Home > Other Offences > The Legal Implications of Avoiding Car Tax and Insurance:

The Legal Implications of Avoiding Car Tax and Insurance:

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 12 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Car Tax Evasion Motor Insurance Evasion

Most of us accept that driving a car comes with some quite significant costs - insurance, tax, upkeep, services, fuel and so on. However a growing number of motorists are breaking the law by not paying for their vehicle to be insured or taxed.

Why is it so important to insure my car?

First of all because it's illegal not to. If you are going to take a vehicle out on a public road then the law states that you MUST have Motor Insurance. There are different classifications for insurance but essentially the cover will protect you and anyone who is involved in a road accident with you.

Most importantly, in most cases you will be covered for legal costs and medical costs if a serious accident occurs for which you are at fault and either you or someone else involved in the accident needs expensive medical treatment and/or aftercare.

If you are involved in an accident that is your fault, then the person involved in the accident will have monies refunded for car repairs, or in the case of the car being written off, will receive a lump sum to enable replacement of the vehicle. They may also receive compensation for medical injuries.

If you are fully comprehensively insured then your car should be repaired too, however if you are insured 3rd Party, Fire and Theft, then you will only receive these payments if your car is damaged by fire or is stolen and you will need to fund any car repairs or replacements (for your vehicle)yourself.

If you don't have motor insurance, then you could find yourself without a car and facing a court case - not to mention hefty legal bills, medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs and compensation to the victim. In some cases you may even find yourself the subject of a civil claim from anyone injured in an accident and in the case that they are fatally injured or are unable to work, their families.

Motor Insurance protects you too. If you are involved in an accident is not your fault but don't have motor insurance, then you can't claim and may well be sued by the driver, any of their passengers, and potentially the insurance company for the other party.

I already pay tax on my fuel. Why do I have to pay road tax?

Regardless of how you feel about it, road tax, or to give it the proper name ‘vehicle excise duty’, it is a legal requirement if you want to drive on public roads - and it's also a hot government topic at the moment.

The payment system has been completely reclassified over the last couple of years and now rather than being based on the size of the vehicle engine, it is now classed on the amount of Co2 Emissions that a car produces – the ‘cleaner’ or ‘greener’ the car, the lower the Co2 emissions and the lower the Road Tax. So called ‘gas guzzlers’, such as 4x4s and performance cars can now cost up to £500 per year to tax - and in this carbon-footprint aware age, this is going up frequently. As a new tax on first year ownership of new 4x4’s is phased in, this will bring the price of taxing a brand new vehicle with high Co2 emissions to around £1000.

How will they know if I don’t pay?

The DVLA has a huge database which records every car that is on the road in the UK and when the tax on that vehicle runs out. If you don’t renew your duty, then the database will flag up your registration number and you may find yourself clamped outside your own property or even somewhere else - like your office car park. The DVLA have entered into partnerships to find car tax evaders and over a 3 month period, NCP branded vans clamped and removed over 350 untaxed cars in one area alone.

Did you know that not having car tax may invalidate your motor insurance?

A lot of people don’t realise that if they ‘forget’ to renew their road tax when it runs out – or don’t purchase it at all – then their car insurance may be null and void. If they are involved in an accident while untaxed, then they could essentially be uninsured and will be subject to all the consequences as described above. Always check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy on this.

So what can happen if I’m caught?

Depending on what you’ve done, the consequences can be pretty nasty. At best, you’ll get a fine and potentially a ban. You might find that your car is clamped, towed away and resold or even crushed – and of course as you’re not insured, you won’t get a penny for it. Worst case scenario: you’re caught because you’re involved in an accident and you end up in court, bankrupt and facing a jail sentence. So just remember; if you can’t afford to tax and insure your vehicle, then you can’t afford to drive it.

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Hashtag - Your Question:
Purchased a car in Dec 2014 from a dealer, taxed it, insured it, mot'd it - all since this date. Called the dvla to tax again for the year - as was unwittingly two months and 3 days late - but they also told me I'm not the keeper of the car and it was never transferred in Dec 2014. Needless to say I was shocked and am deeply concerned and minds gone crazy and I'm deeply worried. As it's been taxed, insured and mot'd since we've had it!! They advised me to go to post office immediately and do a v62 form to get the v5c log book put into our name and I'd be able to tax it straight away. So I immediately when to the post office and within half an hour, paid £25 charge for the transfer (via debit card), and paid the 12mth tax of £190 (again on debit card in one transaction together). What happens next though - dvla we're not sure how it's happened, neither am I - but I've acted the second they told me what I needed to do - I've not received any mail from the dvla before but how could I as the dealer has clearly never sent it off for transfer so have the wrong info - so what happens here!?

Our Response:
How have you managed to tax it in previous years?
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:40 AM
Purchased a car in Dec 2014 from a dealer, taxed it, insured it, mot'd it - all since this date. Called the dvla to tax again for the year - as was unwittingly two months and 3 days late - but they also told me I'm not the keeper of the car and it was never transferred in Dec 2014. Needless to say I was shocked and am deeply concerned and minds gone crazy and I'm deeply worried. As it's been taxed, insured and mot'd since we've had it!! They advised me to go to post office immediately and do a v62 form to get the v5c log book put into our name and I'd be able to tax it straight away. So I immediately when to the post office and within half an hour, paid £25 charge for the transfer (via debit card), and paid the 12mth tax of £190 (again on debit card in one transaction together). What happens next though - dvla we're not sure how it's happened, neither am I - but I've acted the second they told me what I needed to do - I've not received any mail from the dvla before but how could i as the dealer has clearly never sent it off for transfer so have the wrong info - so what happens here!?
Hashtag - 12-Oct-17 @ 4:22 AM
I no this is an old post but just wondering Jack what happened to ur case same happened to me 2 years ago I've recently went to renew insurance only to find out the other party received a claim against me even thou they had a sorn notice in now I'm paying through the roof to get insured surely this can't b legal.
Janers - 30-May-17 @ 12:01 AM
My car tax expired on 31st August and i genuinely forgot to renew it.I have renewed it today and phoned the dvla to admit my error.They said I will receive a final reminder letter before receiving a fine.Is this correct as I have read on line that you only have 14 days after expired then you get an £80 fine?
Sharon - 16-Sep-16 @ 2:45 PM
Swordgator - Your Question:
My neighbour has a car with no car tax (he actually cashed the tax in), no MOT and no insurance, he regularly drives it, parks it in front of our home making it awkward for everyone else to park. I've reported it to the DVLA-multiple times and on Crimestoppers. But this is the third car this year he has done this with. Is there anything you can suggest?

Our Response:
Can you talk to your local Police Community Support Officer? Many of them hold local "surgeries". They may be able to take a look while they're around- then refer it to their colleagues, ensuring your anonymity.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Aug-16 @ 2:24 PM
My neighbour has a car with no car tax (he actually cashed the tax in), no MOT and no insurance, he regularly drives it, parks it in front of our home making it awkward for everyone else to park. I've reported it to the DVLA-multiple times and on Crimestoppers. But this is the third car this year he has done this with. Is there anything you can suggest?
Swordgator - 10-Aug-16 @ 10:08 AM
stupidly forgot to send sorn docs off after scraping an old car 18months ago. Bailiff came round 24hr to pay the fine or taking my other car which has 3500 left to pay on finance or lose. my licence can they do either for a genuine mistake?
mrp - 27-Jul-16 @ 10:37 AM
jclarke558 - Your Question:
Hi, my boyfriend bought a car a few weeks ago and has been waiting for the logbook to be sent to him. It still hasn't been sent out, and we used the "tax checker" part of the DVLA website and the car isn't taxed. We don't know if the seller has been avoiding tax, but if he has, will my boyfriend be responsible for any fines incurred? If we apply for a new logbook, and state that we haven't received one from the seller, will that start the tax book afresh for us?

Our Response:
yes, tell the DVLA that you are the new owner immediately.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Mar-16 @ 2:11 PM
Hi, my boyfriend bought a car a few weeks ago and has been waiting for the logbook to be sent to him. It still hasn't been sent out, and we used the "tax checker" part of the DVLA website and the car isn't taxed. We don't know if the seller has been avoiding tax, but if he has, will my boyfriend be responsible for any fines incurred? If we apply for a new logbook, and state that we haven't received one from the seller, will that start the tax book afresh for us?
jclarke558 - 23-Mar-16 @ 12:46 AM
Ray - Your Question:
I recently purchased a car that is already taxed I have insured it in my name can I drive it still

Our Response:
No, tax is not transferred when a vehicle is sold (i.e it is refunded to the seller of the vehicle), so you will need to tax the car before driving it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Feb-16 @ 2:34 PM
i recently purchased a car that is already taxed i have insured it in my name can i drive it still
Ray - 26-Feb-16 @ 9:41 PM
pls i sold my car to car dealer and the trade slip was sent to dvlafollowing day. the following month i recieved a letter from dvla that my car was seen on the road that i should fill a form to explain if im the person that drive the car and the forrm was send back to dvla with details of dealer..pls this morning again i recieved a leeter again from dvla that i need to appear in court.
alan - 3-Dec-15 @ 9:53 AM
Hello I need help. Yesterday I've been in an accident where my car just lightly bumped the rear end of the car in front I reversed as soon as it happened. The guy got out the car and started blaming me so I offered a mutual agreement to pay for damages (barely any damage just two scratches) I offered him hundred first but he refused. So I asked him and he said he wants 300. At first I though that's quite a lot for a scratch but I accepted anyway because I don't want my premium to go up. So I phoned him later on and he said that he wants more money because somehow I've broke his boot and his sensors or not working anymore. I just ok take it to the garage and I'll sort it out, we agreed. So I did some research and I found out he hasn't got road tax and he's driving without tax for two months, but I looked it up and he's still got insurance so I'm confused. Can he claim or not? What shall I do? Please help?
jack - 11-Aug-15 @ 4:44 PM
Hi looking for advice my car sits outside my house in car park due to scrap it there for i havent bothered renewing my tax mot n insurance last night the police chapped my door saying somebody had reported it and i am getting charged can this happen if I'm not driving it
kaz - 10-Aug-15 @ 11:48 AM
@MO. We're not sure as this sounds like a strange procedure. Get a record of the £100 fine that you paid over the phone (assuming this was done by credit or debit card, you will have a statement). Include this together with a full account of the phone conversation and date/time it took place and send it to the address on the court summons. Ask them if it the court case need progress further. You might want to seek individual advice from the Citizen's Advice Bureau or a solicitor.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Apr-15 @ 10:49 AM
My car was outside my house untaxed. My local garage was getting me a new tire asap as it had to be ordered. I found a yellow poster and fine notice on the other side of the car and rung the appropriate number. The Officer said if I paid £100 over the phone and taxed the car immediately the rest of the fine would be waived; which is what I did. Now several months later I have been summoned to court to pay another fine. The way the officer spoke on the phone implied that if i did as he asked there wMoMould be no more to pay. How do I stand in this matter?
Mo - 23-Apr-15 @ 6:24 PM
I'm assuming this is a government related website, based on the blatant scaremongering written above!!! I've previously read that it MUST state in your insurance company's policy wording (which is essentially the terms of a contract) that having no tax would invalidate the policy. Tax and insurance are two entirely seperate entities, and it would be illegal for any insurer to break the terms of their contract!!! As always, it's all about the small print, so everyone should check their policy documents. No mention of 'no tax' means no legal grounds for voiding the policy.
Big AL - 2-Feb-15 @ 9:26 AM
Friend has new job in airport driving customers cars to a different location along minor/B roads, some have been untaxed. Can you tell me please what are the implications to his own licence if caught doing this?
(none) - 11-Aug-14 @ 7:43 PM
we used to be able to drive without car tax or licence. Till the greedy government saw they could rob us if millions of £. The gov who are just after all puppets for the conglomerates who really run the show.
maggie - 5-Aug-13 @ 7:07 PM
If a person cannot drive for medical reasons but still owns a car that is SORN and garaged can that car be insured for fire and theft. If so who does this insurance?
kitkat - 19-Dec-12 @ 8:21 PM
If a person will not be driving for medical reasons but still owns a car which is SORN and garaged is it possible to get fire and theft only insurance for the vehicle. If so where from?
katkat - 19-Dec-12 @ 8:17 PM
The majority of us who drive, keep our cars fully insured and taxed so to should other road users. Why should everyone else pay and a few just go around illegally without tax and insurance? Our car insurance has risen by about a quarter due to the un-insured drivers. Any one caught driving without should get a 6month ban.
Daz - 30-Mar-11 @ 10:32 AM
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