A vehicle which had not been taxed since January 2017 was among the first to be removed from the streets of Gloucestershire for having no tax following newly devolved powers being given to Gloucestershire Constabulary by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
It was one of 37 untaxed vehicles seized by the police in the first week since the new powers came into force.
The law currently states that if a vehicle is untaxed it should be registered with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), and kept on private property. If a vehicle is reported or discovered through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) as having no vehicle tax, Gloucestershire police can now remove it.
Altogether, it’s estimated there are around 17,000 untaxed vehicles in Gloucestershire.
The figures are calculated by postcode and show the highest number of untaxed vehicles can be found the around centre of Gloucester in the GL1 and GL2 areas and also in the GL50 part of Cheltenham.
An online check at www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax will confirm your vehicle’s status.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is planning a zero-tolerance approach under the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) ‘Green and pleasant county’ commitment.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Brierley, who last year commissioned an operation aimed at clearing abandoned vehicles said, “This is really an extension of Operation GiG or ‘Get it Gone’ which we launched last November.
“When vehicles are left abandoned for days, weeks and even months at a time and are not removed, people tell us it’s frustrating. How many times have to you driven around and seen a car with a ‘police aware’ sticker on it, for it to remain there for ages.
“After a meeting with Gloucester City Council, I decided the OPCC should and could help facilitate a speedier response, so following consultation with local councils and our office, the police assumed responsibility for taking away abandoned vehicles which met the criteria of our Operation GiG. That arrangement helped to streamline the process and has been very successful with around 150 seized to date.
“The Police have always been able to remove vehicles with no insurance or no registered keeper along with those which have sometimes been stolen and left for later use in crime.
“Now they can add untaxed vehicles to the list”.
DVLA also operates a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay and hard to avoid, including online vehicle taxing and Direct Debit. It also continues to send reminder letters to vehicle keepers, which is why it is so important the notify DVLA of a change of address or keeper.
DVLA Head of Enforcement Tim Burton said: “It is right that action is taken against those who don’t tax their vehicles and then drive them otherwise it wouldn’t be fair to those who do the right thing. We are delighted that Gloucestershire Police are taking on these powers to make sure these un-taxed vehicles are not driven on the road”
If any member of the public wishes to report a vehicle for no tax they can report it via www.gloucestershire.police.uk/contact-us/tell-us-about-something.
When a car is seized:
- The owner has 14 days to reclaim it. Once it’s off the road, the Police have no further interest in it.
- If it’s not reclaimed, the vehicle is scrapped or sold – the Recovery Agents’ costs come out of the proceeds of the sale or scrappage.
- The owner (obviously) has to tax it and that’s usually the end of it. (It would be up to the DVLA to decide what, if any further action, should be taken)
- There are four recovery agents, one in Gloucester – Walls Recovery on the Madleaze Estate. The three others are out of the county