clamped, but this number had increased to 8,802 by Janauary 2015 and in March 2015 the number was at 8,630.

Instead of referring to the paper disc on the windscreen, police now check that drivers have paid their tax by looking up their car registration number on an electronic database.

Tax discs - even if still in date - can no longer be passed on to second-hand car buyers. The new owner is required to register the vehicle and pay the tax before they drive it. The previous owner then receives a refund when the change in ownership has been registered.

And this is how drivers are unwittingly falling foul of the rules. Those who are found to be driving without vehicle tax can receive fines of up to £1,000 and have their car towed.

When the changes were brought in last year, motoring experts at the time warned that the Government had not done enough to to publicise the changes and that many second-hand drivers could end up penalised. Around three million used cars change hands each year.

“DVLA continues to operate a comprehensive package of measures which make vehicle tax easy to pay but hard to avoid," said a spokeswoman for the government agency.

“We know that the vast majority of motorists continue to tax their vehicles on time with over 23 million drivers taxing their vehicles since 1 October 2014. 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.”

Under the current rules, drivers can pay online, by phone or in the Post Office when their tax is up for renewal.

Thanks to The Express
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Schoolboy's tax disc reminder business makes him £thousands

Postby frv » Tue May 19, 2015 10:43 am

A schoolboy had the genius idea of sending out reminder tax discs to jog forgetful driver's memories - leading to one of the UK's fastest growing businesses.

Harvey Millington, 13, sends out thousands of paper discs to motorists who run the risk of being hit with government fines when they forget to renew their tax or MOT.

Since the rule change last year, hundreds of people have found themselves unwittingly clamped for having an untaxed vehicle.
Harvey's business, Tax Disc Reminder, has been such a hit that he has made £3,000 from selling the paper reminders at £4 each. After just eight weeks of trading, the business has exploded, with Harvey receiving 400 orders in one week alone.

The year eight student, from Taunton, Somerset, said: "I'm alright with it. The money is nice. I haven't got any plans for it yet though.
"I've had quite a few teachers asking me about it but my friends don't really know too much. Sometimes I am working quite hard. I'm probably the richest person in my class. I'm hoping to carry on for a while."
Harvey came up with the idea after noticing his father's car no longer had a tax disc in the window last October. He asked how people remembered to pay the bill when it went out of date, and what happened if they missed the deadline, leading to the schoolboy having a brainwave.
Research soon revealed that in March alone, 6,000 people missed the deadline to renew their tax, were clamped at had to pay between £500 and £800. That figure involves a fine, release fee, back-tax, and the possible added hit of having to pay for a new MOT.
So impressed with his stroke of genius, father Howard Millington fronted the business £2,000 to set up - paying for the website, cutting device, eight different disc designs and several pieces of advertising.

Mr Millington also helped register the business as a limited company because of Harvey's age, but apart from that, it has all been done by the schoolboy.
Motorists enter their details, such as address and registration, online before Harvey looks up all the dates.
He then sends them one of the eight different designed tax discs, including the popular Welsh dragon and Batman symbol, which drivers can put in their windscreen.
Mr Millington, 46, who also runs his own business, said: "He's only a 13-year-old. He doesn't go to the best school but he is really switched on.
"I think he has got quite a few girlfriends right now. I do drive him hard. I don't give him nothing for nothing. You have to work. That's my philosophy and he has to follow it. He likes computers and computers science so he is having a great time at the moment."
Since its inception, the company has been getting steadily more and more orders, starting at around 50 a week, rising to 400.
So far, Harvey has made more than £3,000 by charging £4 a time, with a profit margin well in excess of 50 per cent.

Mr Millington thinks the business has been so successful because of the money-making nature of the DVLA's new scheme.
He added: "It's a money-making scheme. I have read about people who look up details on the internet and then clamp and fine you. It's ridiculous. It's doing so well. He's going to be on about four or five grand when he finishes the newest order. Everybody said to me, what does he want to do with tax discs, you don't even need them.
"But we have had a few people phone up because they have been clamped. They are £500 out of pocket. £4 is nothing in comparison. There are 22 million cars on the road. The DVLA say they will send a reminder but what happens if you move or the postman loses it?"

The company is getting orders at such a rate that it has even discussed the idea of making it fully automatic, with orders made online, a computer printing the disc and sending it out.
However, it would cost nearly £30,000 to make that a possibility, so Harvey is beginning to save.

Thanks to Daily Telegraph
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