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Police to Crack Down on Dodgy Foreign Registered Cars Starts 3 Nov

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport in Coleford

Hot on the heels of of EC wide cross border tracing of cars involved in motoring offences, the government has announced a crackdown on cars that have been in the UK too long on foreign plates.

It is illegal for any car to have remained in the UK on foreign plates for more than 6 months, but because the law has not been enforced foreign plates have long been used to avoid ANPR speeding and parking tickets and many cars in the UK on foreign plates are not taxed, tested or insured.

Now the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the police are joining forces to identify and take action against foreign motorists who drive in the UK illegally.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport (photo above), national lead for roads policing said: “Regardless of their country of origin, or that of their car, it is the responsibility of every driver to ensure that they are obeying the laws that govern our roads in the UK, and that includes falling in line with the laws on taxation, registration and insurance as well as those on safe driving. I fully endorse the  crackdown and the new information sharing trial between the police service and HMRC, which will allow us to deal more effectively with criminality on our roads, thereby increasing our communities’ safety and security. Be assured, the police will act firmly but fairly to deal with any driver breaking the law.”

Foreign vehicles must be registered and licensed in the UK when they have been here more than six months in any twelve month period.

But it is estimated that up to 350,000 foreign registered vehicles entered the UK and overstayed the 6 month exemption period without registering and licensing between 2010 and 2013 – costing the taxpayer £60 million every year in lost tax revenue.

The new trial, which starts on 3 November and will run until February 2015, will see HMRC share information with six police forces on foreign vehicles that have entered the UK and that may have overstayed the permitted six months in any 12 month period.

The six forces taking part will be Thames Valley, Hampshire, West Midlands, and Northamptonshire, West Mercia and Staffordshire. These six forces have devolved powers that allows them to take direct enforcement against untaxed vehicles.

This will transform enforcement by allowing police to seize and impounded the vehicles of those who have overstayed. The registered keeper will have to pay a £200 release fee and a £160 surety fee, plus £21 per day storage fees, to get the vehicle back.

DVLA will issue the  registered keeper with an out of court settlement and failure to pay could result in the keeper being prosecuted The amount requested will be £30 plus 1.5 times the outstanding vehicle tax rate for the time the vehicle has overstayed. Failure to pay could result in the keeper being prosecuted.