DVLA changes tune following car hire chaos

flickr by Dafydd Vaughan

THE DVLA is to overhaul its new computerized system for driving licences following chaos as holidaymakers tried to hire cars abroad.

Last month, when the UK scrapped paper licences, drivers had to access the DVLA website and obtain a code to prove they were legal to drive, yet the code was only valid for three days.

This left drivers trying to hire a car more than three days into holidays having to search for somewhere to get online or run up roaming charges by connecting from mobile phones, leading to a flood of complaints.

Now the DVLA has announced it will change the system so codes last for three weeks, expected to cover most holidays this summer.

The licence authority’s Drivers’ Services manager Dudley Ashford said the measure would be reviewed in three months time once feedback had come in from drivers and the car rental industry.

Although the government told people last month to throw away the paper counterparts of their licences, which show the vehicles the driver has permission to drive and the number of points on their licence, associations including the AA have recommended people hang onto them until things are a bit clearer regarding what may be needed to hire a car.

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