A press and radio campaign by D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles informs
motorists about the Department of Transport’s new set of powers to
punish vehicle-tax dodgers with wheel clamps.
A series of full-page colour ads carries the line, ‘You can now be
locked up for dodging your road tax’, along with a picture of a clamped
Clamping teams are now patrolling London to seek out cars that are not
displaying their tax discs and fit them with a ‘Denver Boot’.
Chris Abbott, the account supervisor at DMB&B, said: ‘This is a
heavyweight campaign, designed to force the message home.’
John Watts, the Transport Minister, added: ‘Drivers who do not tax their
vehicles will now find it is more trouble than it is worth.’ New powers
from this Wednesday allow the DoT to wheel-clamp cars, and then charge
pounds 68 to unlock the clamp. The initiative will kick off in London
then roll out nationally.
Once a vehicle has been impounded, the cost increases to pounds 135 plus
pounds 12 storage charges per day. If a licence cannot be produced at
the time, it will cost the offender a further pounds 100, which is
refundable, if the licence is produced within 14 days.
Failure to pay up or reclaim a clamped vehicle could mean the car is
scrapped. Watts claimed that vehicle tax evasion costs the taxpayer more
than pounds 163 million a year.
In the past, vehicle tax dodgers could be fined up to pounds 1,000, and
anti-tax dodger campaigns could only run locally, using work devised in
co-operation with local police forces. Now the DoT is announcing its new
powers with a high-profile campaign, weighted towards the London area.