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Government comes down on foreign drivers in UK escaping tax and fines

It’s been found that since January 2013, foreign drivers in the UK have avoided 23,295 speeding offences. That’s equivalent to £2,3 million in fines which simply haven’t been paid.

It’s estimated that up to 15,000 foreign drivers in Britain are driving illegally, without having their vehicles registered, taxed or with a valid MOT. Foreign drivers in the UK are given up to 6 months to register their cars with the DVLA, but in the last year nobody has been prosecuted for not doing so. This is because the DVLA has previously had no access to records of foreign cars entering the country and have therefore been unable to tell if any cars have been in the UK longer than 6 months.

If foreign drivers stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, they are supposed to register their vehicle with the DVLA. However, there is currently no law in place to enforce this. And it’s impossible to check whether foreign drivers have paid their tax etc. without any vehicle records.

In the past, details of all foreign-registered vehicles leaving or entering the UK have been recorded by the HMRC. However, these details have in the past not been passed on to the DVLA or the police. This means that it’s pretty much impossible for the authorities to check whether foreign drivers have paid car tax, passed MOTs and they have no way of finding them if they break the speed limit.

The government have come up with a new scheme to stop foreign drivers staying in the UK for longer than 6 months without registering their vehicles and therefore avoiding paying taxes and fines. From now on, the police will have access to the same records as the HMRC who monitor foreign cars entering and leaving the UK.

They will trial the scheme out in 6 UK counties before enforcing it in the rest of the country. These counties are Hampshire, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire, West Mercia, West Midlands and the Thames Valley. Police officers in this area will have full access to the HMRC database, meaning that if any foreign drivers break the law, they will be able to track them down. The trial will run from November to February.

The scheme hopes to improve current driving conditions in the UK by reducing the number of unsafe cars without valid MOTs on the road. By making sure that foreigners pay tax, the scheme also hopes to be a source of revenue for improving the current state of UK roads.

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