July 23 2014 Latest news:
Kath Sansom, .
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
A campaign to clamp down on foreign registered vehicles that have been in the UK for longer than the legal limit of six months is being flagged up by North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay.
The Department for Transport’s figures show that only four out of an estimated 15,000 foreign vehicles using Britain’s roads illegally were caught last year and none were prosecuted, Mr Barclay said.
Drivers of illegal vehicles are avoiding paying for the right to use our roads and are costing the taxpayer around £3 million a year in lost revenue, he added.
“I would like to see a pilot exercise, currently under discussion, introduced as a matter of urgency to start tackling the issue.
“Foreign registered vehicles can be brought into the country temporarily and used for up to six months but after that time owners need to pay a registration fee, road tax and, if the vehicle is more than three years old, have a valid MOT.”
While there are figures suggesting around 15,000 vehicles are flouting the rules, the DVLA is unable to act because they cannot track these vehicles and don’t even have a precise number of how many are actually in the UK, he said.
“I recently raised the issue in the House of Commons and asked the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress the DVLA has made with the UK Border Force and the police on how data can be used to identify foreign registered vehicles that have been in the UK for longer than six months.
“Stephen Hammond explained that the DVLA is working with the police about a possible pilot exercise. I would like to see this scheme introduced as soon as possible.
“It would involve the police linking their own intelligence with DVLA data to target vehicles which have stayed for more than six months, subsequently taking enforcement action.”
The vehicles are untested, which means they could potentially be unsafe, and are being driven illegally as the drivers do not have the necessary documents to allow them onto our roads.
“It is not fair on other motorists who pay the full costs to drive on our roads and I think it is only right that tougher action is taken on illegal foreign vehicles,” he said.