A new campaign by the DVLA is warning drivers that they have nowhere to hide if they don’t tax their vehicle.

The targeted campaign is focusing on some of the areas in the country with the highest number of offenders, warning them that they face everything from fines to losing their cars if caught.

Among the areas picked out for attention are London, Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, which between them saw nearly 317,000 enforcement actions related to unpaid vehicle excise duty in 2018.

The campaign is focusing on the 11 areas with the highest number of untaxed vehicles last year. In total, 67,048 vehicles were clamped across those regions and 397,494 fines or penalties were issued for vehicle tax evasion.

Driving without the correct tax carries a maximum fine of £1,000 if the case goes to court, although offenders are first sent an automated letter and a fine of £80.

The DVLA can also clamp untaxed cars or impound.

If you car is clamped you will have to pay a release fee of £100 and either prove it is now taxed or pay a surety fee of £160. If the release fee is not paid within 24 hours the DVLA will impound the vehicle and the fee rises to £200. There is also a storage charge of £21 per day.

DVLA head of enforcement Tim Burton said: “This campaign has a clear message for anyone who flouts the law in this way – tax it or lose it. “It’s never been easier to tax your car, so there really is no excuse. We would rather not have to clamp or remove vehicles, but this campaign highlights the consequences of not taxing a vehicle. Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient – and you could end up losing your car.”

AreaClampedFines or PenaltiesTotals
London27,60594,550122,155
Northern Ireland5,51667,94473,460
Birmingham5,07650,04555,121
Manchester7,57326,21433,787
Glasgow2,66629,70532,371
Sheffield3,98725,29129,278
Cardiff3,02124,59827,619
Nottingham3,50721,34624,853
Bristol3,49620,41223,908
Leicester3,34419,19622,540
Coventry1,25718,19319,450