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  • FIRST POST
    • allan7710
    • By allan7710 12th Oct 17, 3:02 PM
    • 25Posts
    • 2Thanks
    allan7710
    Car tax fine
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:02 PM
    Car tax fine 12th Oct 17 at 3:02 PM
    Ok long story, my husbandís hobby is to restore old cars. He can have one for months and sometimes longer at a time were he painstakingly paints/polishes/refurbishes etc as he enjoys it. The car is kept in the garage or driveway and is SORNíd. Very occasionally due to lack of space in garage and as our driveway has a wall on each side, he has brought it out on the road in front of driveway to get better access while he does bits and pieces on it and then it goes back in driveway/garage (same day). Eventually when the car is fixed up he sells it and buys another to do it all again. It can be weeks in between him working on it, itís just a hobby and most of the time the car is out of sight in the garage. Last week he had a week off work and had the car out on 3 consecutive days on the roadside to work on it. The DVLA car tax enforcement team came and clamped it as it has no tax. I can only presume that a disgruntled neighbour has reported it as we are the last house in a cul d sac, so not like they would just be driving by. Anyway, my husband explained what he was doing but they didnít care. To get the car unclamped he would need to pay a release fee and also tax the car but the car is not motíd yet as he is still fixing it up so nowhere near being able to be driven around on the roads yet. However, they wonít let him pay the release fine and keep it on a SORN, we canít afford to pay the fine + tax on a car that is worth less than what that would cost. Therefore, they said the car would be uplifted and scrapped after 24hrs if we did not pay to have it released. We decided to cut our losses and just do that. However, the car has continued to sit outside my house clamped for 10 days (with no tax) which seems very contradictory considering my husband only had it out for mere hours! To top it off he has now had a letter from the DVLA saying he needs to pay a fine of £183 to them also due to the ĎNo Taxí offence. We donít really have the money for this either and feel it is so excessive considering the car was only outside the driveway for a few hours at a time over 3 days to get some bodywork done. Do we have any chance to argue against this? Just so you know, we do have a road worthy car which is taxed/insured this car really is just for his hobby. I appreciate that the car was on the road with no tax but at the time we didnít realise at that time bringing it out to do a bit of work on it and putting it back in the garage was an offence. My husband suffers with depression which he has been really poorly in the past, this hobby gives him a distraction and now since this has happened itís really set him back. Not only does he think a neighbour has got it in for him but is now stressing about the money itís going to cost us. Anyone got any advice? Thanks
Page 1
    • Inner Zone
    • By Inner Zone 12th Oct 17, 3:09 PM
    • 1,937 Posts
    • 1,059 Thanks
    Inner Zone
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:09 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:09 PM
    Ok long story, my husbandís hobby is to restore old cars. He can have one for months and sometimes longer at a time were he painstakingly paints/polishes/refurbishes etc as he enjoys it. The car is kept in the garage or driveway and is SORNíd. Very occasionally due to lack of space in garage and as our driveway has a wall on each side, he has brought it out on the road in front of driveway to get better access while he does bits and pieces on it and then it goes back in driveway/garage (same day). Eventually when the car is fixed up he sells it and buys another to do it all again. It can be weeks in between him working on it, itís just a hobby and most of the time the car is out of sight in the garage. Last week he had a week off work and had the car out on 3 consecutive days on the roadside to work on it. The DVLA car tax enforcement team came and clamped it as it has no tax. I can only presume that a disgruntled neighbour has reported it as we are the last house in a cul d sac, so not like they would just be driving by. Anyway, my husband explained what he was doing but they didnít care. To get the car unclamped he would need to pay a release fee and also tax the car but the car is not motíd yet as he is still fixing it up so nowhere near being able to be driven around on the roads yet. However, they wonít let him pay the release fine and keep it on a SORN, we canít afford to pay the fine + tax on a car that is worth less than what that would cost. Therefore, they said the car would be uplifted and scrapped after 24hrs if we did not pay to have it released. We decided to cut our losses and just do that. However, the car has continued to sit outside my house clamped for 10 days (with no tax) which seems very contradictory considering my husband only had it out for mere hours! To top it off he has now had a letter from the DVLA saying he needs to pay a fine of £183 to them also due to the ĎNo Taxí offence. We donít really have the money for this either and feel it is so excessive considering the car was only outside the driveway for a few hours at a time over 3 days to get some bodywork done. Do we have any chance to argue against this? Just so you know, we do have a road worthy car which is taxed/insured this car really is just for his hobby. I appreciate that the car was on the road with no tax but at the time we didnít realise at that time bringing it out to do a bit of work on it and putting it back in the garage was an offence. My husband suffers with depression which he has been really poorly in the past, this hobby gives him a distraction and now since this has happened itís really set him back. Not only does he think a neighbour has got it in for him but is now stressing about the money itís going to cost us. Anyone got any advice? Thanks
    Originally posted by allan7710
    https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/what-does-sorn-mean/

    "You can make a SORN under the following circumstances:

    If you intend to keep the vehicle in question on a driveway, in a garage, or on private land for a period of time. It cannot be parked on any kind of public road."
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 12th Oct 17, 3:14 PM
    • 1,188 Posts
    • 1,489 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:14 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:14 PM
    Sorry OP, it's quite clear cut and I'm afraid you'll just have to accept the consequences. There isn't a spirit versus letter of the law interpretation because quite simply it would lead to a free-for-all.
    • allan7710
    • By allan7710 12th Oct 17, 3:15 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    allan7710
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:15 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:15 PM
    https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/what-does-sorn-mean/

    "You can make a SORN under the following circumstances:

    If you intend to keep the vehicle in question on a driveway, in a garage, or on private land for a period of time. It cannot be parked on any kind of public road."
    Originally posted by Inner Zone
    Yes we are aware of that now, but was wondering if anyone has been successful in disputing a fine in a situation similar to this. I canít see what the justification of this amount of a fine for a car that was only on the side of the road for a few hours. It has spent longer on the roadside because of the clamping than it ever was because of my husband.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 12th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
    • 2,515 Posts
    • 2,698 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
    Allowing the car to be towed and crushed won't affect the costs you already owe, and can potentially add more in removal fees.

    There is the penalty for keeping an untaxed vehicle on the road (which you admit), and there is the additional issue of DVLA charging back tax ....

    There is also the issue of it not being allowed to work on cars on the roadway if it is for gain or reward (which if he is doing up to sell it arguably is) or if it gives annoyance to others in the vicinity (which it sounds like is also the case) ....Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, section 4
    • Inner Zone
    • By Inner Zone 12th Oct 17, 3:21 PM
    • 1,937 Posts
    • 1,059 Thanks
    Inner Zone
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:21 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:21 PM
    Yes we are aware of that now, but was wondering if anyone has been successful in disputing a fine in a situation similar to this. I can’t see what the justification of this amount of a fine for a car that was only on the side of the road for a few hours. It has spent longer on the roadside because of the clamping than it ever was because of my husband.
    Originally posted by allan7710
    But you or he had declared SORN, so either of you should have known that at that time and not after.

    Pay the fine and move on.
    • allan7710
    • By allan7710 12th Oct 17, 3:25 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    allan7710
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:25 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:25 PM
    Allowing the car to be towed and crushed won't affect the costs you already owe, and can potentially add more in removal fees.

    There is the penalty for keeping an untaxed vehicle on the road (which you admit), and there is the additional issue of DVLA charging back tax ....

    There is also the issue of it not being allowed to work on cars on the roadway if it is for gain or reward (which if he is doing up to sell it arguably is) or if it gives annoyance to others in the vicinity (which it sounds like is also the case) ....Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, section 4
    Originally posted by TonyMMM
    Ok, it looks like we will have to pay it.
    He never does make money, just recovers costs.
    Thanks for your reply though.
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 12th Oct 17, 3:28 PM
    • 915 Posts
    • 409 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:28 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:28 PM
    For them to clamp it I presume your OH wasn't working on it, and able to stop them?

    Working on that basis, you had an untaxed car on the road, unattended.

    Whilst it's not what you want to hear, you're bang to rights unfortunately.
    • allan7710
    • By allan7710 12th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    allan7710
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    For them to clamp it I presume your OH wasn't working on it, and able to stop them?

    Working on that basis, you had an untaxed car on the road, unattended.

    Whilst it's not what you want to hear, you're bang to rights unfortunately.
    Originally posted by paddyandstumpy
    No, he was outside with the car at the time.
    It does seem we have no option but to pay.
    Just frustrating as the car was only £100, so he is losing the car and this fine. Our lesson has been learned.
    Thanks
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 12th Oct 17, 3:31 PM
    • 1,188 Posts
    • 1,489 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    I canít see what the justification of this amount of a fine for a car that was only on the side of the road for a few hours. It has spent longer on the roadside because of the clamping than it ever was because of my husband.
    Originally posted by allan7710
    The justification is that it is both a punishment and a deterrent. If the fine was a proportion of the annual tax appropriate to the time the car spent on the road, it would be pennies. Would that be a deterrent? Probably not. Your husband knew the rules because he SORN'd the car yet still took a risk and it backfired. I presume he won't repeat the same mistake so therefore the fine has acted as a successful deterrent.

    It's a lost cause I'm afraid.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Oct 17, 3:41 PM
    • 15,675 Posts
    • 13,993 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Everything else is secondary. The only important thing here is that there was a SORNed car spotted on the road by a DVLA enforcement team, who clamped it. Bingo. Job jobbed. No excuses, no get-outs. He was caught red-handed. You say it was un-MOTd, and not capable of passing one (so unroadworthy?) - I presume it was also uninsured? At least tell us he pushed it onto the road, rather than moving it under its own power...

    The legislation around SORN has not changed - except that it no longer expires annually - since it was introduced 20 years ago next year. If your husband is indeed somebody who restores old cars for resale, then he really should have known this. But ignorance of the law is rarely an excuse, and it certainly isn't here.

    BTW, there may also be a strong argument that he's trading, if ever a buyer has an issue with a vehicle. The fact he isn't doing so profitably is irrelevant, but the fact he gets through several a year, buying and "restoring" for resale is very relevant - have a google for HMRC's "badges of trade". I'd imagine the local authority are also going to be rather irate when they find out that somebody is working semi-commercially with facilities so limited that he needs to put untaxed, uninsured, untested, unroadworthy vehicles onto the public road. That's before we consider the environmental health aspects - I'm presuming he's spraying...? What sort of paint?

    TBH, if this stops here, he's got off VERY lightly. Take this opportunity to pause and think.
    Last edited by AdrianC; 12-10-2017 at 3:43 PM.
    • trigger fish
    • By trigger fish 12th Oct 17, 4:00 PM
    • 466 Posts
    • 369 Thanks
    trigger fish
    Sorry OP but bang to rights on that.

    In your final sentence you remark that your husband thinks that a neighbour has it in for him.

    Really? It seems a long stretch to suggest that someone has been on the phone and within an hour or so DVLA turn up.

    It also seems a very long stretch to believe that DVLA turned up by chance.

    If he truly believes that he has been reported then he's going to have to stop because it could easily happen again.

    As another poster has typed the car is also uninsured and not tested and all that can add up including penalty points for the lack of insurance though it would seem to me to be a harsh sanction in this circumstance.
    • allan7710
    • By allan7710 12th Oct 17, 4:25 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    allan7710
    Everything else is secondary. The only important thing here is that there was a SORNed car spotted on the road by a DVLA enforcement team, who clamped it. Bingo. Job jobbed. No excuses, no get-outs. He was caught red-handed. You say it was un-MOTd, and not capable of passing one (so unroadworthy?) - I presume it was also uninsured? At least tell us he pushed it onto the road, rather than moving it under its own power...

    The legislation around SORN has not changed - except that it no longer expires annually - since it was introduced 20 years ago next year. If your husband is indeed somebody who restores old cars for resale, then he really should have known this. But ignorance of the law is rarely an excuse, and it certainly isn't here.

    BTW, there may also be a strong argument that he's trading, if ever a buyer has an issue with a vehicle. The fact he isn't doing so profitably is irrelevant, but the fact he gets through several a year, buying and "restoring" for resale is very relevant - have a google for HMRC's "badges of trade". I'd imagine the local authority are also going to be rather irate when they find out that somebody is working semi-commercially with facilities so limited that he needs to put untaxed, uninsured, untested, unroadworthy vehicles onto the public road. That's before we consider the environmental health aspects - I'm presuming he's spraying...? What sort of paint?

    TBH, if this stops here, he's got off VERY lightly. Take this opportunity to pause and think.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Thank you for your reply.
    Yes, as per other replies I see that there is no option but to pay the fine.

    However, it is a bit of a leap to call someone who enjoys tinkering with cars a trader, it really is a hobby and he could have the same car fixing it up slowly for well over a year before either selling it or driving it himself. In the last 5 years he has had 3 cars. As for painting, I meant it in the loosest of terms, as in a small chipped area etc using a touch up pen (not actually something this car has had) not a whole respray of a car. I just referred to it in the sense that he really enjoys working on cars and puts a lot of effort into even the smallest of details.

    I feel like you are trying to blow this out of proportion, for what gain I donít know. He made a mistake bringing it out to the front of the driveway to have a bit more space to get round it and polish buff it. He made a mistake as he presumed this was still classed as private land as at the front of our house. We obviously know now he was wrong so no need to repeat yourself. I only asked for advice on whether we could dispute the fine as I know, and he knows, that he wasnt trying to tax dodge, the car just wasnít ready for being put on the road yet. That does not mean it was a health hazard, rust bucket either. Itís an expensive hobby and as my husband enjoys fixing up cars he takes his time with them.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Oct 17, 4:29 PM
    • 15,675 Posts
    • 13,993 Thanks
    AdrianC
    As another poster has typed the car is also uninsured and not tested and all that can add up including penalty points for the lack of insurance though it would seem to me to be a harsh sanction in this circumstance.
    Originally posted by trigger fish
    Right up to the point where the shonky handbrake lets it roll away, which of course it does just as the husband's gone to get some tools - and it takes your garden wall down on the way into the side of your car.
    • trigger fish
    • By trigger fish 12th Oct 17, 4:37 PM
    • 466 Posts
    • 369 Thanks
    trigger fish
    Right up to the point where the shonky handbrake lets it roll away, which of course it does just as the husband's gone to get some tools - and it takes your garden wall down on the way into the side of your car.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    I've seen it happen more than once.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Oct 17, 4:41 PM
    • 15,675 Posts
    • 13,993 Thanks
    AdrianC
    However, it is a bit of a leap to call someone who enjoys tinkering with cars a trader, it really is a hobby and he could have the same car fixing it up slowly for well over a year before either selling it or driving it himself.
    Originally posted by allan7710
    You said he bought them with the intention of improving them, and then selling them on. You said he got through several a year sometimes.

    That's a fairly solid definition of somebody trading. Like I said - the key test is not what your husband thinks or how he wants to spin it or whether he's profitable - but the view which a court would take if it ever came to it. If a buyer had an issue, or if the local authority became aware of his activities.

    As for painting, I meant it in the loosest of terms, as in a small chipped area etc using a touch up pen (not actually something this car has had) not a whole respray of a car.
    OK, we clearly have different views of the word "restoration".

    I feel like you are trying to blow this out of proportion, for what gain I donít know.
    To make you aware of the potential pitfalls that you're facing. If you wish to deny them, feel free. No skin off my nose...

    That does not mean it was a health hazard, rust bucket either.
    Was the car insured?
    Did he move it under its own power?
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 12th Oct 17, 4:54 PM
    • 3,010 Posts
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    AndyPix
    One word of advice ...




    Paragraph
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 12th Oct 17, 5:11 PM
    • 2,452 Posts
    • 1,594 Thanks
    Car 54

    As another poster has typed the car is also uninsured and not tested and all that can add up including penalty points for the lack of insurance though it would seem to me to be a harsh sanction in this circumstance.
    Originally posted by trigger fish
    Harsh, but mandatory.
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 12th Oct 17, 6:19 PM
    • 13,189 Posts
    • 8,357 Thanks
    arcon5
    Dvla do do the rounds it seems.
    Our estate has just had 5 clamped at weekend for no tax.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 12th Oct 17, 6:31 PM
    • 757 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    sevenhills
    The DVLA car tax enforcement team came and clamped it as it has no tax.
    Originally posted by allan7710
    Since we dont display tax discs anymore; in order for your neighbour to report it they would need the registration number and to check it online.
    But they would not know it was untaxed, so that does not add up, with your version of the facts.

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