Most drivers are unaware that vehicle excise duty is automatically cancelled if a car changes ownership due to the tax disc being abolished. This has resulted in many motorists having their cars towed away without even a warning letter from the DVLA.
Previously, anyone selling a used car could post adverts saying ‘Taxed and MOTd’ until a certain date as a selling point for the car. Now, when a car is sold the tax, even if it has many months to run, automatically expires and the new owner has to tax it again.
This change is exposing drivers to clamping by the DVLA and large fines. Administrative errors by the DVLA since the rule change have also left motorists fuming. One driver had his car clamped after he opted to buy his wife’s vehicle following her death last August. He went to his local post office, completed the forms and paid for a year’s tax. He even got a receipt confirming this payment, but the DVLA then cancelled the payment following an admin error, resulting in his vehicle being clamping.
The DVLA maintains that the measures make vehicle tax easy to pay but hard to avoid.