2019 Vehicle Tax changes

Officially known as VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) or Vehicle Tax as most people still refer to it is set to increase on April 1st 2019. The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave forewarning of these increases in the Budget – stating that the rises were in line with inflation. Quoting from the Budget “1.40 (gov.uk). Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)rates for cars, vans and motorcycles. As announced at Budget 2018, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 to increase VED rates for cars, vans, motorcycles and motorcycle trade licences by the Retail Prices Index with effect from 1 April 2019″

What will you pay

The amount of vehicle excise duty charged is based on your vehicle’s CO2 emissions and fuel type (for cars registered on or after 1 March 2001*) The Bands are different for NEW cars – registered on or after 1st April 2019 – compared to cars registered between 1st March 2001 and March 31st 2019

Note : for cars registered before 1 March 2001 the vehicle tax rates depend on its’ engine size, not CO2 emissions.

Cars Registered March 1st 2001 – March 31st 2019

The CO2 emissions rates are banded from A to M. According the the Government’s Vehicle Licensing statistics (external link) of 2016 the most popular bands are F and G. Those with cars registered before April 1st 2019 in these groups – with CO2 emissions from 141-165 g/km – can expect an increase of £5. Band F will increase from £155 to £160 and Band G will increase from £195 to £200. Those with cars in Bands 1,2 and 3 will be happy to see their rates remain the same.

New Cars – registered on/after 1st April 2019

For new car buyers – registering their vehicle after April 1st 2019 the changes are more considerable. Cars in Bands A to C also remain the same. Vehicles in Bands D to H will increase by just £5 (covering CO2 emissions from 76 to 150 g/km). The remain Bands increase accordingly – Band I by £15, Band J by £25,  Band K by £40, Band L by £55 and Band M by £65

Want to know more

There are plenty of good online resources with further details of these VED increases. One of the most informative is this feature by thismoney.co.uk – including some very useful VED Band Comparison tables 2018/19 versus 2019/20

Check your Vehicle Tax

If after reading this you find yourself wondering if you’re car is taxed then please visit our free online vehicle tax checker. Simply enter your registration number to confirm whether or not your car has valid Vehicle Tax

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Why Check the History of a Vehicle

Check BEFORE you buy

First and foremost, if you inadvertently purchase a vehicle that has been stolen the authorities can return it to the legal owner (or their insurance company) WITHOUT compensating you – the innocent party. Similarly, if you purchase a car with outstanding finance associated to it – that debt transfers to you. The average amount of outstanding finance on vehicles checked by HPI Check is over £9K!

For these two reasons alone there is a very clear and legally motivated reason to obtain a vehicle history report BEFORE you commit to buying a used vehicle (car, motorbike or van). For less than the price of a pizza a detailed vehicle history report will highlight any outstanding finance and many more important issues

Information Provided

The level of information obtained from a vehicle history report depends on the report purchased. Most companies offer entry level “basic”  reports and then a more comprehensive full featured report. With MyCarCheck you have the choice of three levels of report.

Details of the 3 x plans offered by MyCarCheck

Bundled Reports – several vehicles at once

If you are considering several cars be certain to take advantage of their BULK report services. At the time of writing this post MyCarCheck have some great BUNDLED reports on offer. With this company you can get as many as 20 x vehicle checks for less than £3 each.

MyCarCheck - multiple vehicle history checks

Premium Service

MyCarCheck.com vehicle history reports highlight if a car has been stolen, exported, written-off, scrapped & much more from just £1.99

Premium Service

HPI Check – popular vehicle checking service from under £10. Premium service comes with £30,000 data guarantee for peace of mind.

Selecting a Vehicle History Report

There are many online businesses that offer a comprehensive vehicle history report service. At IsMyCar.co.uk we have reviewed the offerings of 5 such companies. The two that we have chosen as our online partners are HPI Check and MyCarCheck.

HPI Check

HPI have been providing the histories of used vehicles since 1938 and are the market leaders in vehicle history checks. HPI are focused on giving used car buyers the right information at the right time. Their reports help customers make an informed decision when buying a used car, van or bike. By following the information provided by the HPI Check the car buying experience should be as pain-free as possible.

MyCarCheck

My Car Check is the UK’s number one consumer vehicle check provider. They claim to have helped millions of used vehicle buyers since their creation in 2005. It’s not restricted to car history checks – they can also check the history of motorcycles, vans – any vehicle carrying a Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM).

Their comprehensive report provides over 70 vital pieces of information all used vehicle buyers should be aware of. This includes if the vehicle is a write-off, is registered as stolen, has outstanding finance and many more. The information MyCarCheck provide comes from sources such as the DVLA, the police, insurers and finance companies.

HPI Check – sample Vehicle History Report

The graphic below shows some of the important checks included in a vehicle history report from HPI Check. To get more details please view their online Sample Report Here

Compare the features from HPI Check

MyCarCheck – sample Vehicle History Report

This chart highlights the key checks included in a vehicle history report from MyCarCheck. To get more details please view their online vehicle history checking service here

Comparison of features from MyCarCheck.com

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External References

Some of the references in this post have been sourced from the following respected online authorities

  • Citizen’s Advice – what to do if you’ve bought a stolen goods
  • GOV.uk – what to do if your vehicle has been stolen

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New Affiliate – WeWantAnyCar.com

IsMyCar.co.uk is pleased to announce a new affiliation with WeWantAnyCar. Offering a free online valuation with over 70 stores around the UK. WeWantAnyCar take the hassle out of selling your car. Avoid the scammers and fraudsters and sell your car to WeWantAnyCar. As a CASH buyer you’re certain to get a better deal on your new car

Get a FREE online valuation

The purpose of WeWantAnyCar is to save car owners time and hassle usually associated to selling a car. They understand how frustrating selling a car can be, which is why they value your car for free in a few simple steps, and once you’re happy with the valuation, they will buy it off you – it’s as simple as that. If you want to get a great deal for your unwanted car please try WeWantAnyCar’s online car buying service (direct link) and get a free online valuation today.

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HPI Check

HPI Check – HPI are the market leaders in vehicle history checks. They are all about giving used car buyers the right information at the right time when buying a used car, van or bike. By following HPI’s advice, doing an HPI Check, and buying prudently, the car buying experience should be as pain-free as possible.

MyCarCheck

Check before you buy – Buying a car is a big deal so buy with confidence. MyCarCheck.com can reveal a vehicle’s full history, enabling you to make a more informed decision. Discover a vehicle’s hidden history, if it’s been written off or stolen and much more …

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Fines for driving without Vehicle Tax 2018

The basic penalty for driving without relevant vehicle tax (road tax as it used to be known) is £80 if imposed by the DVLA. If you make a payment to the DVLA within 28 days it can be halved. HOWEVER – if you fail to pay this initial £80 fine and the case goes to court you could pay up to £1000 or 5 times the vehicle’s road tax fee ! The fines are considerably higher if caught by the POLICE driving / parking on the public highway with an untaxed vehicle.

Summary of Fines

  • £80 if imposed by the DVLA. This can increase to £1000 or 5 times you car’s annual vehicle tax if the case goes to court
  • Up to £1000 if caught by the Police by way of fixed penalty notice. Please refer to our article on Clamping Untaxed Vehicles
  • In a worst case scenario vehicles may be clamped or even impounded. If your car is clamped getting it released early is paramount – otherwise the daily charges rapidly accrue.

What if your Vehicle is Road Tax FREE

This is where a lot of people are falling foul of the law – drivers of NIL-RATED low emission vehicles. Every vehicle that drives on the UK roads (with a few exceptions) needs to be taxed – even those that are Vehicle Tax exempt. MoneySavingExpert.com obtained some interesting facts under the freedom of information act from the DVLA. More than 34,000 drivers were issued with penalties for failing to “tax” their NIL RATED vehicles. It’s an interesting article and it can be found in full here – Warning – 34,000 fined last year for not taxing vehicles which are FREE to tax. The bottom line is – whether your vehicle is nil-rated or not – you MUST complete a vehicle tax application on the DOV.UK website (or atyour local Post Office)

Check Vehicle Tax status

Easy – use our vehicle tax checker found here or go direct to the GOV.UK website. In the days of Tax Discs it was easy – a quick glance at the Tax Disc on your windscreen and you knew if your Road Tax was in date or not. The phasing out of the tax disc has left a lot of motorists confused. The biggest group of confused drivers are those driving ZERO

Report an Untaxed Vehicle

It is a motoring offence to drive an untaxed vehicle on UK roads unless it is exempt from taxation. If you are aware of an untaxed vehicle being driven (or simply parked) on a UK road then you may report it to the authorities. Report an untaxed vehicle with this anonymous service. The matter will be investigated by the DVLA.

Affiliated Partners

HPI Check

HPI Check – HPI are the market leaders in vehicle history checks. They are all about giving used car buyers the right information at the right time when buying a used car, van or bike. By following HPI’s advice, doing an HPI Check, and buying prudently, the car buying experience should be as pain-free as possible.

MyCarCheck

Check before you buy – Buying a car is a big deal so buy with confidence. MyCarCheck.com can reveal a vehicle’s full history, enabling you to make a more informed decision. Discover a vehicle’s hidden history, if it’s been written off or stolen and much more …

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Cloned Registration Plates

An undeserved driving penalty arrives

A car owner receives a letter informing them that their car has been captured on CCTV driving over the Dartford bridge 5 times. The authority in charge is demanding the payment of a £100 fine. However, the driver hasn’t been anywhere near that area for 18 months. Something has gone wrong. The car owner needs to act quickly. Has the innocent car owner’s number plate been cloned? Is it in use on a similar vehicle?

ANPR fault or Cloned plates

For the example above – assuming the vehicle has genuinely not been near the Dartford tunnel the options are either:

  1. The ANPR system (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) has made a mistake. It does happen sometimes. However, it’s unlikely that the system has incorrectly associated someone else’s registration number to the SAME model of car as the innocent driver on multiple occassions.
  2. The Vehicle Registration number plate has been CLONED. Someone has fraudulently produced number plates that are a correct match for their vehicle make and model (or a model very similar). For example, the innocent driver has a Navy Blue Ford Fiesta registration ABC123Y. The fraudster either owns, or often rents, the same make & model. They then fit the cloned plates and driving arond committing their offences.

What to do if you’ve been Cloned

If you have been incorrectly identified as the driver committing a driving offence you will need to prove your innocence. Convince the authorities that your vehicle was NOT in the area concerned at the time of the offence. Maybe you were parked in a local car park with CCTV. Maybe you were using your vehicle for work in your area – miles from where the offence was committed. Collect as much evidence as you can to support your claim of innocence. Make the suggestion that your number plates must have been cloned.

If you believe your number plate has been cloned contact your local police authority and the DVLA.

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Avoid buying a Cloned Vehicle

As many as 1 in 3 cars have a hidden past. When buying a car for many thousands of £’s surely it’s just a matter of common sense to pay for a car data check to ensure the vehicle you are buying has nothing to hide. Popular car data checks will check to see if your car has ever been stolen, whether it has valid vehicle tax, obtain a full MOT history and much more. Please consider using one of the services offered by our affiliated partners below.

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Check before you buy – Buying a car is a big deal so buy with confidence. MyCarCheck.com can reveal a vehicle’s full history, enabling you to make a more informed decision. Discover a vehicle’s hidden history, if it’s been written off or stolen and much more …

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How do criminals get the plates made

When purchasing registration plates from a respectable source the company will ask for evidence the customer is the legal owner of the vehicle. A registered number plate supplier will ask to see evidence of the following

  1. Your personal identity eg. Driving Licence or Passport
  2. Your address eg. utility bill, bank statement
  3. Proof of vehicle ownership eg V5C or similar

The GOV.uk site can help you to identify your nearest registered number plate supplier – just enter your post code here (external link)

The criminals method

Criminals take advantage of unscrupulous individuals who bypass the system and manufacture the registration plates WITHOUT undertaking any of the checks detailed above. A recent (Sept 2018) BBC programme – Inside Out – tracked several such businesses and highlighted just how easy it is to get hold of illegall cloned number plates. For more details please see the BBC report on cloning number plates (external link)

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2018 – Top 4 MOT Failures

It’s that time of the year again and your car is due an MOT. If you’re not too sure when your vehicles MOT is due, please use the MOT checker here. As many as 40% of vehicles FAIL their MOT test on the first attempt (*1). MOT re-tests are generally free – but it’s time, hassle and inconvenience many drivers could avoid.

Any labour involved in refilling your washer water, changing a bulb or wiper blade will be charged at the garage’s regular rate. Also – you will be charged a premium for any parts required to get your car through the MOT

An obvious MOT failure

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Common Reasons for MOT Failure

Here’s the list of most common reasons for MOT failure and some guidelines to help get your car through the MOT. You may also find our MOT Self-Checks guide useful before booking your car in for it’s MOT test.

The data below has been compiled from the GOV.uk website’s data – an external link can be found at the bottom of this post. It’s quite amazing to see that nearly 1 in 5 cars fail an MOT due to a blown lightbulb or similar.

1) Lights & Signalling – approx 20%

This covers all aspects of illumination and signalling. Don’t forget to check the following

  • Brake lights
  • Indicators
  • Number plate light
  • Revering light
  • Headlights & sidelights

If your car has plastic lens covers check that they are not misted over – this will affect the efficiency of the headlights and may lead to a failure. Headlight cleaning kits are available from stores such as Halfords. If the lens cover is glass – check it for cracks and chips.

2) Suspension – approx 10-15%

If you do find something wrong with your suspension it’s worth getting it repaired BEFORE the MOT test. This way you have the opportunity to get a couple of quotes and get the best price. Suspension problems manifest themselves in various ways – sometimes subtle, other times very obvious. Knocking, clunking or banging – especially when turning a tight corner or driving over a speed bump or pothole – can be an indicator of a suspension problem.

Push and Bounce

The old way of checking a cars suspension – before the days of electronically controlled dampers etc – was to push down hard on each corner of the car. The desied result is for the car to dip down once, under pressure of the push, then return to the original position. The undesired result is for the car to bounce several times before settling ack down.

Get a Professional to check

If you think you may have an issue with your suspension, please get a professional mechanic at your local garage or auto-centre to check it out for you.

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3) Tyre Condition & Pressure – approx 10%

This is something most people can check themselves. Key points to look out for are :

  • Correct tyre pressures – refer to owners manual or sometimes inside the door pillars or petrol flap.
  • Check minimum tread depth. The minimum tread for a car is 1.6mm. Most modern tyres have a convenient tyre wear tread depth indicator strip. Look inside one of the deep treads running around the tyre and you should be able to locate a wear indicator – running at 90 degrees to the tread. If the main tread is at the same height – or lower – than the wear indicator the tyre will fail an MOT.
  • Look for obvious damage to the tyre such as cuts in the sidewall, bulges or even nails, tacks or similar stuck in the tread.

4) Brakes & Braking System – 10%

1 in 10 cars fail an MOT due to brake related issues. Similar to your car’s suspension, this is better left to a qualified mechanic. There are some basic things a driver can check themselves.

  • Does the car pull to one side when braking hard? If so, book it in to your local garage or auto-centre before the MOT.
  • Check brake fluid levels. Before booking your car in for an MOT check the level of brake fluid in the resevoir. There should be easily defined MAX and MIN levels on the side of the brake fluid resevoir. if you are having to top up the brake fluid regularly – then you should get the car looked at. It is NOT normal to have to top up brake fluid more than once a year or so – if that.

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Clamping cars with unpaid Vehicle Tax

A van clamped by DVLA for out of date car tax

Walking around my home town in Norfolk the other day I noticed 8 cars – all wheel clamped with UNPAID VEHICLE tax notices on their windscreens. These drivers have been caught with out of date car tax. It’s an offence to keep a vehicle on the UK roads without valid vehicle tax – or declaring SORN (statutory off road notice). Don’t join these drivers and face considerable fines. If you don’t know if your car has valid vehicle tax use the car tax checker (free).

Who Clamped these Cars?

Only the following authorised bodies can wheel clamp a vehicle – including:

  • the police
  • councils
  • DVLA
  • VOSA
  • bodies with statutory or other powers (e.g. airports or train stations)

What’s the penalty?

At the time of writing this post – the minimum release fee is £100 if settled within 24 hours. After 24 hours it goes up to £200. As well as the FINE the driver has to either buy vehicle tax or declare the vehicle SORN. If the car has been impounded the daily storage charge is £21 – in addition to the £100/£200 fine. More details can be found at the DVLA Notice Payment System (external link)

What happens if the fine is NOT paid?

Simply put, if a driver fails to pay the fine they will receive a letter informing them that their car will be sold / disposed unless all fees are paid. In addition to losing the vehicle, the owner could also be fined a further £1000

Get a Clamp Removed

How to ask the DVLA to remove your wheel clamp

What to do if your car’s Clamped

When a vehicle is clamped due to unpaid vehicle tax a sticker and leaflet should be left on your windscreen. The leaflet is an INF32 and it gives details fo the telephone number to call to have the wheel clamp removed. An example of an INF32 (pdf file) > inf_32-unpaid-vehicle-tax

What if it’s been impounded

If your vehicle has been removed and taken to a pound then you should follow these guidelines –

  1. find out where your vehicle is
  2. pay a release fee
  3. show confirmation or a receipt to prove you’ve paid your vehicle tax

If you don’t know where your car is – contact your local police station by calling 101 and asking for your local police. Alternatively call the NSL on 0843 224 1999 (up to 7p / minute plus connection fees on mobile)

More Information on clamp removal / vehicle recovery

To find out more about having a wheel clamp removed or recovering your car following removal please visit the DVLA – get a wheel clamp removed …

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