Figures analysed by the RAC show following an FOI request show a ‘worrying’ increase in the number of drivers having their vehicle tax direct debits cancelled by DVLA after payments couldn’t be taken due to a lack of funds.
People must tax their vehicle to use it on the roads and can pay as a one-off for the year or through a direct debit that takes the money out in smaller amounts.
The missed payment could then lead to an £80 fine or your car getting clamped or crushed.
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Under current procedures, a missed payment or an unpaid direct debit results in the DVLA contacting the vehicle owner to inform them it will attempt a further direct debit on a specified date.
If this then fails, the direct debit order is cancelled, and the owner is advised that the vehicle is not taxed.
Failure to tax it another way will lead to the DVLA taking enforcement action.
So far throughout this financial year, drivers overwhelmingly prefer to pay their vehicle tax monthly by direct debit, with 86 per cent choosing to use this method.
Meanwhile, only one in 10 pay annually with less than four per cent paying every six months.
Around 950,377 drivers had their direct debits cancelled in the financial year of 2021-22, showing a nine per cent rise compared to the year before, according to the RAC.
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RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes, said: “Spreading payments helps people budget when paying vehicle tax, so it’s very worrying that some are now struggling to do this.
“It’s important to realise that two consecutive failed direct debits from one bank account could lead to the DVLA removing that as a payment option.”
He added: “If drivers are struggling with payments, they should get in touch with the DVLA, particularly if the agency has already contacted them.
“Ignoring the problem carries an £80 fine, along with the outstanding tax. And those who don’t do this risk their vehicles being clamped or crushed.
“While spreading vehicle tax costs can be appealing from a budgeting point of view, drivers should also be aware they will end up paying more if they choose monthly or six-monthly payments than they would if they paid in one go annually.”