For decades British licenses have been accompanied by a paper version that lists additional details not included on the standard photo card ID. These include vehicle category qualifications, as well as any penalty points, disqualifications or driving convictions. This year the system is set to be shaken up with the introduction of new DVLA rules that remove the green paper counterpart portion and replace it with a digitalised version. So what does this mean for Brits wanting to hire cars? Read on for an explanation of how the new DVLA license changes will affect car rentals from now onwards.
Hiring in the UK
In the past car hire companies have requested to view green paper counterpart portions before handing over the keys. Now, customer service attendants will be able to look up driver details on the DVLA electronic database.
However the process is not automated. In order to make driving records public Brits will need to log onto www.viewdrivingrecord.service.gov.uk and create a License Check Code. While initially the code only remained valid for 72 hours the DVLA has now extended authorisation times to 21 days. Once created it will allow car hire companies to instantaneously access details regarding what vehicles drivers are eligible to hire, as well as any disqualifications, fines or penalty points accumulated. For car hire companies without internet access the DVLA has also set up a hotline where customer service attendants can check details verbally.
While the new changes are designed to streamline the British licensing system, industry experts are predicting car hire chaos for holidaymakers embarking on overseas road trips. The DVLA has launched a website where Brits can access their records overseas however it has come under fire as hordes of frustrated drivers encounter technical glitches, stalls and slow load times.
So what’s the solution to ensuring that you don’t get stung by license issues when holidaying abroad this summer? While holidaymakers bound for non EU destinations will need to rely on the DVLA website, those heading to countries such as Italy, France, Spain and Germany should consider hiring close to home. Rather than book a car through a European based hire company drivers should opt for British based providers that are familiar with the new laws. They can then enjoy affordable car ferry passages, beautiful drives to and from terminals and a stress free car hire experience that’s practical and cost effective