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Payment of DVLA release fee after impoundment

I recently purchased my father's old car, a Peugeot 206, in April. The new V5 document came through after 8 weeks waiting and several chase calls. It did not contain any notification about the new rules for taxing the car.

Last week, I received two letters, one from the DVLA stating that the tax had expired and that I must renew immediately and pay a fine of £188 to avoid court action. And a second saying that the agency had ordered a company to immobilise and then impound my car with a release fee of £200 and a further £105 for storage up to that date.

I was shocked at this as was unaware of the rule changes and no-one had thought to inform me of this when my V5 came through.

Upon picking up my car from the impound yard, it transpires that they mistakenly charged my card £3.05 instead of £305. Having paid £99 for 6 months tax and a £188 fine, and not withstanding I think this unfair without reasonably trying to inform people of the rule change, am I still liable for this balance of the £305 even though my car was released and the agency have admitted it was their fault but now want paying?

Asked on 1 July 2015 by Joshy

Answered by Honest John
You are right that the stupid new rules about transfer of ownership and re-taxing cars is unclear and is definitely a trap for the unwary. But (I guess) despite a tax disc being on the screen of the car, you are still liable for the consequences of not knowing the new system.
Tags: dvla v5c owning
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