There are nearly half a million vehicles being driven on UK roads without VED, according to the latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures.
The data shows an estimated 498,000 vehicles in UK active stock were unlicensed, equating to 1.2% of all vehicles.
That’s down from the 1.9% non-compliance level in 2021 but significantly higher than the 0.6% figure recorded in 2013 prior to the abolition of tax paper discs in October 2014. The DfT said long-term trends of VED evasion had seen an increase from 2007, although comparisons between more recent years are not possible due to a change in the methodology used.
The estimated VED evasion rates in traffic varied across English regions, between 1.0% in the South East and 1.7% in the East of England. Across the rest of the UK, evasion rates were 1.2% in Wales and 1.3% in Scotland.
The data does not give a figure for the value of potential revenue loss from VED evasion, but the 2021 data estimated this at £119m.
Road safety charity IAM Roadsmart has warned of the road safety implications of vehicle tax evasion.
Nicholas Lyes, director of policy and standards, said:
It will be hugely frustrating to the overwhelming majority of tax-paying drivers that almost half-a-million others are not paying their way. Perhaps even more worrying is that a quarter of those that are dodging vehicle excise duty have been doing so for more than six months. Untaxed vehicles are sometimes linked to much wider criminality and this has implications for safety on our roads. While the trend is downwards, in large part due to the efforts of the DVLA’s enforcement teams, it is still higher than 10 years ago which was when the tax disc was abolished.