DVLA Are Thieving Bastards


Yes, it's an angry headline. But that's OK, because I'm angry. You may not have heard - I hadn't until very recently - but DVLA are changing the way in which car tax is administered.

tax disc


To be fair to the thieving bastards I don't think that this is something they have thought up themselves. They are only an agency of the UK government so this is probably driven by some other money-grabbing department, probably HMRC.  

The paper tax disc (as shown above) is being abolished in October, to be replaced by a spy network of surveillance cameras both in fixed locations and mobile ones, especially in police cars.  

Today, when you buy a used car you drive it away and some time later, when the tax disc expires, you apply for a new one. Annoying, but simple. From 1st October this will no longer be the case. Whenever the original owner sells the car, the tax expires immediately. Any remaining tax can be refunded, but not for the period of the current month, which is lost. The new owner must tax the car before it can be driven again on public roads, but the tax must commence from the beginning of the month in which the car is next used. Therefore, DVLA get an extra month's tax that they wouldn't otherwise have had every time a car changes hands.

But that's OK because apparently this change "should 'save taxpayers £10 million' in the hunt for tax dodgers" . Really?


Let's assume that the £10M saving is real. It's a not inconsiderable sum, worth saving from the public expenditure. But there's a problem with it.

In 2013 just over 7 million used car sales were made in the UK. Because of our complicated vehicle taxing system it's a bit difficult to work out a representative tax rate for the average car. The rates range from free up to £1,030 per annum. Let's take £100 as an average annual rate (probably a bit low).

This means that  DVLA's coffers will benefit to the tune of £(7,000,000 x 100)/12, which is £58,333,333.


So we're going to collect over £58M to save £10M. Tell me, which taxpayers are saving money?


Thieving bastards!