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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

How to tax your vehicleVehicle TAX ratesWhen and where to applyApply for a refund on your vehicle taxTaxing Vehicles OnlineDocument checklistHow to obtain a free disabled tax discVehicle tax expires while you are abroadDeclare SORN
Reporting an untaxed vehicleThe DVLA wheelclamping schemeWhat if I do not tax my vehicle

Register your vehicle as off the road (SORN) online

The DVLA wheelclamping scheme

If you keep or use an untaxed vehicle on a public road, your vehicle could be clamped by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agencys (DVLA) wheelclamping contractor. The fees to release the vehicle are high. Unclaimed vehicles will be towed away and impounded and could be crushed after eight days.

The wheelclamping of untaxed or improperly taxed vehicles is operated by Vinci Park Services UK Limited in partnership with the DVLA. In addition, a number of local authorities and police forces, including all London boroughs, operate wheelclamping schemes using powers devolved to them by DVLA.

Release payments are high

For clamped vehicles the release penalties are 80. In addition a valid vehicle tax disc must be produced before the vehicle can be recovered. If a tax disc cannot be produced, a surety (120 for a car or motorcycle, up to 600 for other vehicles) must be paid before the vehicle can be released. The surety payment is forfeited if a valid vehicle tax disc is not produced within two weeks. Failure to purchase a valid vehicle tax disc could mean that the vehicle is clamped again and again.

Towed away and impounded

Vehicles will be towed away and impounded if not claimed within 24 hours. For vehicles impounded the release fee increases to 160 and a storage charge of 15 per day is levied. A valid vehicle tax disc or surety payment is still required.

Disposed of

Unclaimed vehicles of no economic value are disposed of by crushing after eight days. Vehicles of economic value will be disposed after 14 days. Any vehicle of significant value will be resold at auction. In addition, owners of untaxed vehicles face the prospect of prosecution with fines of up to 1,000 plus the back tax owed and costs.

DVLA will write to the registered keepers of unlicensed vehicles held in the pound, notifying them that their vehicle will be disposed of unless all fees are paid. Unregistered vehicle keepers will not receive this notification. It is also an offence not to inform DVLA when a vehicle has changed hands. The vehicle registration certificate makes the legal requirements clear to keepers and explains the consequences. Those caught in this way face a further penalty of up to 1,000.

Success of the scheme

Between August 1997 and November 2004, the scheme has encouraged over 909,000 motorists to voluntarily retax their vehicles, bringing in 116m in additional revenue. Over 259,000 vehicles have been wheelclamped and about half of these have been crushed. This action has had a direct impact on road safety, as the vehicles that have been disposed of were unroadworthy.

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