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Car Tax erroneously cancelled by DVLA while car on road, SORN and Taxing muddle up
wedged
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 09:48
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Hi so far I have not had a demand or fine but has an offence been committed?

Time line:

Car purchased on 31/5/18 and SORNed on same day but for 1 day only. Car kept off road from time of purchase and during SORN.
Due to the face that the DVLA website would not accept the SORN online for the new keeper this was submitted by post with the clear instructions noted on the form that the SORN must not cancel the tax to be taken out on 01/06/18, and also that the SORN was for 31/5/18 only. I have kept a copy.
At 5 minutes past midnight on 1/6/18 the car was taxed. It was used on the road the same day. I received an email receipt for the tax and also checked the tax status online - all OK.
On 04/07/18 DVLA processed the postal SORN and sent us an acknowledgement stating SORN from 31/05/18. The also cancelled the car tax taken out the next day (01/06/18). They did not enclose a refund.

So - according to DVLA the car was now not taxed from 1/6/18. Of course it has been driven around a lot since then.

I intend to ring them up tomorrow and give them a right (polite) piece of my mind.

How do we stand on the tax status and driving the car around today?

This post has been edited by wedged: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 09:49
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post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 09:48
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peterguk
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 09:52
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So you purchased a car on 31/5, posted a SORN request which was never going to arrive at DVLA for 2 or 3 days, wanting to SORN the car for one day only, 31/5, which by the time the request has arrived, was out of date.
Are you serious?

Call them and explain?

This post has been edited by peterguk: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 11:13


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wedged
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 10:00
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Yes I am serious, because I wanted to abide by the law. Or else get a fine for not taxing the vehicle in May.

I have since found the online enquiries email service and lodged a complaint, but they take 3 working days to reply, so I will still have to ring them up.


It has to be said that DVLA and/or the Govt have created this situation for themselves by cancelling car tax at the instant a car is sold. A fairer solution would be to cancel it at midnight the same day.

It would be of some help if someone could answer my question above - how do we stand today (it being a Sunday)?

This post has been edited by wedged: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 10:15
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DancingDad
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 10:11
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I answer to your question, if car is still on SORN and you are driving it or parking on road, you could get a nasty shock as using unlawfully.
Tax it online, argue with DVLA about the c0ck up afterwards.
Can't see any refund is due for June BTW, part used months are charged.... if paid for 6 months or year, balance is due.
If you have been driving round on SORN and not had a pull, got away with it.

Personally I'd have asked seller to SORN it online and then collected it and taxed it 1st June. That way they avoid paying for June and all legal.

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 10:14
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wedged
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 10:25
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Unfortunately the original seller was not online-savvy - I did ask about this.

Yes that's a possibility - tax it again online and argue the toss afterwards. Although I would rather not let them have more money, if I do it right and DVLA cock up further I may get a free month ;^)

As for June, well according to DVLA the whole of June must be refunded because the SORN was on 31/5/18.

Note that for most of the above time the car was taxed, in case you missed it, they cancelled the tax on the 4th of JULY backdating to June.
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localdriver
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 11:15
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Was the car taxed during May?

The vehicle licence is not cancelled 'at the instant a car is sold' ,it is cancelled when the DVLA process the change of registered keeper. If the notification of the change was by post, it would be a some days after the actual sale.

This post has been edited by localdriver: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 11:57
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wedged
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 12:55
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Yes it was taxed by the previous RK/owner during May.

I disagree, if that were the case, then the DVLA website would not specifically state "You must tax a vehicle you’ve bought before you drive it, or declare it off the road (a SORN). The tax is not transferred to you when you buy the vehicle."

www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle. Note "you’ve bought before you drive it".

If you were correct, the car would still be taxed by the original owner for up to 4 weeks while they posted off the V5.

In practice, the chances of being caught are quite low, because the databases would still show the car as taxed until the V5 is processed. But I assert that it is the law that the act of sale cancels the tax.
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DancingDad
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 13:09
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QUOTE (wedged @ Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 13:55) *
.........In practice, the chances of being caught are quite low, because the databases would still show the car as taxed until the V5 is processed. But I assert that it is the law that the act of sale cancels the tax.


It is not only the risk of being caught, it is the requirement for continuous tax (or SORN)
If owner sends form in post saying sold on 31st May, DVLA may only process a few weeks later but will still be looking for tax/sorn in June.
If not seeing any they can go after the new keeper.
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samthecat
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 13:12
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Whilst I suspect you are technically correct about this you do seem to have got caught up in an issue that was quite obviously likely to happen.

Hindsight is wonderful but the fewer things DVLA have a chance to fudge up the better!

I will be interested to know how you get on with their complaints team.


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wedged
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 15:02
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>> If owner sends form in post saying sold on 31st May, DVLA may only process a few weeks later but will still be looking for tax/sorn in June. <<

They would be looking for tax/sorn in May too, surely? Unless the sale were timed for 23:59:59.999 on the 31st of May (which it wasn't).

Anyhow, as you can see from my first post above, I paid for June in good faith, only to have it cancelled in July.

I too will be interested to see how DVLA supply their grovelling apology, and will post up here when it happens.

In the mean time I also taxed it today, because I need back on the road tomorrow morning, without having to spend an hour on the phone first.
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southpaw82
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 15:52
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QUOTE (wedged @ Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 13:55) *
But I assert that it is the law that the act of sale cancels the tax.

Rather than asserting it, perhaps you could cite it.


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Logician
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 16:59
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QUOTE (wedged @ Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 13:55) *
Yes it was taxed by the previous RK/owner during May. I disagree, if that were the case, then the DVLA website would not specifically state "You must tax a vehicle you’ve bought before you drive it, or declare it off the road (a SORN). The tax is not transferred to you when you buy the vehicle." www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle. Note "you’ve bought before you drive it". If you were correct, the car would still be taxed by the original owner for up to 4 weeks while they posted off the V5. In practice, the chances of being caught are quite low, because the databases would still show the car as taxed until the V5 is processed. But I assert that it is the law that the act of sale cancels the tax.


This is an instance where the DVLA are misleading the public about the law, the licence is not cancelled until the DVLA receives the notification. Look up the relevant law.



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localdriver
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 17:33
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QUOTE (wedged @ Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 13:55) *
Yes it was taxed by the previous RK/owner during May. I disagree, if that were the case, then the DVLA website would not specifically state "You must tax a vehicle you’ve bought before you drive it, or declare it off the road (a SORN). The tax is not transferred to you when you buy the vehicle." www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle. Note "you’ve bought before you drive it". If you were correct, the car would still be taxed by the original owner for up to 4 weeks while they posted off the V5. In practice, the chances of being caught are quite low, because the databases would still show the car as taxed until the V5 is processed. But I assert that it is the law that the act of sale cancels the tax.


The .gov.uk website (it is not a DVLA website) is not always that accurate (as in your case), and should never be relied on without reference to the relevant legislation.

As the notification change of registered keeper was by post, the car would have been licensed for May and until the DVLA process the change of registered keeper and cancel any outstanding licence.

Your timeline appears to be:

Declared SORN on 31st May by post.

Obtained Licence 1st June on-line.

DVLA process the SORN declaration after 1st June, and cancel the licence.


All perfectly normal.

This post has been edited by localdriver: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 22:29
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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 8 Jul 2018 - 21:03
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For future reference despite their interpretation of the law - which often differs from the actual legislation anyway - in reality they allow some leeway in these things. Very few people are going to tax their vehicle at five minutes past midnight and even the DVLA realise with the situation they have created with cancelling tax on change of ownership it does not make sense to go after everyone who didn't tax their vehicle for 24hrs.

This leeway also applies to tax renewals, which is why you get a "final warning" to tax it if you are a few days late.

It is admirable that you tried to SORN your car for one day but the DVLA frequently balls up very simple tasks. Anything that requires you to attach covering letter to a form will go wrong. These forms are read by OCR scanners, not people. I have no clue what happened with your letter other than it was clearly ignored.

Next time just imagine if my three year old daughter could understand what you are trying to do. If not, just fill out the boxes on their form, no moree and no covering letter.
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wedged
post Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 16:24
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Well I had filled out the boxes on the form and then some. THe fact that it took 4.5 weeks to process leads me to think that it failed OCR and had to be read by a human. Which makes it even more bizarre that they could not take the circumstances into account.

Still, they did offer this up in their email reply:

"I'm sorry to learn of the circumstances that have prompted you to contact us."

I guess that's as good as it gets from a faceless bureacracy.

As for the point about "DVLA are misleading the public about the law" well I have used their reply facility to put this to them for a clarification. Not holding my breath though.
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localdriver
post Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 16:33
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QUOTE (wedged @ Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 17:24) *
As for the point about "DVLA are misleading the public about the law" well I have used their reply facility to put this to them for a clarification. Not holding my breath though.


It was not the DVLA misleading the public. It was the .gov.uk website, which only gives general advice without any reference to the relevant legislation and often, as in your case, not that accurate.

This post has been edited by localdriver: Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 16:34
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Logician
post Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 17:07
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I think the way it works is that the guys who run the gov.uk website put every effort into simplifying it as much as possible, starting from the DVLA's input. Sometimes they simplify it to the point of inaccuracy, as here, but would no doubt say a full explanation is not really necessary, if a member of the public does it the way we say then they are always on the safe side. Unfortunately for the OP, he has managed to prove that wrong.


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cp8759
post Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 17:08
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QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 9 Jul 2018 - 18:07) *
I think the way it works is that the guys who run the gov.uk website put every effort into simplifying it as much as possible, starting from the DVLA's input. Sometimes they simplify it to the point of inaccuracy, as here, but would no doubt say a full explanation is not really necessary, if a member of the public does it the way we say then they are always on the safe side. Unfortunately for the OP, he has managed to prove that wrong.

I suspect they assumed nobody would bother SORN'ing a car for the sake of 1 day.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
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