Thousands of unregistered foreign cars are costing millions of pounds in tax because government agencies are failing to work together to force drivers to register their vehicles, the RAC has said.
Around 15,000 foreign cars, worth around £3m per year in tax, go unregistered with the DVLA, the RAC said. About 60,000 foreign cars are registered with the agency.
Current rules say that foreign vehicles must be registered with the DVLA if they have been in the UK for six months. They must then be taxed, insured and have an MOT.
But the UK Border Force has been slow to pass information about vehicles entering the country on to the DVLA, the RAC says.
“Given the prevalence of technology such as automatic number plate recognition, it is beyond belief that in the 21st century two important government agencies — namely the UK Border Force and DVLA — are not already sharing information,” said Pete Williams, the RAC’s head of external affairs.
"We understand that DVLA, the UK Border Force and the police are looking at how data can be used to identify foreign-registered vehicles that have been in the UK for longer than six months, so we urge the government to make finding an effective solution a high priority."
The government is looking to respond the problem soon, according to a spokesperson. Departments are said to be working together to improve information flow between the different agencies.