The BBC has recently reported that car clamping has risen significantly since the abolition of tax discs from 5,100 cars per month to 9,200 cars per month (approximately).
The main reason for this sudden rise is thought to be that the tax disc serves as a reminder for the motorist to pay their tax.
The penalties for failing to pay can be considerable. Possible fines include £100 clamping release fee (first day), £200 release fee if the car has to be taken to a pound, £21 per-day storage fee, £80 late licensing fee plus the cost of any unpaid duty. Furthermore, after 14 days a vehicle can be sold or scrapped.
Unlike council parking operators that are regulated under road traffic regulations, private parking companies are unregulated, motorists have no official route of a complaint and getting money back from an unfair clamping incident is very difficult. There is a £125 cap on the charges that can be applied for clamping but private clampers often get around it by double charging for clamping and removal.
DVLA executive Oliver Morley, said: The law is that you pay your tax. The vast majority pay with no problem at all.” He also confirmed that motorists do get email and postal reminders, but if the driver’s contact information isn’t up to date they could miss these reminders.
Critics of the DVLA have said that the punishment for not paying your road tax on time is extremely heavy-handed. So the moral of the story is this – set a reminder on your phone to pay your road tax on time. You’ll be extremely glad that you did!