Road tax evasion is on the increase according to a new report from the National Audit Office. Excise duty evasion is currently running at 5%, costing the UK £217 million, a 47% cost increase from the previous year (DfT Roadside Survey, 2006).
The survey also estimated that over a third of motorcyclists (37%) were unlicenced, a significant increase from 30% in the previous year. The DVLA’s evasion target for December 2007 is 2.5%, so these results will come as quite a blow. The target of halving the vehicle underclass of evaders (unlicenses vehicles often associated with crime related activities) is also unlikely to be reached.
These findings start to highlight the real problem of the motoring underclass on UK roads. The fact that three quarters of people using persistently untaxed vehicles are involved in some form of criminal activity proves very clearly that more resources should be directed to roads policing, to not only reduce road traffic offences, but also as a way to target other crimes.