Car tax revenues down £233m in new online era

12.00 | 8 June 2016 | | 2 comments

The amount of vehicle tax collected from motorists fell by more than £200m in the six months after the tax disc was abolished, according to figures reported by the BBC.

The data, obtained by the Financial Times from the DVLA, show £2.7bn was collected in the six months after an online system was introduced in October 2014, down £223m from the same period a year earlier.

The BBC says that critics of the change had warned it would lead to confusion among motorists, a notion backed up by Luke Bosdet from the AA, who told the BBC that “there are still many people who are not familiar with the new system”.

Despite this, Mr Bosdet added that the system would “work itself out”.

The National Audit Office says that despite "an initial increase" in non-payment, "overall non-compliance remains very low".

The BBC says that since the paper tax disc was abolished, authorities have been using anetwork of cameras linked to a database to work out which vehicles are being driven illegally.

Oliver Morley, DVLA chief executive, says that almost 99% of all vehicles on the road were taxed, amounting to around £6bn in vehicle tax being passed to the Treasury every year.

He told the BBC: “We write to every registered vehicle keeper in the UK to remind them when their tax is due and we have introduced a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay, such as direct debit or online.

“At the same time we are taking action against those who are determined to break the law.”

Photo credit: Steve James, via Flickr. Use under Creative Commons.


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    Revenue is down, well they only have themselves to blame. Who would or could have known that this would happen. Not the government obviously. It’s now making more criminals and creating more deceit and danger to other road users, making our roads less safe for others. The lawful responsible ones.

    R.Craven Blackpool
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    It is not clear from the article whether or not monthly direct debit payments instead of upfront “paid in full” tax discs have anything to do with the SHORT TERM reduction in tax receipts. I guess we will have to wait for a full 12 month report to know if this was a just a case of cashflow smoothing out receipts or whether there are more people avoiding paying now.

    Pat, Wales
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