Rise in drivers missing vehicle tax payments
There has been a reported increase in the number of drivers having their vehicle tax direct debits cancelled by the DVLA after payments could not be taken due to a lack of funds.
Almost one million drivers (950,377) had their direct debits cancelled in the financial year of 2021-2022, which is an increase of around 9% from 2020-21. However, this number is still fewer than the 1.1M cancelled in 2019-20.
Nearly three-quarters of a million (721,486) had their direct debits cancelled between April and December in 2022, which means that, if this trend continues during the cost-of-living crisis until April 2023, it suggests a larger total than in the 2019-2020 financial year.
Vehicle tax is an annual tax levied on vehicles that are driven or parked on public roads in the UK. The tax revenue that is generated from this is used to maintain and improve the country’s road infrastructure.
The increase in failure to pay this tax can be attributed to various factors. This includes the rise of digital vehicle tax renewal, which has made it easier for drivers to forget to renew their tax, and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, which has left many people struggling to make ends meet.
Nicholas Lyes, Head of roads policy at RAC, stated: “Spreading payments helps people budget when paying vehicle tax, so it’s very worrying that some are now struggling to do this.”
“With recent RAC research revealing a worrying trend of drivers putting off repairs and cutting back on vehicle servicing because of household budget pressures, we are concerned the increase in the number of cancelled DVLA Direct Debits is part of a bigger picture of people struggling with the running costs of a vehicle.
“It’s important to realise that two consecutive failed Direct Debits from one bank account could lead to the DVLA removing that as a payment option.
“If drivers are struggling with payments, they should get in touch with the DVLA, particularly if the agency has already contacted them.
“Ignoring the problem carries an £80 fine, along back the outstanding tax. And those who don’t do this risk their vehicles being clamped or crushed.
Missing your vehicle tax payments can result in significant penalties and even seizure of the vehicle. To avoid these consequences, it is essential for drivers to renew their vehicle tax on time.
The following are a few tips on how drivers can avoid missing vehicle tax payments.
1. Set a reminder
It can be easy to forget when your vehicle tax is due, especially if you have multiple vehicles. Setting a reminder on your phone or calendar can help you to stay on top of your vehicle tax payments.
You can also sign up for email or text reminders from the DVLA. These reminders will be received about three weeks before your current tax is about to expire.
2. Check your renewal date
Your vehicle tax renewal date will be on your vehicle log book (V5C) or the last reminder letter you received from the DVLA. Make sure you check this date well in advance to avoid missing the deadline.
3. Renew online
Renewing your vehicle tax online is quick and easy. You will receive an instant confirmation of your payment.
4. Set up a direct debit
If you have trouble remembering to renew your vehicle tax, you should consider setting up a direct debit. This way, your tax will be automatically renewed each year, and you won’t have to worry about missing the deadline.
5. Keep your details updated
Make sure that your address and other contact details are up to date with the DVLA. This will ensure that you receive any necessary reminders and notifications
6. Don’t rely on the seller
If you’ve recently purchased a vehicle, don’t rely on the previous owner to have paid the vehicle tax. It is your responsibility as the new owner to make sure that the tax is up to date.
7. Be aware of scams
Scammers will sometimes target people trying to renew their vehicles tax payments, so you should make sure that you only renew your tax through the official government website (GOV.UK) or by phone. Do not click on any links in emails or text messages that claim to be from the DVLA as these may be phishing scams.
In conclusion, missing vehicle tax payments can be costly and inconvenient and the number of drivers missing vehicle tax payments in the UK is a worrying trend that could have significant financial and safety implications.
By following these simple tips, drivers can make sure that they avoid missing the deadline. Renewing your tax on time is not only just a legal obligation, it is also a crucial contribution towards maintaining and improving the country’s road infrastructure.
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