Drivers face fines for buying used cars this weekend
Motorists in the market for a second-hand car are being warned over the prospect of £1,000 fines if they buy this weekend.
The bizarre advice comes after the DVLA announced its website will be down from 3pm on Friday 17 August until 6am on Monday 20 August for essential systems maintenance.
The shutdown means anyone buying a used vehicle won’t be able to tax it immediately, putting them at risk of driving illegally.
Under rules introduced back in 2014, car tax is non-transferable and now relates to the car’s owner, not the vehicle itself.
This means that second-hand buyers need to tax their newly-bought motors before they drive them away, even if the previous owner still has valid tax for the vehicle.
But with the DVLA’s site down, drivers have no way of legally driving their new car home.
This means that drivers face a choice of either delaying the purchase until Monday, or pay out for a month’s tax before the sale completes.
On announcing the closure, the DVLA warned motorists that if they buy a car this weekend they will not be able to tax it until 6am on Monday 20 August, and that is against the law to drive an untaxed vehicle on the road.
Under the current law, motorists caught driving without tax will get hit with an £80 fine, which can be reduced to £40 if paid within 28 days. However, should the fine go unpaid and end up in court, motorists can face a fine of up to £1,000.
Since its introduction, new non-transferable tax has attracted criticism from drivers claiming the Government is making millions through ‘double taxation’ of both new and previous owners.