Hundreds of thousands of motorists have been fined this year for driving a vehicle which has not properly been taxed months after car tax changes were introduced.
New data has found that over 700,000 drivers were slapped with a penalty charge for being on the road without taxing their cars.
These fines total an extra £4.5million, a huge increase since the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) tax hike in April.
Following this research, experts are warning drivers that they need to check the validity of their car tax, so they are not hit with a hefty charge, following a rise in “admin fatigue”.
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Around £74million in fines have been issued since the VED tax increase with 690,744 vehicles being caught without the required tax.
In the six months following the tax hike, an additional 15,000 drivers were issued fines, amounting to £4.5million.
This comes amid the cost of living crisis hammering drivers with petrol and diesel costs, more expensive repairs and rising car insurance premiums.
Toby Kernon, founder and CEO of Wagonex, said: “With so many things available at the touch of a button these days, and costs across the board rising, it’s easy to put off the dreaded admin tasks that come with owning or financing a car.
“The reality is that while sometimes time consuming, this admin is a legal necessity, and those who do miss their car tax renewal could be risking a fine of up to £1,000.
“You can easily check if your vehicle is taxed on the GOV.UK website by inputting your vehicle registration number - you can also renew online.”
Car tax increases were launched for the new financial year on April 1, with larger and more expensive vehicles like Range Rovers costing more than £40,000 being hit with an added £570 tax every year, for five years.
Further VED tax raises were introduced for the most polluting cars, with drivers paying up to £2,605 if they have a vehicle that produces more than 255g/km.
May was the busiest month for tax fines with a total of over £14million issued in fines to over 132,000 motorists.
Toby Kernon said it was absolutely vital for drivers to tax their car as a legal requirement, but also because it helps fund road maintenance, research and public transport.
He continued, saying: “However, with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it’s becoming more of a concern that drivers are missing these payments, often without even realising.
“Almost a quarter of people have admitted that reducing car-related admin is a primary motivator for switching to car subscription, with the goal of opting out of DIY servicing, MOTs and taxing.
“As well as meaning drivers don’t have to think about tax increases, opting for a subscription instead gives drivers the freedom to choose a brand new car that suits their lifestyle and needs without the pressures of additional admin costs.”
In a previous survey, one in 10 UK drivers said they consider car tax a “hassle” to sort out, with nine per cent admitting to driving without tax in the past.