Big savings online
Motorists that applied for a licence via the post rather than online paid £5 million more than necessary throughout 2018, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) revealed. As such, a provisional licence cost £43 through the post – but only £34 via the internet. In addition, renewal cost £17 by post and £14 online.
The DVLA added that 1.2 million motorists missed out on these savings in 2018. Despite this, its online services have become increasingly popular. 4 out of 5 licence applications now go through the internet. So do about half of renewals. The latter has increased 10% in 3 years. Chief Executive, Julie Lennard, revealed:
‘Each year, more and more people are choosing to use our online services and it is always cheaper and quicker to renew your driving licence at GOV.UK. It is also the quickest way for those who have lost or misplaced a licence to apply for a replacement’, she added.
Avoid scam websites
The DVLA further emphasised that it is important to only apply for a driving licence via its website. Why? Because there are misleading, third party websites that increase the cost. Some deliberately replicate the official website to create the impression they are legitimate. They are not. Misleading sites can:
include DVLA in the website address
use the DVLA logo
appear towards the top of search engine results.
Dodgy sites might offer to ‘help’ you apply for a licence, for example. This is irrelevant. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency helps. Sites also offer to connect you to the DVLA’s legitimate call centre. Again, there is no need as you can call direct. Some sites even commit you to unnecessary regular payments.
‘Do not be fooled’, the DVLA said. ‘By using GOV.UK when applying for services online, motorists can ensure they avoid using third party sites. Such sites will often charge an additional fee for services that are free - or cost significantly less - at GOV.UK. Websites such as these are not connected with the DVLA in any way.’
Warning from motorist
Denis Kearney wanted to renew his licence and spotted a particularly misleading site, it has been reported online. He warned: ‘Look out for copycat websites when renewing your licence.’
‘A website which often pops up when searching online looks just like the official DVLA website, but it charges you 90p to renew your licence. If you pay, you will also be enrolled into a recurring fortnightly charge of £38 for services’, Mr Kearney said.