Drivers still paying tax on stolen vehicles

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) by Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA), has revealed that 17,086 UK motorists are still paying tax on vehicles listed as stolen.

According to DVLA data for September 2023, of 54,804 vehicles recorded as stolen, almost a third (31.18%) are still taxed.

The government web page on vehicle tax direct debit payments warns that if your car is stolen, ‘you’ll have to apply for a refund separately.’

Philip Swift, a former detective and now managing director of CMA, said: “Our initial reaction on discovering this figure was one of astonishment. How on earth are so many people being allowed to fall into this trap? From a consumer perspective, amidst the shock of a vehicle theft, dealing with the resulting admin and beginning the search for a new car, claiming a tax refund, or cancelling a direct debit, is far from top priority.

“It’s conceivable that some might decide it’s simply not worth the hassle, especially if it doesn’t have long to run. But that misses the point. Victims of crime are incurring additional costs for no good reason. At best, it shows a lack of joined-up thinking. At worst, it is a rather underhand way of boosting government coffers.

“In terms of a solution, we’re working with our insurance partners to introduce an automatic reminder for stolen car claimants to review their VED situation. In the meantime, the government continues to quietly pocket money from thousands of motorists who’ve already suffered the trauma and inconvenience of having their car nicked.”