road tax

What every driver needs to know about the 2017 VED car tax changes

Car tax

Did you know that the car tax regulations will change in April, 2017? Big alterations are afoot after the government calculated that increasingly fuel efficient cars are leaving it out of pocket.

That’s because currently, the annual tax drivers pay to be on the road is calculated according to how much carbon dioxide (CO2) comes out of their car’s exhaust. And around 25 per cent of all new cars are so clean that, guess what? They’re exempt from road tax.

But from next April anybody that buys a new car will face a new regime of car tax. And overnight it will make many of the UK’s most popular new motors much more expensive to own.  Continue reading

Disqualified drivers: 18 banned drivers stopped at the wheel every day

Disqualified drivers

Untaxed cars and drink driving are on the up while nearly 7000 banned drivers were found still at the wheel last year

New figures show some worrying trends on Britain’s roads: thousands of disqualified drivers have been caught at the wheel; the number of drink drivers is on the up; and there’s been a rise in the number of untaxed cars. Official statistics from the Ministry of Justice found 6592 disqualified drivers were stopped for driving in England and Wales in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 18 banned drivers being halted by the police every day.

The report, compiled by Churchill car insurance, also discovered that the average fine for being disqualified from driving was £247. And 44 per cent of drivers were fined £150 or less. That is despite putting other road users in potentially life-threatening situations. The maximum fine for not having a TV licence, meanwhile, is £1000. And the harshest financial penalty for fly tipping is £400.

Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, said: “Disqualification from driving isn’t just a punishment for committing a very serious driving offence, or series of offences; it’s in the interests of all road users and their safety. With the average fine for driving while disqualified averaging a mere £247, Churchill believes the penalties should be considerably tougher to serve as real deterrents and ensure the public’s safety.”

Last year, 87 of the 6592 disqualified drivers prosecuted were aged 17 and under. Between 2005 and 2015, 3911 banned drivers who were stopped were 17 or younger. It means these drivers had picked up two driving bans, despite being too young to drive in the first place.

Driving while being disqualified is the fifth most popular way of losing your licence in the UK; drink driving is the reason most drivers lose their licence. Last year the number of drink drive accidents was up by two and a half per cent compared to 2014.

The second most frequent reason drivers lose their licence is by the points totting up process. However, last month we revealed that an increasing number of drivers are keeping their licence despite exceeding the 12-point limit.

There have also been reports of an increase in the number of untaxed cars since the paper tax disc was abolished in late 2014. Between October 2014 and March 2015, £2.7bn was paid in Vehicle Excise duty. In the six months prior to that, 3.2bn was collected.

Read all you need to know about taxing your car here

Emergency budget 2015: The good, the bad and the expensive for drivers

Emergency budget 2015

No breaks: Mitsubishi Outlander is currently the UK’s favourite plug-in car but won’t get cheap road tax from 2017 (Picture © Mitsubishi)

Drivers were both winners and losers after the Emergency budget of 2015. All drivers will have to pay more for insurance. Meanwhile, a change to the way Vehicle Excise Duty is structured will make eco cars and more expensive motors pricier to put on the road. Here’s how the budget will affect drivers.  Continue reading

Road tax prosecutions soar as drivers are confused by new rules

Road tax prosecutions soar

Drivers no longer need to have a tax disc but new rules are confusing some causing prosecutions to increase (Picture © Contracthireandleasing.com)

New tax disc rules appear to be confusing drivers and making road tax prosecutions soar. In October the traditional tax disc was abolished. New regulations state that rather than tax belonging to a car, it now belongs to the individual who owns that car. When drivers tax their cars now, rather than getting a paper tax disc, their payment is registered on a database. Police cars fitted with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras can access this database instantly. If they snap a car that is on the road but has no tax, a fine is sent out.  Continue reading

Eco cars could prompt tax increases

Eco cars

Even owners of some SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai no longer have to pay road tax because their cars are so clean (Picture © Nissan)

Booming sales of low-emission eco cars could slash the amount the government raises from road tax. The result could mean tax increases for all but the most economical cars.  Continue reading