Real-world testing of a new online platform that gives fleets access to the V5C vehicle registration certificate will begin in a few months.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) told Fleet News that it was continuing to refine the View Vehicle Record (VVR) enquiry service, but feedback from fleets so far had been positive.
Further testing of the system is currently being carried out. A DVLA spokesman said: “We’re aiming to have a service available to a small number of fleet companies to use in their own working environment in January 2015 – this will allow us to continue getting feedback before opening it up to fleet companies who are associated with DVLA via a fleet code.”
The service will eventually be available 24/7 on the Government website www.gov.uk and will be available through a variety of devices, such as PCs and tablets.
“As information about the vehicles contained in the fleet will be available at a click of a button, it will remove the need to refer to a V5C when users need to get hold of some information,” the spokesman added.
“If the service removes the need to view the V5C, these fleet operators may wish to take the opportunity to have the vehicle’s V5C suppressed at first registration.”
The ability for fleets to request V5C vehicle registration documents when they need them, rather than having to store paper copies, will save companies an estimated £3 million each year and the DVLA around £6m.
High-volume fleet operator Motability was among those organisations recently given a demonstration of the new online platform. It manages around 620,000 vehicles and sends the DVLA between 500 and 1,200 notifications of disposal to a motor trader a day.
It currently employs a series of electronic carousel filing cabinets to store the details of thousands of registration certificates. When it wants to retrieve a particular V5C, it enters the details on to a laptop and the cabinet rotates to present the file’s location where the V5C can be found.
Michelle Vellacott, head of dealer services, Motability Operations, said: “The introduction of the VVR system will provide quicker access to the details of individual cars on our fleet, therefore making our operations in this area more time efficient – something that is always very welcome.”
After seeing the prototype, the company has been able to provide feedback on system changes and improvements.
“Our priority is that these enhancements will, in the long term, provide benefits to Motability customers and our dealer partners,” Vellacott added.
Another feature DVLA has added to the VVR service is the ability to alert users to any vehicles that are due to be taxed.
A DVLA spokesman said: “If users notice a vehicle hasn’t been taxed/declared SORN yet, the service will point them to DVLA’s online tax/SORN service so they can make sure the vehicle is compliant.
“At this stage only single transactions are allowed. We will be working towards allowing bulk transactions in the future.
“We’re also aiming to return MOT/GVT data so users will be able to apply filters built into the service to check which vehicles are due for testing.”
Fleet operators association ACFO and its members have also been involved with helping to fine tune the new service.
ACFO chairman John Pryor told Fleet News: “The feedback from the people who used it was good.”
DVLA’s fleet code scheme free to join
DVLA is also appealing to fleet operators to join its free fleet code scheme prior to it launching its V5C online service.
Available for vehicles of all sizes, ages and taxation classes, it provides a fleet operator with a unique reference number to identify all of its vehicles’ V5Cs.
The DVLA, which maintains the fleet list to ensure name, address and contact details are up-to-date, said fleets can benefit in several ways.
They will be able to receive vehicle documents in bulk, including V11 and V85/1 tax reminders and V5C registration certificates.
It will also allow bulk taxation at a Post Office and access to a dedicated fleet operator support helpdesk.
DVLA said it will be able to resolve issues more quickly because it will be able to identify the vehicles assigned to each fleet number.
Members will also be able to access the View Vehicle Record (VVR) enquiry service from spring 2015 by visiting www.gov.uk.
For more information on how to join the DVLA fleet scheme, email email@example.com.