Top five silliest excuses for not buying car tax

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on 03/18/2008

For many years, car tax dodgers the length and breadth of the UK would rely on the old ‘tax is in the post’ excuse as a way of avoiding taxing their vehicle. However, with modern technology making it easier than ever for motorists to tax their vehicles, those caught without tax are being forced to become increasingly creative with their excuses.

The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, including mates who had taken the car for a test drive and not returned it and blaming the weather. The top five silliest excuses offered by motorists during the last year are:

I gave the car to a man in the pub.
My mate took my car for a test drive a year ago, and hasn’t brought it back yet.
I did tick the box, but didn’t realise I had to actually send you the form.
The weather’s been nice so I haven’t needed to use it.
The letter advises me to ignore any correspondence.
The Agency’s award winning Electronic Vehicle Licensing (EVL) service, which allows motorists to renew tax discs or declare their vehicle off the road online or by telephone, has proved a huge hit with drivers. More than 21.5 million users have already used it. As the service continues to grow in popularity, it is seemingly becoming more and more difficult for motorists to evade taxing their vehicles.

Andrew Rhodes, Acting Customer Services Director, DVLA, said:
“The days of motorists being able to place a note on their windscreen saying that their tax is in the post as a way of avoiding renewing their tax disc are long gone. Everybody has an image of

Del-Boy Trotter leaning on his van with the note on display, but thanks to electronic services from DVLA it is no longer an option for motorists. It’s interesting to note that as technology has helped to make it easier for motorists to tax their vehicles, so the creativity and imagination behind the excuses we are receiving has increased.

“Whatever the reasons for people being unable to tax their car in the past, maybe working hours dictated they couldn’t get out to do it during the day, or they mislaid insurance or MOT certificates, they are no longer valid excuses. If you use the online or telephone service, you don’t even need to find your MOT or insurance documents anymore, as we automatically check them for you, which means you no longer have to leave your home or office. Some of the excuses offered certainly showed a degree of quick thinking and no little humour on the part of the motorists, but ultimately, all of them had to face up to the inevitable – there is no excuse for not taxing your vehicle.”

The online and telephone service is in addition to the existing Post Office relicensing facility, offering more choice for customers. The system allows motorists who prefer to do their business online or by phone to renew their tax disc without the need to locate paper copies of their MOT and insurance certificates. Instead, DVLA sends out a tax reminder to all motorists when their tax is due to expire, containing a reference number which motorists need to quote online or over the phone. DVLA will then electronically check that the vehicle has a valid MOT and valid insurance, and a tax disc will be delivered to the customer by first class post.

Andrew Rhodes added:
“More than 1 million customers a month are now buying a tax disc or declaring SORN online or by phone, which equates to over one-third of the total driving population. All you need is the reference number we send you and your payment card – it really is that simple. You can use the service at any time of the day or night – in fact, we often see a big spike in use during the Coronation Street advert break.”

In July 2007, DVLA’s EVL service picked up the Orange Best Use of Technology in Business Award, for the Wales & West Country Region, at the National Business Awards. DVLA was also named as Runner Up in the category of Central e-Government Excellence: Take-up & Usage Growth at the 2007 e-Government Awards, as well as taking honours at the CG Awards for Innovation and winning the UK Government CIO Council Award for Best Example of Transformational Government in Action.”

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