Dvla Tax Error

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The Vortex | 15:12 Wed 01st Apr 2015 | Motoring
19 Answers
Hello good people of the internet,

my fiancee and I have come across a serious issue with the DVLA. She tried to tax her car yesterday at the post office and online but it turned out that her car has been registered as off the road despite neither of us sending a SORN to the DVLA nor do the DVLA have any evidence that the car has been registered as such. Both instances of renewing the tax where fruitless - A renew letter from the DVLA had not been sent (V11) and the V5C does not register on their system either despite being 100% correct. As a result, we have been driving an untaxed car without any notice or explanation as to how or why. The only thing that we received was an £80 cheque from HMRC and DVLA that she thought was owed back with no reason as to what it was.

We both phoned the DVLA and she has sent off for the car to be taxed which should take up to 10 days to process - 10 days that we'll be without a car that we need. When I phoned, the guy on the other side explained that because there is no evidence to support a SORN has been submitted he put it down to an technical error. This has put us in a fairly bad position as we can't use the car to get work; it's a necessity for my fiancee at least.

We are fairly confident that this is not our fault so I'm asking how would we go about claiming compensation to make up for all the buses, trains, hire cars, etc we need to continue living and working and whether we have any weight to our complaint? I hardly feel it necessary that we front the bill for a £300-strong hire car especially if we have done nothing wrong. Why should we be out of pocket for something didn't do

Thanks in advance. Feel free to reply questions if this all seems too vague and I'll try my best to fill in the blanks.


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It looks to me like they have lost the details of your car. A computer fault most probably. I still would continue to drive it. No court would support a prosecution for no tax under the circumstances. You are not at fault, the DVLA have to accept blame.
22:35 Wed 01st Apr 2015
I would just use the car anyway. You have sent off the tax and the DVLC admit that the SORN was as error. They can't say it is untaxed.
You have no chance at all of getting compensation for not being able to use it.
Surely receiving a cheque from the DVLA means it's not taxed?
I agree with Eddie51.
ummmm they have sent the tax payment off again and phoned the DVLC to explain the situation.
You will have no chance of obtaining compensation from the DVLA - if you choose to hire a car while yours is off the road, then that is a choice, and not eligible for compensation.

The only slim chance you may have is if you can prove that you have to have 24/7 access to a vehicle, for medical emergency for example, and even then, the chances are virtually nil.

Government departments don't do compensation - I'm afraid it's as simple as that.
Can you not tax a car at the Post Office these days?
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@EDDIE51 The DVLA would argue that we are now aware that the car is untaxed. They have opened an investigation into the matter because we have not sent anything to them that has registered the car off the road and they don't have any proof of that. Yes, for four months, we had been driving it without tax and the DVLA advised us not to now that we are aware. Our argument would be had we been caught in that four months, that we knew nothing of the matter. We don't have that privilege now
Yes...but DVLA sent a cheque back without them querying why.
put the reg no in here and see if it is SORN
If You have driven round for 4 months and not been pulled over by the police I do not see how it could have been showing as SORN. If it was, the first police car you passed would have flagged the car up as SORN on it's NPRS and pulled you over.
you say she tried taxing it yesterday with no reminder. were you trying to tax it on 31-3 to start on 1/-3 or 1-4 i was wondering if you can tax it to start next month (even though only 1 day) without reminder,at P/O or online. i taxed mine today at P/O after being sorn since 2012 without a problem. on 1-4 to start 1-4
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@EDDIE51 Yep, tried entering the reg and the make but it keeps coming up with 'Vehicle details could not be found as it has not been possible to locate the vehicle details, your enquiry cannot proceed and has been cancelled' even though it was taxed fine last year. As within regards whether the car is SORN or not, the DVLA chap said that the car status was 'currently off the road and because it had no tax to its name, it advisable to not drive it.' I'm no expert on the matter so maybe this could be cleared up but we all thought this meant it had been SORN unless there is another meaning behind the term ' being notified as being "Off the Road"'

@Paul1763 Yes, the idea was to tax it from 1 April 15 to 1 April 16. We bought this up with DVLA and because of it being classified as off the road, a reminder had not been sent
It looks to me like they have lost the details of your car. A computer fault most probably. I still would continue to drive it. No court would support a prosecution for no tax under the circumstances. You are not at fault, the DVLA have to accept blame.
i obviously didn't have a reminder to re-tax mine as it had been off the road for the last 3 years so i just took the log book to the P/O for them to scan and was given tax without a problem.
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Just got off the phone to the DVLA (again). They have said that we have done all that we can at the moment; we just have to be patient. I will now add 'people who work on DVLA's phones' to my blacklist of people who should care but don't. Thanks for all your advice and if anything else comes up, I won't hesitate to ask you friendly people.
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If you've sent off the money to tax it I would continue to drive. Before tax discs were abolished people would stick a note on the windscreen saying 'Tax in post'.
My car was showing no vehicle details when I went to renew on line. After a phone call apparently I had the wrong colour of v11. I should have had a red one. After I told them I only had the original one from 10 years ago they sent a new one which has a different number. Quick enough to take the money over the phone though.
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@Naval Neither me or my fiancee were rude or angry at the operator but he did have a very obtuse attitude to the situation. He asked if we had our documents so we could do it over the phone but another operator told my fiancee that she had to send the documents to verify it in person to which he abruptly remarked 'you should have kept them so we could have done them now' whereas the lady my fiancee spoke to the other day told her that it could not be done over the phone otherwise she would have done it there and then. It's not the fact that we're not cutting them slack, it's the fact that on more than one occasion, none of them have been particularly helpful to our situation nor have they done anything more on this urgent matter.

Our biggest issue now is the fact that we have done everything in our power and they aren't budging or letting on how much work has been done to resolve this issue. We have used every option we can think which is why we are asking for as much advice as humanly possible. Forget the 'claiming compensation' aspect; I apologise if I am negative towards those who are manning the phones at the DVLA but they have been anything but helpful to someone who desperately needs help

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