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DVLA under fire for selling driver details to ‘cowboys’

July 31, 2014
Posted in DVLA News — Written by Nationla Numbers

DVLA have been criticised for making huge profits on the alleged miss-sale of driver information.

The accusation was made following an official report showing the number of requests for personal information from private parking firms have increase from last year.

‘Rogue’ parking enforcement firms use the information to chase private individuals who allegedly owe them money from parking fines.

DVLA selling information to cowboy firms

Michael Ellis MP, who sits on the Home Affairs Committee, voiced concerns about the companies purchasing the information.

‘These rogue parking firms are making the lives of innocent motorists a misery,’ Michael Ellis MP said. ‘The DVLA has a lot of serious questions to answer.’

68 parking firms made over 2.4m electronic requests for private information in 2013/14, up by more than 500,000 requests made last year, according to the DVLA’s ‘Who DLVA Shares Data With’ report.

Information such as names and addresses are sold at lb2.50 a record, in these cases to companies that impose charges for using private car parks.

Last year the DVLA turned over lb6.7 million from these requests, leading to many critics accusing the agency of braking data protection laws.

dvla swansea main office

A DVLA spokesman said: ‘We take our responsibility to protect information seriously … information is only

provided under strict controls to parking firms who meet the standards set by an appropriate Accredited Trade Association and are compliant with its Code of Practice.’

It is suggested that the recent increase in parking firms requesting information has come as a result of the clamping ban brought into effect in 2012. While banning clamping in private car parks it allowed operators to pursue motorists for payment of tickets.

Professor Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, explained: ‘Just because we have seen the back of clamping we shouldn’t think this is the end of parking disputes on private land.

‘The DVLA says it will only share data with those who show reasonably cause … but when you annually dish our nearly 2.5 millions records to parking companies – not to mention millions more to councils, insurance firms and finance businesses – how many checks is the agency able to make to ensure those getting our private information are using it responsibly and being fair to the motorists they’re trying to penalise?’

If trends continue over 100 companies will be making electronic requests next year unless practises change.


Driving Licence Fees Set to Fall Later This Year

July 29, 2014
Posted in DVLA,DVLA News — Written by Nationla Numbers

The DVLA have announces plans to reduce driving licence fees by up to 32%.

Proposes changes will save the public nearly lb20million every year.

Applications made online will see the biggest benefit with driving licence renewals costing lb6 less and lb16 less for first licences.

This is largely due to the increased significance of electronic services, which issued over 3 millions licences last year.

Those applying by cost will still see savings of lb3 for renewals and lb7 for first licences.

The new prices will come into effect in October 2014 if approved.

Around 10 million driving licences are issued every year with around 1 million of these being applications for a first licence.


BANNED 64: The Plates that Did Not Beat the Censors

July 24, 2014
Posted in DVLA,Number Plates — Written by Nationla Numbers

Every year the DVLA releases two new number plate variations for the UK and every year certain number plates, some of which are very sought-after, get taken off the market without warning.

This is because the DVLA always vet future releases for anything obscene, sexual, racist or otherwise offensive and block them from release with the rest.

The latest 64 series was treated in much the same way with many registrations being banned from UK roads before they even made it to market.

As well as the usual restrictions the DVLA have turned their attention to more modern “offensive” terms. TOWIE fans might be disappointed to find out that a few number plates, such as VA65 ZUL (“Vajazzle”), have been banned.

For obvious reasons things like DO64 GER (“Dogger”), OR64 SMS (“Orgasms”) and SL64 AGS (“Slags”) have all been withheld for sexual references along with one that may have been ideal for a famous reggae artist, SH64 GGY (“Shaggy”).

DVLA have stopped any reference to negative road behaviour, such as AN64 GER (“Anger”), AN64 GRY (“Angry”), CR64 ASH (“Crash”) and DR64 UNK (“Drunk”).

Furthermore, anything with reference to sexuality (e.g. **64 Y** / **64 GAY), swear words (e.g. FO** *** / FU** ***), and race (e.g. **** JEW) and religion (e.g. **** GOD).

The next release is the 15 Series, released end of the year. I’m sure we’ll have another entertaining list of banned number plates for you all then.


M60 Speed Camera lb189k in 2013

July 19, 2014
Posted in DVLA News — Written by Nationla Numbers

A Greater Manchester speed camera has been deemed country’s most profitable, costing drivers almost lb200,000 in fines.

The camera in Junction 25 of the M60 caught 9,326 motorists last year, earning lb189,140.

400,000 fixed penalty notices along with 73,944 court summons were issued by police following use of the speed camera.

UK drivers were fined more than lb22 million in total for speeding over 2013, but one speed camera on the M60 achieved the biggest portion of this.

There are approximately 3,353 fixed speed cameras in Britain, accounting for 58% of all speeding offences recorded.

These figures represent a 3% increase from 2012.

Statistics for other cameras can be found below:



It is estimated that Britain’s roads has one fixed or mobile speed camera every 67 miles .

One in seven drivers have been caught speeding in the last five years.

Changing speed limits is one reason for the rise in speedy offences with 88% of UK councils altering speeding restrictions in their jurisdiction.

In 2014, research shows that the fastest speed clocked so far is 146mph on the M25 in Swanley by Kent Police. Second is a 130mph driver caught by Warwickshire Police on the M6 Toll.

Thousands of Plates Stolen in Merseyside

There have been more than 2,500 number plate thefts across Merseyside over the last two years.

Criminals used stolen plates for a variety of crimes: from avoiding speeding fines armed robbery.

Some plates are also stolen out of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Most publicised though is petrol station thefts, as criminals use stolen or cloned number plates to steal petrol.

According the figures released by Merseyside Police, 2,611 number plate thefts have been reported in the last two years.

This includes 1,269 plates stolen between April 2014 and Match 2013, and 1,342 between April 2013 and March 2014.


A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “In the last 12 months there has been a slight increase of 5% in thefts.

“Stolen number plates are allowing people to get away with driving offences including driving away from petrol stations without paying and evading speed camera fines.

“Fines are often sent to the innocent owner of a vehicle, which had its number plates stolen, and such cars are often used as getaway vehicles in more serious crimes.”

240 individual thefts were recorded in the area of West Derby alone, making it the worst area for number plate related crime.


Learner Driver Passes on 24th Try

July 14, 2014
Posted in DVLA — Written by Nationla Numbers

Britain’s most persistent learner driver has finally qualified, according to the DVSA.

The Chippenham novice failed the driving test 23 times before passing on the 24th attempt.

Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency have revealed the driver, a 24-year-old woman, is one of eight British drivers to take more than 20 tests in 2013.

Ten learner drivers in the country share 200 test failures between them, the DVSA also revealed.


A survey by insurance company, Direct Line, demonstrated that 76% of experienced drivers would fail a driving test if they had to take again.

The average driver from the survey received 16 minor faults. The maximum allowed before failure is 15.

Three out of 50 drivers surveyed also committed serious and/or dangerous faults, which is grounds for instant failure in a real test.

A slight price cut for driving theory tests has already been announced.


Cost of Driving Theory Test to be Cut

July 9, 2014
Posted in DVLA,DVLA News — Written by Nationla Numbers

Learner drivers will only have to pay lb25 for a car and motorcycle theory test as of October 2014, says DVSA.

“This has been achieved compromising on the vital role the theory tests play in making sure that new drivers know The Highway Code,” said Transport Minister Stephen Hammond.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) negotiated the lb6 reduction with test providers with a further lb2 drop set for later in the year.

“I am delighted that theory tests will now offer better value for money while continuing to meet these rigorous standards,” continued Hammond.

Some tests for bus and lorry drivers, along with driving instructors, will also fall.

The theory test is only one of number of costs faced by learner drivers. The saving is the equivalent of about a quarter of a typical lesson.

Practical driving tests themselves will not see a price reduction.


Record Breaking DVLA Auction

July 7, 2014

DVLA’s second timed auction of the year has broken all previous records.

The online auction achieved a 77% conversation rate on number plates sold, the highest ever for a timed auction.

DVLA raised almost lb1million in total. The three best performing number plates included RAG 17N (lb15,010), AMR 13K (lb10,010), and MDR 1X (lb7,510).

Number plates AN11 AND, STE 80Y and ROB 7A also proved the most popular, attracting 44 bidders between them.

Timed Auctions are different from Live Auctions, also called Classic Auctions or Cherished Auctions, as bids are placed online over a two-week period.

The auction ran from June 11th to June 25th with 1,522 number plates on offer.

You can find the full list of registrations on offer here.

The next DVLA Timed Auction will run from October 15th to October 29th.


Foreign number plate scheme deemed a success

July 1, 2014
Posted in DVLA — Written by Nationla Numbers

A trial scheme to catch foreign vehicles unregistered to UK number plates has been called a success after almost tripling previous figures.

237 vehicles have already been tracked under the trial operation. This is compared on 84 in the whole of 2013-14 and just 59 in 2012-13.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) launched the pilot operation on a six-week trial but this will be extended to three months following early success.

Under the new programme the DVLA provides vehicle data to four police forces along with permission to seize or impound offending vehicles. A nation-wide expansion is already being considered.

Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “If the pilot is successful, the DVLA will explore the potential for extending it to more forces.

“The DVLA is also working with other agencies to establish what other data might be used to identify overstaying foreign registered vehicles.”

West Midlands, Thames Valley, Northamptonshire and Hampshire are the four local authorities to act under the new plan.

Example of a foreign number plate

Non-UK number plates show different formats


Under the current official system across the UK, drivers can legally display foreign number plates for six months before they must register for UK plates.

If caught motorists would be issued a fine calculated on the average vehicle excise duty multiplied by the length of time overstayed.

DVLA is currently collating data from the general public and local police forces to get a better idea of the cars on foreign number plates are now overstayed in the country.