"A snail ate my tax disc"

Autumn statement 2013

As excuses go, it's fairly original. A garage in Yeovil was tasked with picking up a broken-down van. While the garage owner was collecting it, he noticed that it was carrying a yellow penalty notice - issuing a £100 fine for not having a tax disc on display. In challenging the fine, the garage owner was forced to call on the bizarre excuse that a snail had eaten the tax disc.

So is this the strangest motoring excuse ever?
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According to the Daily Mail, garage owner Jon Roles and his father Steve, wrote to appeal against the fine. They included a photograph of the snail next to the shredded disc - it apparently died shortly after its expensive meal.

The Mirror reported that police responded with a letter saying: "After consideration of all the facts I have decided to excuse payment of the fixed penalty. Please feel free to interrogate the offender, preferably with a teaspoon of salt."

Excuses

So how does this compare to other motoring excuses? The DVLA recently released a list of the most unusual reasons drivers have given for failing to buy a tax disc. These included:
  • My accountant told me I'm due a tax rebate so I didn't think I needed to pay again this year.
  • I was on my way to the Post Office to tax the car and called into the betting shop - there was a horse running at Doncaster called 'Don't Do It' so I bet on that with my car tax money instead - it lost.
  • My mate said that if the cost of the tax is more than what the car is worth you haven't got to pay it - it's not, so I didn't.
  • I fell out of a tree picking plums and broke both my arms.
  • I took too much Viagra and couldn't leave the house.
  • I'd forgotten the motorbike was in my garage - it was hidden behind the BBQ so it's not my fault.
  • I had man flu and couldn't go to the Post Office.
  • I've been out of the country for four months and I forgot where I parked my car.
  • My dog ate the reminder.
  • My reminder on my phone didn't work so it's not my fault

It seems that a snail eating the disc deserves a rightful place on this particular list.

Other creative motorists

With George Osborne announcing the demise in the paper tax disc in the Autumn Statement, we are about to be deprived of amusing incidents like this.

But fear not, because there is still a plethora of other motoring mistakes for people to base their ridiculous excuses on. Admiral recently asked drivers about times when they nearly crashed, and discovered a host of new ways to blame the passengers. They included:
  • A wasp entered the car, my girlfriend flipped out and caused a big scene and I crashed into the kerb
  • Drunk and loud friends were distracting me by talking and singing
  • I got drowsy because my passenger insisted on having the heater turned up full
  • My ex wife slapped me in the face whilst I was driving at speed on the M5
  • My mate poked me in the eye whilst I was driving on a roundabout. I could not see a thing and had to stop
  • My mother held her arm right in front of my eyes in order to show me where to turn
  • My partner tried to force me to change lanes even though a car was about to overtake. He leaned over and tried to take the steering wheel to steer the car into the outside lane
  • My sister, a non driver, leant across me to beep my horn and wave out of my window at a friend
  • Passenger pulled up the handbrake
  • Someone asked for a lighter in the back and I accidentally shunted the car in front.
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