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Motor Vehicles: Excise Duty

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department takes to recover vehicle excise duty payments outstanding from the registered keepers of vehicles who do not have an address in the UK; how much was spent on such recovery in the last year for which figures are available; how much was recovered; and if he will make a statement. (228811)

[holding answer 21 October 2008]: DVLA operates a strategy of education, warning and direct enforcement to help tackle non-compliant unlicensed foreign vehicles. Education activities have involved presentations to community leaders, articles in the media, the issue of information leaflets and warning notices placed on vehicle windscreens. Vehicles circulating in breach of the rules are subject to enforcement action including wheel clamping and impounding. Since 2006, nearly 1200 non-compliant foreign vehicles have been subject to direct enforcement action.

Every year, the overall costs incurred and revenues generated from DVLA’s enforcement activities are published in the Agency’s Annual Report and Accounts. Activities relating to foreign vehicles are not accounted for separately.

In terms of offences committed by drivers of foreign registered vehicles, under new provisions in the Road Safety Act 2006 the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency will, in future, be able to issue fixed penalties to offenders as well as prohibiting vehicles and drivers for various offences. In addition, any driver who does not have a satisfactory address in the UK will be required to pay an immediate deposit equivalent to the amount of the fixed penalty—or the level of fine the offence would be likely to attract if prosecuted in court. The police will also be able to require the immediate payment of such deposits.