Fleet News

Industry criticises DVLA charge plan

THE motor industry has criticised proposals put forward by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that could mean added costs and administration for fleets.

The DVLA has announced plans to boost its revenue by introducing ‘change of keeper’ fees for used cars transactions. The fee would be payable by the new owners of the vehicle and paid over by seller, such as the fleet when it notifies the DVLA of a change in vehicle ownership. The DVLA consultation states: ‘A fee would be payable by all new keepers for the update of the register with their details, whether new or old car keepers. The indicative level for this fee is £7.50.’

Additional charges outlined in the consultation include a 10-year photo card driving licence renewal fee of £19, which would mean more administration for fleets. Fleet managers would need to keep records of when drivers’ licences expire, necessitating a continual checking process.

The DVLA is also planning to introduce an annual registration fee for cars of between £2.50 and £4.50. The first registration fee, currently £38, would be reduced to £30 but the annual fee would further bump up costs and paperwork.

The proposed changes would give the Government agency tens of millions of pounds in extra cash every year, based on 7.5 million used car transactions and 29 million cars being registered every year.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has condemned the agency’s plan.

He said: ‘Photo licences should deliver benefits to society through reduced crime. If there were cost implications, the process should have been subject to an impact assessment. With proper scrutiny, the industry believes costs could have been absorbed without hitting drivers in the pocket.

‘The Government takes £4.4 billion a year in road tax and got an extra £32.5 million from last year’s massive hike in the new car registration fee.

‘Continuous licensing also means fewer road tax dodgers and more income. So where is all the extra money going?’

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