Car hire mayhem possible as DVLA make driving licence changes

THE DVLA is scrapping the paper counterpart that accompanies a UK photo-card driving licence from June, sparking fears that Brits coming to Spain on holiday and booking car hire could find themselves unable to pick up their vehicle on arrival.

Just in time to upset as many holidaymakers as possible, the DVLA has announced that the change comes into effect as of June 8. People renting a car abroad will have to log on to the DVLA website the day before and put in their driving licence number to obtain a special code to give to their car hire company when they arrive at the desk.

The Daily Mail spoke to Mark Bower, of the car hire insurance website MoneyMaxim, who said: “Holidaymakers could endure major problems at car hire desks across Europe, because some people are simply unaware that these changes are on the way. It is another thing you have to remember to do just before departure.”

The Mail also spoke to a large car hire company in Portugal which told them they had no knowledge of the changes.

The other likely bone of contention is that the special code will only last for 72 hours, therefore someone hiring a car in the second week of their holiday will have to find web access and printing facilities while abroad.

Mr Bower also said unscrupulous firms might use the issue as “another excuse” to persuade people to pay for extra insurance.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association says British hirers unaware of the rule change will be treated in the same way as those who currently turn up without both parts of the licence.

The DVLA said the system, called Share Driving Licence, would be ready in time for June 8. A spokesman said: “There is up-to-date information on the website and we are working closely with the industry to ensure that their systems and processes are ready for the changes.”

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