Untaxed cars to be wheel-clamped

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Indy Politics
Teams of wheel-clampers began touring parts of west London yesterday to immobilise cars not displaying a valid tax disc.

In an effort to claw back some of the pounds 163m lost each year as a result of the vehicle tax dodgers, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has launched a campaign to clamp unlicensed vehicles in the London boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Brent, Westminster, Wandsworth and Hammersmith & Fulham. The campaign could be extended to other parts of Britain once its results have been assessed.

Drivers will have to pay pounds 68 to have the clamp removed and a valid tax disc will have to be shown before the car can be recovered. If one cannot be produced, a further pounds 100 deposit will have to be paid and forfeited if a valid tax disc is not produced within two weeks.

The enforcement teams will patrol streets seeking out and clamping unlicensed cars that have been spotted by traffic wardens or police officers.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "The idea is that before a vehicle is clamped, the authority will check with the DVLC in Swansea to ensure that it's not just a matter of the disc having fallen off or been mislaid.

"It's only persistent offenders or those with vehicles untaxed for several weeks who will be clamped. We don't want honest motorists to be clamped."

Vehicles will be towed away and impounded if not claimed within 24 hours. The release fee then increases to pounds 135 and there will be storage charges of pounds 12 for each day the vehicle is in the pound.

Even then, a valid tax disc or pounds 100 deposit will still be required. In addition, owners of unlicensed vehicles face the prospect of a prosecution.