Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA said owners may have “deliberately” forgotten to update their tax details in the hope of saving some money as costs rise for motorists. The warning comes after new Department for Transport data showed the number of tax evaders has risen.
Mr Cousens said: “Official figures show that the law is still on the hunt for car tax evaders.
“However, the increase in non-payment of Vehicle Excise Duty is not as bad as might have been feared, given the hundreds of thousands of cars granted a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) status during the lockdowns.
“Some of those vehicles will have been put back on the road with the owners either mistakenly or deliberately forgetting to tell the DVLA.
“High inflation, particularly with pump prices that refuse to drop despite big falls in the wholesale cost, always pressure many low-income drivers to run the gauntlet and not pay their tax.
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“It is foolish for them to chance their arms because the penalties are severe, even potentially having the car crushed.”
The DfT data shows most unlicensed vehicles had not had any valid tax for just two months or less.
Over one-third of tax evasion vehicles had changed hands since the beginning of October 2020.
Meanwhile, 38 percent of vehicles were cars older than 10 years.