Fleet News

New crackdown on tax dodgers

THE Government has launched a national scheme to wheelclamp, impound and, if necessary, sell or crush the vehicles of road tax dodgers which in 1996/97 cost Britain £175 million. From Monday wheelclamping contractors operating in London in conjunction with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will clamp the vehicles of road tax cheats before going nationwide.

It will cost motorists £68 to have the clamp removed and a valid tax disc - currently costing £145 - will need to be shown to recover the vehicle. If one cannot be produced a £100 surety will have to be paid for a car and up to £500 for any other vehicle with the surety being forefeited if a valid tax disc is not produced within two weeks.

Vehicles will be towed away and impounded if not claimed within 24 hours. The release fee will then increase to £135 with a storage charge of £12 a day. A valid tax disc or surety payment will still be required. Vehicles that are not reclaimed within five weeks will be disposed of by crushing or selling at auction. In addition, owners of unlicensed vehicles will face the prospect of prosecution with fines of up to £1,000 and convicted offenders will have to pay back the tax from the date the vehicle was last licensed, together with costs.t

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