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Death of the tax disc causes sharp rise in untaxed drivers

It was meant to make life easier for motorists and save the government money in costs but it seems the abolishment of the paper tax disc has created a bigger problem.

The number of untaxed cars on the road has increased by nearly 50 per cent to 117,400 enforcement cases in the six-month period between October 2014 and March 2015, according to DVLA figures sourced by Auto Express.

That’s up from 86,939 cases from the previous six months prior to the government taking the process of taxing a vehicle online using a new online system.

The reason for the increase appears not to be because drivers are choosing to avoid taxing their vehicle, but rather there is still confusion surrounding the process of doing so.

The new system means tax is no longer transferrable from one owner to another, meaning the new owner must tax a car before driving it. Months left on a tax disc can be claimed back by the original owner.

A DVLA spokesperson said: “We continue to operate a comprehensive package of measures which makes vehicle tax easy to pay but hard to avoid.

“We write to every new vehicle keeper when they buy a used vehicle to remind them that they must tax the vehicle before they can use it. If they don’t, they become eligible for enforcement action.

“People who don’t know the tax automatically cancels when a vehicle changes hands may have bought a second-hand car and been told, perhaps dishonestly, that the disc is valid when it isn’t. We had examples where members had a disc, but it wasn’t valid and so were fined.”

The system experienced a few teething problems when it first launched on the 1st of October, 2014.

Check out our guide to the new car tax system here for all the information unless you fancy a fine of up to £1,000.

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