Friday 1st May 2015
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If you read our blog about the changes to the paper counterpart of all driving licences you will know that they are being abolished on 8 June 2015.  This will have some impact on our daily lives.  For instance, if you want to hire cars after this date you will no longer have your driving history and penalty points listed on the paper counterpart to hand over when you pick up a rental.

Hire cars using the DVLA code

Basically, it is really simple!  All you have to do is visit the relevant site page and click on the ‘Share your licence service’.  From here you can generate a unique one time use only, access code.  The last eight digits of your driving licence will also be displayed and you will need these too.  Just contact the hire company and give them the access code and the last eight digits of your licence.   This allows them to log in to the DVLA system and check your driving record.  Be warned though that the code is only live for 72 hours so you and the hire company must use the code quickly.  Make sure you allow at least two days before you need to pick up the car and not any earlier.

It’s a good idea to print out a PDF copy when you access the code as it can help save you some time if there are any technical or internet issues at the hire company.  When you give the hire company your access code they can ring up the DVLA to check your driving record but a charge for this will be passed onto you and this service isn’t available on a Sunday. Click this link to hear some really useful audio advice.

Anyone who has an old style paper driving licence prior to the 1998 issue of photocards can also use this service. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVLA) have stated that people turning up without the access code and licence number will be treated in the same way as people who currently fail to turn up without both parts of their licence.

Remember this is a new system so there will be a ‘settling in’ period and make sure you take your print out and photocard to help ease the new process.  For more information visit the site here.

Some people aren't convinced though, there are particular fears that foreign car hire firms won't be aware of the changes and they won't be able to use the system because they haven't been properly advised by the DVLA.  MoneyMaxim, an insurance website have stated that a car hire firm they spoke to in Portugal was unaware of the changes.  The majority of car hire firms are still stating in their Terms and Conditions that paper counterparts must be produced.  Is this a case of the DVLA being way ahead of everyone and we all have to catch up with them?  Or have they created their system without thinking about how car hire firms and/or motorists will be able to cope with the changes?  Motorists will need access to the internet via tablets or mobiles and their National Insurance number and could incur data roaming charges. Most people have at least one of these devices on them all the time so access is likely to be less of a problem but the issue could be the data roaming charges.  What about motorists who aren't internet savvy?

Do you think ‘going paperless’ makes life easier for motorists?  Let us know your views in the comments box below.