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Driving fine - advice needed

(17 Posts)
Love2014 Mon 11-Apr-16 18:13:58

Hi, I Bourght the car at the end of sept 2015 After my previous car was stolen after a break in in August to our home. I have been sent court papers for not paying road tax After being spotted driving at the end of November. I'm really upset as I still have the email confirmations from DVLA to say the tax DD was set up on the vehicle. They have said they sent me a letter at the end of November after the car had been spotted but at the same time I was going through a medical miscarriage after we were told at our scan the baby had stopped developing. I do remember getting the letter but I put it to one side, I didn't have the energy to deal with it and argue with them about the DD at the time. My D/D went through in January when I was going to deal with it so I thought all okay and didn't hear anything else till now getting court papers. I was in a bit of a state as so much had happened with the break in and most of all the trauma of losing the baby. I got in a real state and couldn't cope at work and handed in my notice. I have actually only just started to feel like me again over the last week or so. But now getting these court papers it's just set me back, I just trying to stop myself from being so stupid as not to deal with it when I got the letter but I was so down. I just don't want to now have a criminal record on top of everything else when I'm normally a law abiding citizen it has just been a mistake. My question is do you think it's worth calling the magistrates and seeing if they will give me more time to explain to DVLA and see if I can sort it out with just a fine ? Please help.. I just really need a bit of a break and my luck to change if the D/D had gone through I wouldn't be in this place, if the scan had gone okay I would have replied to the letter. I have proof letter from hospital and letter from police about break in etc all pretty much after each other. Our house was totally ransacked whilst we were on holiday and our car got stolen. I'm just down and don't know what to do I just want to start moving forward. Thanks for any advice

zombiesarecoming Mon 11-Apr-16 22:10:41

I think in your position I would turn up at court with the email from taxing the car saying that DD was set up and you then assumed that money was going out monthly to cover the tax as it should do

Due to other things going on you forgot to check it but as the nature of Direct Debit allows them to vary the amount you didn't worry because if it didn't set up in time you assumed it would just take a slightly greater amount to even out over the payment period

If you taxed the car from X date then it should be taxed from X date regardless of when they decide to instruct the bank to collect there payments for them, just because they don't collect on time doesn't mean you decided to tax it from a later date just that they didn't collect

I would maybe call the magistrates court and see if anyone can offer advice but think you will get a much better outcome from a sympathetic magistrate if you turn up prepared with proof you taxed it and it is a DVLA system fault or failure that has led to them wasting everyone's time taking you to court than you will trying to talk to the brick wall that is the DVLA

zombiesarecoming Mon 11-Apr-16 22:10:44

I think in your position I would turn up at court with the email from taxing the car saying that DD was set up and you then assumed that money was going out monthly to cover the tax as it should do

Due to other things going on you forgot to check it but as the nature of Direct Debit allows them to vary the amount you didn't worry because if it didn't set up in time you assumed it would just take a slightly greater amount to even out over the payment period

If you taxed the car from X date then it should be taxed from X date regardless of when they decide to instruct the bank to collect there payments for them, just because they don't collect on time doesn't mean you decided to tax it from a later date just that they didn't collect

I would maybe call the magistrates court and see if anyone can offer advice but think you will get a much better outcome from a sympathetic magistrate if you turn up prepared with proof you taxed it and it is a DVLA system fault or failure that has led to them wasting everyone's time taking you to court than you will trying to talk to the brick wall that is the DVLA

zombiesarecoming Mon 11-Apr-16 22:12:28

Sorry for the double post, told me it had failed and I didn't check before posting again, but at least I now know how so many double posts happen on threads here

Love2014 Mon 11-Apr-16 22:47:36

Thank you zombiesarecoming it's been a difficult year. I will do as you suggest, I'm not sure which magistrate court it's going to as it doesn't say on the papers but I will ring local one tomorrow and try to find out thank you for taking the time to respond x

zombiesarecoming Tue 12-Apr-16 10:03:01

Sorry you went thought the trauma of loosing your baby as well as everything else, I did mean to add that into my first reply

As far as the car tax is concerned you did what was required under the new system of having to tax a car on change of ownership, you set up the direct debit to tax the car and have the email to prove it

It isn't your fault and you can't know if the system the DVLA have in place has put things into place quick enough for the first payment at X amount or if they are taking it over one month less at Y amount because the computer didn't action stuff in time.

The fact that the DD went through in January without you having done anything else other than there system taking it must surely go in your favour as it shows that you put whatever info in there hands that was required for them to take it but they have taken longer to action it than they should have done which isn't your fault

Balletgirlmum Tue 12-Apr-16 10:06:27

Just to reassure you - my dad got nowhere with the Dvla over an alleged not having car tax fine. He turned up st court with all the evidence & didn't even end up having to go in. He was offered a chat with the duty person who quickly realised the Dvla didn't have a case. Not only was it dropped it he received a small amount of money back.

zombiesarecoming Tue 12-Apr-16 10:07:33

If you do an online is my car taxed check with your reg number when does it show the tax as being due to expire ?

If it is 6 or 12 months after your email then that helps your argument as it shows the system is counting expiry from the date you set things up regardless of when the computer actions money collection which isn't something you have any control over

zombiesarecoming Tue 12-Apr-16 10:12:55

Trying to get sense out of the DVLA is like banging your head repeatedly against a brick wall

Take it to court and you will get a real life person who looks at facts and should see you did what could reasonably be expected from someone to tax there car, DVLA system failure and fuck up is not your fault and you should not be punished for it and anyone should be able to see that

Add in the trauma of the other stuff you have had to deal with and it slipping your mind to query a letter when you had taxed it and have the email to prove it is perfectly normal as you thought the letter was a mistake but you had more pressing things going on and forgot

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 12-Apr-16 10:37:41

What happened with the DD?

You have the email that the DD was set up, but was it ever taken? Did it bounce?

Is it taxed now, or has it been untaxed since November?

Usually, when you get the letter about the car being untaxed, they will let you pay tax back to the date when it became untaxed. As you have good extenuating circumstances for having ignored all the previous correspondence, I'd be seeing if they can make that option available again. They may not be able to wipe the fine, but it's worth a shot.

Your next steps will really depend on why the DD failed, though, and whether you've been untaxed for 5 months.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 12-Apr-16 10:38:08

Oh and I'm really sorry about your baby, it sounds like you've had a hellish few months.

Don't worry too much about this - everything is fixable.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 12-Apr-16 10:38:09

Oh and I'm really sorry about your baby, it sounds like you've had a hellish few months.

Don't worry too much about this - everything is fixable.

Love2014 Tue 12-Apr-16 14:40:59

Hi all, no spoken to the DVLA and they said the DD failed but they didn't let me know. It all came up as a problem when my boyfriend who is insured on the car went through some kind of CCTV check and it came up as untaxed in November. The DD started again in January so I didn't think about the whole thing. Until I got this court letter. I have rang magistrates court this morning and explained they were really nice actually very sympathetic to the situation and they said write everything that's happened down with my papers when I return them and photocopy everything so going to send them the docs from hospital and all that. They said the magistrate will look at all that, they couldn't promise anything but she said it wasn't like I hadn't paid my DD on purpose she said the DD was set up so that will all go in my favour. I'm going to ask the bank to email me to confirm why the DD didn't go through for those few months. I'm just not very good at wording things without getting emotional I'm guessing they will just want the facts. I was thinking of going into see citizens advice to see if they can help me word it, what do you think ?

Love2014 Tue 12-Apr-16 14:49:09

Meant to say as well thanks so much everyone for replying and your useful advice. all your advice really helps xxx

zombiesarecoming Tue 12-Apr-16 16:19:35

Sounds like you are on the right track to getting it sorted, make sure anything you send them is only a copy not the original

By all means keep the original to hand if you need it for court but don't give anyone the chance to misplace your supporting evidence only send copies and they can loose them as often as there incompetency level allows as you will always have the original to copy again for them

Love2014 Tue 12-Apr-16 19:05:12

Thanks @zombiesarecoming you have been a great help! I just feel so stupid to let it get this far over something I could have sorted as wasn't my fault. My head was such a wreck at the time I was so devastated losing he baby and that just didn't seem important and didn't have the energy or head space to ring the bank, ring the DVLA argue about it all. usually I'm very on top of this sort of thing. But to go through a medical miscarriage for a baby that would have been very much loved it killed me. Just don't want another thing to feel bad about now and a lasting reminder of the whole thing. You know the guilt you feel losing a baby don't want another thing to add on top, it's heart breaking really. But going to try to stay strong and I'm on with it now so hopefully can turn it around, just doing something positive will help rather then just accepting it and not standing up for myself. I do hope the magistrate reads my letter fully. Thank you again smile

Love2014 Tue 12-Apr-16 19:12:19

The person I spoke to, was really nice and empathetic and tried to give me lots of advice, she explained that the court don't just take DVLAs side in it. They look at what's happened and any evidence I provide and they can call the whole hearing off if they so choose or ask me to give evidence. If I don't send anything they just have to make a decision based on the prosecutions evidence the DVLA and they are just saying I haven't paid and that's it. So I just have to make sure I send them evidence so they can hopefully find in my favour. Thanks again all.

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