Ministers claim the rate of evasion for Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is 0.6%, the lowest level ever.
So assuming this rate is uniform across all types of vehicle, and looking just at cars, what does that mean in absolute terms?
At the end of June 2014 there were 29.7 million cars licensed in Great Britain, suggesting there were about 180,000 cars driving around without a tax disc.
(Of course, as of 1 October this year the paper tax disc was abolished, but not the tax.)
Using an average VED figure of £144 that means VED evasion is costing the country roughly £26 million a year.
Ministers say that the abolition of the physical tax disc is unlikely to change the rate of offending and in fact the DVLA “… has not relied on the paper tax disc in enforcement of vehicle excise duty for some time. The DVLA and the police largely rely on the DVLA’s electronic vehicle register and tools like the Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras to ensure that payments have been made.”
Which sort of begs the question: if getting rid of the tax disc is such a good idea now why wasn’t it done ages ago?
P.S. Worth remembering that two-thirds of new cars registered in 2013 paid not VED in their first year.