Driver fined for missing tax disc - even though they no longer exist

Phil Haste

A Torquay driver is furious to have been fined for failing to display a valid tax disc - even though this stopped being a legal requirement six months ago.

Business owner Phil Haste was also accused of not showing a valid pay-and-display parking ticket, even though he had a valid parking permit on his dashboard.

The 60-year-old yacht broker is now refusing to pay the £50 fine.

"It's diabolical. The council employ these people to do a job for them and it's clearly not being presented clearly. They are obviously just trying to grab money where they can," Mr Haste tells the Torquay Herald Express.

"When I renewed my tax, I was told they wouldn't be sending me a paper disc because I didn't need one any more. I don't understand why I got this fine, it's beyond reason."

Torbay Council tells the Daily Mail that it isn't even its policy to fine drivers for road tax offences and that the ticket was a mistake. Mr Haste should appeal, it says.

The ticket issued to Mr Haste

But this latest episode highlights the minefield that car tax has become since the government abolished paper tax discs on October 1 last year.

While people selling used cars could previously pass them on taxed and insured, this is no longer the case. Instead, the seller must reclaim any unused months, with buyers forced to tax their new cars from scratch.

The DVLA says that people should be aware of the new rules - but plenty aren't, and many drivers say they haven't received warning letters until after their cars have been clamped.

Indeed, an investigation by the Guardian recently found that thousands of drivers are falling foul of the new rules and being fined as much as £800 as a result. Before the changes, the DVLA was clamping about 5,000 vehicles a month - but this has now rocketed to more than 8,000.

There's also anger about the amount of money the DVLA is making from cars that are effectively taxed twice. The seller of the car can only claim for any full months of tax that remain unused, while the buyer has to start paying on the same day - making the DVLA as much as £40 each time.

Read more on AOL Money:

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