Friday, 7 November 2014

Crackdown on foreign-owned cars to halt £60 MILLION tax dodge to be launched . . .


Crackdown on foreign-owned cars to halt £60 MILLION tax dodge to be launched

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Police will seize and impound some of the UK's 350,000 foreign-registered vehicles who overstay the six month period before they have to pay road tax

Warning: New crackdown on foreign, untaxed cars

A crackdown on foreign-owned vehicles illegally dodging £60million in tax every year has been ordered by the government.

Police will seize and impound some of the 350,000 foreign-registered vehicles that enter the UK and overstay the six month period before they have to pay road tax.

Patrick McLoughin, Transport Secretary, said: ”These vehicles are a danger on our roads and the government is determined to crack down on foreign drivers who deliberately refuse to register and license their vehicles.

“We will use all of the information available to us to make sure we take tough action where necessary to keep our roads safe.”

Chief constable Suzette Davenport, national lead on roads policing, added: ”Regardless of their country of origin, or that of their car, it is the responsibility of every driver to ensure that they are obeying the laws that govern our roads in the UK.

“And that includes falling in line with the laws on taxation, registration and insurance as well as those on safe driving.”

Drivers: Be warned 

Foreign vehicles must be registered and licensed in the UK when they have been here more than six months in any 12 month period.

But many flout the law, costing taxpayers £60m in lost revenue.

A four month trial to catch the culprits starts in November with six police forces taking part.

And a registered keeper of a vehicle caught in the clampdown will have to pay a £200 release fee and a £160 surety fee, plus £21 a day storage fees, to get the vehicle back.

The DVLA will also issue the registered keeper with an out-of-court settlement demand for the unpaid tax, which will lead to a prosecution if the keeper fails to pay up.

The six forces taking part will be Thames Valley, Hampshire, West Midlands, and Northamptonshire, West Mercia and Staffordshire.

The RAC, which raised the problem earlier this year welcomed the move.

Pete Williams, of the RAC, said: “The RAC has been very vocal in calling for a solution to this problem so this announcement is good news for all law-abiding British motorists, who have rightly felt aggrieved that foreign-registered vehicles are allowed to get away with not paying Vehicle Excise Duty after being in the country for more than six months.

“Now a solution is to be trialled, we will be on the way to discovering how many foreign vehicles we actually have in the UK.

“This will ultimately mean that the Treasury will gain more tax revenue which we can only hope will be put towards improving the desperate state of our roads – a constant source of frustration to motorists.

New campaign

A new Think! campaign has been launched by the Department for Transport to warn motorists of the danger of country roads.

Official figures show that 60% of road crash deaths are on rural roads. Three people die each day on average on rural roads and the total number killed is nearly eleven times higher than on motorways.

And one in four drivers have had a near miss and one driver in twenty has had a collision on a country road.

Road safety minister Robert Goodwill said: “Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world, but most people don’t know that motorists are nearly eleven times more likely to die in an accident on a country road than on a motorway.

“I want the public to understand these risks and adapt their driving to the conditions they face.”

The new THINK! advertising campaign uses 3D scanning technology to illustrate that country roads are full of unforeseen hazards.

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