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Extortion Kafka-style

By ATWadmin On November 17th, 2006

kafka.jpgI am currently locked in a Kafkaesque battle with the DVLA over a car that I used to own, that was scrapped. The DVLA refunded the road tax remaining on the vehicle, and then some weeks later issued me with a penalty notice for not taxing the vehicle. The telephone number on the letter went to a recorded message explaining that individual cases could not be discussed, then it cut dead. I wrote to them explaining where and when the car was scrapped, to no avail. I am now investigating with the scrap yard and the car dealer who took it there, to try and establish what went wrong. 

I have fallen foul of one of the (venal, stupid, medacious) Labour Government’s “guilty cos we say so” laws. All they need to do is “lose” the paperwork, and issue a fine, knowing that the victim will most likely pay up. I still have a residual desire to stick within the Law, as this is how I was brought up, but the truth is these days you’re better off not giving a damn.  If I’d torched the old car and reported it stolen, I’d have saved myself a lot of trouble.


6 Responses to “Extortion Kafka-style”

  1. Richard,

    My sympathies to you on this.

    I had similar problems about 6 months ago. The dealer assured us he would forward the forms and in any case, he was going to reclaim the refund on the tax as he was selling the car onto the south.

    Sure enough, we got the same letter as you etc. etc.
    The DVLNI staff were extremely rude over the phone and more or less insisted that we pay the fine.

    In the end, a letter from the dealer and one from us resolved the situation. I am convinced that the dealer did send the form on, and our glorius DVLNI lost it – as I’m sure the form went in at the same time as the reclaim for duty on the vehicle.

    Anyway – we got one of those "This matter is now closed" – Not a whit of an apology for what was their fault.

  2. is it not possible either the scrap merchant or car dealer is up to no good?

    just saying mind. im fully aware that the public sector is capable of cocking such things up, but neither of the above trades could be considered wholly honourable either.

  3. DT,

    I really don’t think they are in this case. One of the problems the DVLA has caused is that the whole log book has to go with the car if it’s being scrapped. From that point you, as the owner, are dragged into complications that seem designed to generate fine revenue.

  4. Richard

    "I am now investigating with the scrap yard and the car dealer who took it there, to try and establish what went wrong."

    Please don’t shoot the messenger!I’m about to tell you something that is written in law that you may not want to hear, but I guarantee that it’s true. You, and you alone, have strict liability for that car.(If the car dealer/scrapper didn’t send the V5 form to register his ownership then the car is still yours and still your responsibility) As the cars owner you must know EXACTLY what happened to your car, up to and including its ALLEGED scrapping. I say alleged because unless you saw it scrapped in person then it’s hearsay. But if you’ve sent the bit of the V5 that says it has been scrapped, or ownnership has changed, and you can prove it, then this amounts to harassment by the DVLA.

    Assuming you didn’t this time, in future always ensure you yourself fill in and send (registered post) the V5 form when ownership of your car is transferred rather than handing the V5 over on "faith" that the new owner will do it.

    Still this is a lousy situation for you as I know the DVLA and the DVLNI tend to wade straight in with threats before ascertaining any facts!

  5. SBK,

    I won’t shoot the messenger, but the car can’t be scrapped without the logbook, therefore I had to hand the logbook over to get the car taken away, therefore I can’t send it in, and I did inform the DVLA as otherwise they wouldn’t have refunded the tax, which now they say I owe for a vehicle that doesn’t exist.

    I’m not saying that they aren’t able to show the rules they say I’ve broken, I’m saying the rules are made on purpose to generate fine revenue.

  6. Richard

    They don’t want you to pay your road tax. They want you to pay the £1000 fine and THEN pay your road tax. The car can’t be scrapped without the logbook, yes, but you can fill in the form in front of the scrapper to transfer ownership and then he can watch you post it yourself. It protects everybody i.e. you know the car is no longer your responsibility and the scrapper knows he isn’t going to be accused of stealing your car.