Tag Archives: DVLA

Car tax disc nostalgia or apathy?

creativetaxdiscs.co.ukDespite the abolition of car tax discs, a recent survey suggests that one in two motorists continue to display car tax discs. But is this simply a case of genuine nostalgia?

I’m not so sure. Might it not simply be down to inertia or apathy? The fact that the number of drivers paying out of court settlements to the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has nearly doubled since, appears to confirm this theory.

If drivers don’t pay the penalty they’re taken to court and even this figure has risen by 29% since discs were abolished, according to Auto Express magazine. Most surprising of all, I thought, was that one in six motorists didn’t know the tax disc had been abolished? Clearly not Club members of course…

On the other hand, there seems to be some nostalgia and definite speculation among the velologist community (that’s car tax disc collectors to you and me). I loved reading about Jude Currie’s collection but I’m definitely suspicious of eBay claims that any individual tax discs might be worth as much as £1000.

From a business point of view I have always thought (but have yet to do this) that a FOXY-branded car disc holder would be a great place to remind motorists of their MOT and/or VED expiry dates. In the good old fashioned way – in writing on a familiar looking circular disc and a reminder of these time critical deadlines every time you sit in the car.

Then the passenger corner of my windscreen wouldn’t look so forlorn…

Car tax disc reminder tips

To remind us all where we’re at re car tax discs, and in case your tax reminder goes astray, I hope these tips will help.

1/ It’s not worth considering driving an untaxed vehicle because the fine could be as much as £1000. In some circumstances even more as it can be up to 5 times the cost of your car’s annual tax…)

2/ It’s quick and easy to tax your vehicle online using the 16 digit reference code from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C). If you know someone who isn’t online, why not offer to help them do this online when the time comes?

3/ If you (or a car dealer) sell a car, it’s up to the vehicle owner to tell the DVLA before handing over the keys to a new owner. The owner will then receive a refund of any full months’ unspent tax. Fiddly and time consuming, I agree.

4/ If you buy a car, it’s up to you to tax it before you drive it away. Much as you do with insurance. NB: Remember to allow more time than before for any car seller to tell the DVLA before you’ll be able to tax it in your name.

5/ If you hire a car or need to check if a car you drive is taxed (for any reason or concern) you can do so via the Vehicle Enquiry Service.

6/ If you move house and forget to tell the DVLA, or their reminder letter goes astray, it’s still your fault if you don’t pay your VED on time. We are all expected to know when our car tax expires and because the DVLA works with debt collection services, rest assured that all tax evaders will eventually be found…

In short, it makes compelling financial sense to set up diary reminders and an automatic Direct Debit Instruction to pay non-negotiable motoring essentials like your car tax. Then you can forget about this when you’re on holiday, working away from home perhaps or during other domestic or work-related distractions.

Nothing but the whole motoring truth

points_speedAfter a recent Freedom of Information report confirmed that some motorists were out and about on UK roads with as many as 45 points on their driving licence a lot of us were understandably annoyed that the ‘system’ could allow this to happen. And for how long has this been going on?

Especially knowing that points usually mean that drivers haven’t been paying attention to local road signs and conditions.

In fact it is that lack of concentration, which can so quickly become driver error, that causes serious road accidents, particularly when linked to inappropriate speed in so many cases.

But how can this be? Surely the DVLA can see the offenders (mainly men I hasten to add) and send someone round to reprimand them accordingly and remove their driving licence before their points start to accumulate…

And why don’t insurers simply withdraw their insurance cover?

The reason for this inactivity seems to be that neither the DVLA nor insurers have been on the case here as a result of inadequate information. So insurers simply don’t know if their Insured is telling the truth about endorsements/points or is simply being ‘economic with the truth’ at renewal time…

Moving records online

So the recent plan to move all driving records online seems to be a no-brainer as I see it and could even reduce the cost of car insurance for most people, say some ministers.

The systems challenge, which will be complete by mid-2015 we’re told, will end the need for the ‘paper counterpart’ document drivers have to keep with their licence. And insurers predict that honest motorists with minimum points could see their premiums fall by up to £15 a year.

Bring it on I say. And when the DVLA knows who the serial points’ offenders are who have been flouting the rules for years, they should name and shame ’em as well as ask the police to pop round and physically remove their driving licence for good order…

And motor insurers should check this database carefully too. Why should anyone with 45 points be insured at all knowing they ‘forgot’ to tell their insurer the truth.

Otherwise this makes the rest of us look like motoring muppets for bothering to play by the rules, tell the truth and pay the same car insurance premium as a serial under-declarer of points.


Male drivers more likely point scorers

speeding_gunAccording to a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, made by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), over 8000 UK motorists are still driving with 12 or more penalty points on their driving licence. The top point scorers are all men.

Just to remind us, the official upper limit for license points is 12, or six for those who have held a licence for three years or less.

The recent DVLA report confirms that many male drivers with 25-36 points are still allowed to drive on our roads. A male driver from Warrington, for example, has the highest number of points on record at 36.

Currently, there are 20.4m male and 16.8m female licence holders in the UK to give some context to the fact that it’s largely men who fall foul of the law in this regard:

+ Of the top 34 licence point holders, 32 are men.
+ Of the top 99 licence point holders, 85 are women.
+ 2256 men are still driving with more than 12 points on their licence.
+ 351 women are still driving with more than 12 points on their licence.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Law abiding drivers will be shocked that so many drivers are on the road who have more than 12 points. The ‘totting up’ principle is supposed to give a simple four strikes and you are out message. Anything more than this should be a disqualification, unless there are the most exceptional circumstances.

“There must be tighter practice in courts and at the DVLA to take these motorists off the road or ensure they take a driver retraining course to help them break their points habit.”

Steph Savill, managing director of FOXY Lady Drivers Club said: “For most motorists, collecting points is expensive, embarrassing and potentially highly stressful. But they make us more vigilant drivers. The relative few who collect 12 points in a fairly short period of time must be either ignorant or contemptuous of the rules of the road. They are getting away with it because the courts seem unwilling to play the disqualification cards they hold. There may even be a case for making serial point scorers re-sit the theory and practical driving test before their licence is reinstated.”

And the car insurance situation may well be a further cause for concern. Knowing how quick insurers are to refuse claim cover where the insured hasn’t kept their side of their insurance contract, imagine being involved in an accident with one of these high scorers whose insurer then refuses cover because they weren’t informed of these points…

Is your driving licence up to date?

…in case Inspector Clouseau checks
Updating your driving licence is a vital legal requirement, Victoria Ford of the DVLA reminds us, and if it isn’t, you could face a fine of £1,000.

The DVLA started issuing photo-card licences 15 years ago and more than 30 million drivers have one now. They’re usually valid for 10 years and there is a legal requirement for drivers to renew the photograph at the same time as they renew their licence.

However, two million drivers have failed to do this and could be fined up to £1,000 if stopped by the police, who then discover that the photo and licence is out of date.

Even failing to notify the DVLA that you have changed address could be costly and Victoria Ford from the DVLA explains why this is so.

Victoria Ford from the DVLA

“Appearances can change and it is important that photo-card licences are updated every 10 years to ensure the police and other enforcement agencies have the best possible photograph to help them correctly identify whether a driving licence is being used fraudulently.” she says adding…

“This also helps prevent driving licence impersonation – stopping disqualified and perhaps dangerous drivers taking to our roads.”

To be absolutely clear here, if you change your address or name, you have to tell the DVLA, so that your driving licence and car registration details can be updated.

Apparently the DVLA sends letters to drivers whose licences are about to expire but the onus is still on you to keep your card and records up to date even if this reminder doesn’t reach you or goes astray.

As you might expect there is a small charge involved for renewing your licence – it costs £20 but if you are merely updating your address, your new licence will be free.

Best to check that your licence is up to date and that the address on it is correct. Both are clearly stated on the card itself.