From last Tuesday ( October 1 ) new rules now govern the road tax liability for a car that is not in use. It has attracted considerable publicity with queues outside the tax offices last week.
Until now if a car was off the road, the owner had a way not to pay any road tax for that period.
It was easy to abuse. Thousands of people purposely drove around for months without bothering to tax the car then claimed it had been off the road and did not pay the back tax. Those days have come to an end.
Car owners will now have to declare that the car is off the road in advance. If they do not, they will have to pay any back taxes owed on it.
The Government estimates the evasion of road tax was costing the State €50 million a year. However, it also claimed the Seanad was costing €20m a year, but that was proven to be untrue.