DVLA website fails on first day of new digital system ñ Taxpayers left in the lurch

Motorists in their multitudes realised they were unable to renew their tax today as the DVLAís pristine vehicle tax site could not cope with mass amounts of traffic resulting from attentive car owners across the UK seeking to stay ahead of the taxman.

It marks an inauspicious start to the paper disc-less era, with DVLA declarations of heightened convenience and efficiency made light of by its shoddy server. Thousands of responsible motorists were left twiddling their thumbs for hours as the system failed to contend with the swollen number of visitors.

An update from the DVLA read: “We are currently experiencing high volumes of traffic to our online vehicle tax service please keep trying. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

However, in spite of the DVLAís limp reassurance for consumers to ëkeep tryingí, the problem has still not been rectified, with complaints across the country bemoaning the process in its entirety from its online service to its mobile renewal service. Naturally, being a government controlled organisation, the Coalition was widely questioned in the ëtwittersphereí for their role, or lack thereof, in the renewal of vehicle tax.

Lak Ubhi, tweeted: ì@DVLAgovuk this is an absolute joke. Got to the payment page then got kicked out! You would expect a government organisation to get it right.î

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “We’ve had a number of our members coming on to us say that the DVLA car-tax site has crashed. It’s a bit ironic in this digital age that the site goes down on the first day of the electronic system coming into being.

“I think that not only a lot of people have tried to get on to the site to renew their car tax but also a number have tried to access the site to find out how the changes to the car tax system affect them.î

Vehicle tax is now being controlled digitally, via the usage of number-plate recognition cameras which cross-reference snapped motors with the DVLAís extensively compiled list of registered number-plates. Theoretically, this could help in the swift identification of perpetrators and is very much in line with a modern, technologically-inclined Britain. Lauded as a simplification of the process, underscored by a consumer-orientated approach, the new vehicle taxing system is hoped to increase the efficacy of the DVLA substantially.

Payment methods have also been altered, with the introduction of monthly direct debit payments widely perceived as a refreshing alternative to the previous yearly or half yearly options. This added convenience comes at a cost though, with motorists paying on a monthly basis subject to an extra 5% charge, and those who pay via a credit card automatically incurring a £2.50 added fee.

Car owners seeking to privately sell their car are to inform the DVLA following the transactions completion. They are then eligible for a refund for any full months left on their tax policy. The buyer, in this scenario, will have to purchase new tax, as opposed to seeing out the remainder of the former ownerís tax policy, which was previously common practice.

Any seller who fails to notify the DVLA could risk a fine of up to £1,000 for their lack of diligence.

The DVLA, with regard to their system crash, added: ìWe are of course very sorry for any inconvenience and we are urgently investigating to improve service quality for the minority of our customers that are experiencing issues.î

It would appear that what the DVLA considers a minority is in fact the polar opposite of this, and technical difficulty or not, they have failed in the provision of their service in the untimeliest of fashions. So much for the consumer-orientated approach.

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