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I'm hoping I can get some advise about a situation I've got myself into, and I'm also hoping this is in the right place as I'm new to the boards...

Basically, I live on a new build estate still under construction, and I forgot to tax my car last year (yes, I know, I'm a idiot and I beat myself up about it constantly, I should have remembered, but I didn't). It wasn't till the DVLA came and clamped my car that was parked half on the road and half on the front of our house, and low and behold when I checked the tax, it was a good few months out. So I paid the clamping removal fee immediately plus back tax, plus New Years tax, and thought no more about it as the DVLA said there was no arrears on my account.

TWO MONTHS LATER! I get a DVLA letter and my heart sinks. They want yet more money off me as a penalty for it being untaxed under Section 29 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration act 1994. £382.00 to be exact. Thats when someone mentioned about the road being owned by the builders who are building the new build homes and not being a public road I got my lawyers hat out and set to google.

I managed to prove that the road was an 'unadopted' road, and in the act they were quoting it said it doesn't apply if its a 'public road' and that the definition of a 'public road' is one that is maintained at public expense and has been adopted which our road has not. So I sent off all the paperwork I found and I've received a reply today saying;

'On 1 October 2008 changes to Section 29 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 removed the reference to 'public road.' The only exemption is where a vehicle is being kept off the public road and a valid Statutory Off Road Notification is in place.'

And I'm just not sure if I can take it any further as I have since found the amended legislation that states 'public road' has changed to 'a suitable place.'

I should also note that at the time it was clamped the car was awaiting its MOT and therefore couldn't be taxed anyway.

I'm just so annoyed at the whole situation, after talking to the DVLA on the day it was clamped I was told that I should have received a reminder letter when the car wasn't taxed, which I 100% never received, and therefore the issue was missed for so long, but since the reminder is basically them just being courteous I can't use this against them, and also the decision to stop issuing tax disc's didn't help, and I just feel completely mugged off and used for one silly mistake when I've never had anything like this ever before. I would have accepted a lesser fine and a letter saying something along the lines of 'since this is your first offence' but to just slap someone with almost £500 in fines straight up is appalling, and just straight up money making from people who work their backsides off, to get treat like this.

Sorry rant over.
If anyone has any ideas if I can fight this further I'd appreciate the help. No judgement please because like I said previously, I'm so annoyed at myself it happened in the first place, I just feel like the fine related to the offence and past clean record isn't right, and would like to fight on that basis.

Thanks in advance
QUOTE (lolo_x @ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 - 16:55) *
'On 1 October 2008 changes to Section 29 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 removed the reference to 'public road.' The only exemption is where a vehicle is being kept off the public road and a valid Statutory Off Road Notification is in place.'

Finance Act 2008, Schedule 45, Paragraph 2

(1)Section 29 (offence of using or keeping unlicensed vehicle) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), for “on a public road a vehicle (not being an exempt vehicle)” substitute “ a vehicle ”.

(3) After subsection (2) insert—

“(2A) Subsection (1) does not apply to a vehicle if—

(a) it is an exempt vehicle in respect of which regulations under this Act require a nil licence to be in force and a nil licence is in force in respect of the vehicle, or
(b) it is an exempt vehicle that is not one in respect of which regulations under this Act require a nil licence to be in force.

(2B) Subsection (1) does not apply to a vehicle if—

(a) the vehicle is being neither used nor kept on a public road, and
(b) the particulars and declaration required to be furnished and made by regulations under section 22(1D) have been furnished and made in accordance with the regulations and the terms of the declaration have at no time been breached.

(2C) Subsection (1) does not apply to a vehicle if the vehicle is kept by a motor trader or vehicle tester at business premises.

(2D) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision amending this section for the purpose of providing further exceptions from subsection (1) (or varying or revoking any such further exceptions).

(2E) A person accused of an offence under subsection (1) is not entitled to the benefit of an exception from subsection (1) conferred by or under this section unless evidence is adduced that is sufficient to raise an issue with respect to that exception; but where evidence is so adduced it is for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the exception does not apply.”

(4) In subsection (3), for “in respect of the vehicle” substitute “ in respect of using or keeping the vehicle on a public road ”.

(5) In subsection (7), for “kept (but not used)” substitute “ not being used ”.
Basically since the introduction of continuous licensing a vehicle must be taxed unless it has been SORNed, and this has been followed by continuous insurance where the same applies. There is a great deal of bureaucracy involved in owning a vehicle, and you have to keep on top of it or you get penalised. Moreover your intentions are not relevant, it does not matter whether your car was untaxed through an oversight or deliberately, as it was untaxed and the law creates strict liability, the effect is the same.

There is nothing to be done about it, usually a reminder would be issued and you would have taxed the car but the fact that it was not is no defence, as you have discovered. A harsh lesson, but there it is.
There are a number of ways you can pay Toad Tax now . Paying by Direct Debit avoids the possibilty of forgetting to pay it but if you pay by a method that means you need reminding create a reminder on your phone and/or make a fake disc and put it where the old tax discs used to be.
Thanks for the quick replies guys. I didn't think there was any more that I could do, like someone said, a harsh lesson learnt the hard way. & direct debit is risky for me due to the amount that I'm having to pay (my road tax is through the roof) & the way my accounts work means that if I was to have that taken out without me realising theres a pretty good chance that I'd get in my overdraft, so I'm not totally sold on the idea, but a phone reminder might be the way to go as a backup. Don't worry though, lesson is learnt and it will be getting paid as soon as the reminder comes through in future!

Really appreciate the help, and the lack of judgement for my stupid error! icon_redface.gif
You can set an annual direct debit rather than a monthly one. The send an email reminder if you have set it up about a month before it is due.

May work for you.
Did the reminder not get to you because you hadn't updated the car's V5C with your new address? People often inform the DVLA in respect of their driving licence, but neglect the separate procedure to update their vehicle registration documents...

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