Edward Leigh MP email reply

Published: 06 February 2008

This is Edward Leigh MP's reply to my email regarding 40% of motorcycles are untaxed each year. Highly suspect.

Dear Mr Hamer,

Thank you for your email of 22 January, in which you queried the Committee's figures on evasion rates. I am happy to explain how the Committee came by the figure of 'nearly 40%'.

This figure refers to those untaxed motorcycles on the road: it does not include those legally off road with a SORN notice.

In 2006 the Department for Transport conducted a roadside survey of over one million vehicles; of those motorcycles seen on the road 16% were untaxed.

The Department then used established statistical techniques to draw from this figure an estimate for the whole motorcycle stock (the figures were checked and verified by an independent body). The final estimate was 37.8% with a 7.9% margin of error.

Should you wish to see the results of the Department's survey in full it is available on their website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/162259/162469/221412/221552/228072/228137/VEDEvasi onSurveyReport2006.pdf

Appendices D and E are particularly relevant. The Committee appreciates that the majority of motorcyclists are law-abiding taxpayers; however it would be remiss of the Committee to ignore the findings of the survey because of the risk of offending people.

You may be interested to know that the Committee is recommending that the Department and the DVLA work with motorcycle industry bodies to reduce concern about the reliability of sampling methods used in measuring VED evasion by motorcyclists.

Thank you for your interest in our work.

Edward Leigh MP Chairman, Committee of Public Accounts