DVLA says British motorists are paying an extra £2.3m a year by not renewing driving licences online
- Almost a quarter of licence renewal applications are still sent via post each year
- Renewals by post cost £17 to process while using the online system is just £14
- DVLA urging motorists to use the Gov.uk site for quicker and easier processing
- It was revealed this month that a third of DVLA staff are still working from home
British motorists could collectively be saving £2.3million each year if they renewed their driving licences online, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency.
It said that between April 2020 and March 2021 almost a quarter of the two million renewal applications it received were sent either by post or via the Post Office, when its dedicated online service is both quicker and cheaper.
Renewing a photocard driving licence on the official Gov.uk website costs £14 and the driver will receive their new one in just five days.
Posting an application to DVLA costs £17 and will take longer, especially with a third of DVLA staff working still from home.
Motorists spending extra millions: The DVLA has revealed that almost a quarter of driving licence renewal applications sent between April 2020 and March 2021 were via post
Julie Lennard, chief executive of the DVLA, said: ‘Our online services are the quickest and easiest way to deal with DVLA, and customers usually receive their driving and vehicle documents in just five days.’
Lennard also pointed out that there are a number of rogue online sites that will charge more than the flat-rate £14 fee when using the Gov.uk service and for motorists to use only the official channel when renewing online.
The highlighted additional cost associated with sending applications to the DVLA via post comes just a week after the Mail on Sunday revealed that one in three staff at the agency’s Swansea headquarters are back in the office.
Motorists are warned to avoid other online services, which will likely charge more than the £14 flat-rate fee to process a licence renewal application
This is despite concerns over of supply-chain issues over Christmas because of the ongoing driver shortages, with reported delays in processing almost 30,000 HGV licence applications.
Co-op Insurance has also recently urged drivers not to delay in renewing their licences after it was told by the DVLA that 2.5million motorists will see theirs expire before 31 August 2022.
These drivers represent over six per cent of the total 40.7million registered motorists in Britain today.
Data provided to the insurer shows that over 450,000 driving licences expired during the last 12 months, with concerns that this could be a result of delayed postal applications being processed and motorists who are driving less frequently since the pandemic simply forgetting to check the expiry date on their photocards.
Many drivers might also be unaware that the Government’s 11-month extension to licence renewals put in place last year has almost come to an end.
The extension was available to those with licences that expired between February and December 2020, meaning the 11-month period for the latter is due to terminate at the end of this month and all drivers eligible for the extension should have renewed.
Renewing a photocard driving licence on the official Gov.uk website costs £14 and the driver will receive their new one in just five days
Driving without a licence is a legal offence and can result in three to six penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000.
Also, not holding a valid driving licence could lead to an insurance claim being rejected.
Paul Evans, head of Co-op Motor Insurance, said: ‘Due to last year’s national lockdown, motorists with driving licences which expired between February and December received an automatic 11-month extension to renew their licence.
‘However, over 450,000 motorists whose driving licence expired between September 2020 and August 2021 need to be sure they’ve definitely renewed, as they run the risk of facing a serious fine. We’re urging all drivers to check their licence and renew quickly if they need to.’
Photocard driving licences must be renewed every ten years, and a recent photo must be used.
The Gov.uk online service offers the most transparency, allowing motorists to track their licence renewal application progress on the website.
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