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DVLA online services replace paper forms

DVLA launches online V5C log book address change service

DVLA online services replace paper forms

Motorists who need to change the address on their V5C vehicle log book can now go online to update their details, rather than sending the paper form back to Swansea.

The DVLA says this cuts the time to receive a new log book from six weeks to five days.

The government agency receives around 1.4 million paper change-of-address forms every year.  

“We’re launching this service at a time when online services are becoming even more vital to help people get back on the road,” said DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard. 

“This new online service is quicker and easier than sending your log book to DVLA.”

Motorists can update their address details in two minutes, claims the DVLA. The information they need to have on hand is:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Log book document reference number
  • Postcode

The DVLA is currently running a campaign encouraging motorists to use online services rather than sending paper documents to its Swansea HQ.

In April, the organisation warned of “significant delays” for motorists due to the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this month, an automatic seven-month extension to photocard driving licences was granted to motorists whose cards were due to expire.

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Photocard driving licence

DVLA grants 7-month photocard driving licence extension

Photocard driving licence

Delays at the DVLA have led the organisation to grant an automatic seven-month extension to photocard driving licences due to expire.

The extension is valid for photocards expiring between 1 February and 31 August 2020.

It will be automatically applied and give motorists a further seven months from the original date of expiry.

Around 1.4 million driving licence holders are set to benefit from the change. 

The coronavirus crisis has led to significant delays at the DVLA. In April, the organisation issued a plea for drivers to be patient.

The seven-month extension for photocard driving licences follows a new EU regulation that allows automatic extensions to be applied.

Normally, drivers need to renew photocards every 10 years: it’s every five years for bus and lorry drivers.

“This extension will make it easier for drivers who need to update their photocard licence with a new photograph,” said DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard.

“The extension is automatic so drivers do not need to do anything and will be sent a reminder to renew their photocard before the extension ends.”

The change went live on 4 June 2020 and, stresses the DVLA, is automatic: those with photocards expiring between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 do not need to do anything and can now carry on driving safe in the knowledge they’re still legal.

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Motorists told to beware of SORN scam websites

SORN scam websites

It’s the end of the month, which means thousands of motorists might be considering taking their car off the road. But the government is warning motorists to be on their guard for potential scams.

Some websites are charging motorists up to £40 to make a SORN declaration. SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification and is the way of notifying the DVLA that you’re taking a vehicle off the road.

It takes a matter of minutes to complete – and it’s FREE.

Earlier this year, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reported a 20 percent increase in the number of scams. The DVLA revealed some of the tactics used by fraudsters.

Declaring SORN is FREE

How to declare SORN

Now, online scammers are using the lockdown to defraud unsuspecting motorists. The message is simple: use the official website to register your vehicle as off the road.

One SORN scam website, which we won’t name or link to, asks for the vehicle registration number, before taking you to a second page. Here, it asks for the 16-digit reference number from the V11 reminder, or the reference number from a V5C log book or V5C/2 new keeper supplement.

It also asks for your email address and contact number, before requesting payment. There’s a charge of £30 for ‘regular’ processing, or £40 for a ‘fast-track’ service.

By using the official DVLA website, you’ll be asked for a reference number and registration plate, with the option of providing an email address or mobile number if you require a confirmation.

It takes no more than a minute to complete, so there’s absolutely no need for a so-called ‘fast-track’ service.

As we said earlier, IT’S FREE.

Don’t be fooled by a SORN scam

DVLA scam warning

The DVLA told This is Money, “Motorists should always double check that they are using GOV.UK and not to be fooled by these sites.”

It’s worth remembering the following about DVLA services:

  • The DVLA doesn’t send emails or text messages asking you to confirm your personal details or to request payment information. Do not open any links. Delete the text or email immediately.
  • Beware of misleading third party websites passing themselves off as the DVLA. They might include ‘DVLA’ in the website or use DVLA colours and old logos.
  • Some will use search engine tactics to get to the top of Google. Don’t be fooled.
  • Only use GOV.UK.
  • Never share images on social media that contain personal information.

Click here for more information on making a SORN application

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Declare SORN and save money during lockdown. Here’s how

How to declare SORN

According to a recent RAC poll, 10 percent of people have stopped driving completely since the government enforced the COVID-19 lockdown.

With this in mind, it might make sense to take your car off the road. If nothing else, it will save you money on car tax.

You will need to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) by registering a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

You’ll get a refund for any full months remaining tax – so it makes sense to do it before the end of the month.

How do I SORN my car?

The SORN process is quick and can be done online via the Gov.uk website. Have your 11-digit number from your V5C (vehicle log book) handy to declare SORN immediately – or the 16-digit number from your tax reminder (V11) for it to take effect at the end of the month.

With everything to hand, the process should take no more than a minute.

There are other ways to get a SORN notice, too – either by post or by phone. However, the DVLA contact centre is only accepting urgent calls from NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Visit the SORN page on the Gov.uk website

Vehicles parked on driveway

Can I drive my car after SORN?

No, not until you tax it again. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is required to drive on the road – it’s simple as that. You need to be sure your car is already where it’s due to sit long-term, or have a trailer or low-loader to move it.

Under no circumstances should it be driven after SORN is declared. Nor can it be parked on the road.

How long does a SORN last?

A SORN, unlike vehicle tax, does not need to be renewed. It is indefinite until you tax the car again – be that weeks, months or years.

Once you’re ready to tax the car again, the process can be done online. You’ll need the vehicle log book (V5C) and a debit or credit card.

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Fewer than 300 hypercars are registered in the UK

Aston Martin Vulcan and McLaren P1

New research has revealed there are fewer than 300 hypercars registered in the UK. The most common, perhaps surprisingly, is the Bugatti Veyron.

Obviously, much depends on your definition of ‘hypercar’. When does a supercar become a hypercar?

According to Gear Patrol, “the term ‘hypercar’ was coined to qualify the top one percent of supercars”. So, expensive, wild, ludicrously fast and out of reach to mere mortals.

“Hypercars are the stick against which all cars are meant to be measured, and not a single compromise can be made,” concludes Bryan Campbell on Gear Patrol.

It’s hard to argue with the list created by Motorway.co.uk. It has used DVLA data to discover there 298 hypercars registered in the UK. That’s 5.6 percent of total production for the 15 cars in question.

Bugatti Veyron in London

The Bugatti Veyron tops the table, with 65 registered. This is followed by the McLaren Senna (64), Porsche 918 Spyder (49) and Porsche Carrera GT (42).

DVLA data is only up-to-date on the day it’s issued. In other words, more cars are likely to be declared SORN in the winter, which could serve to skew UK registration data.

This might explain why there’s not a single Pagani Huayra showing as registered in the Motorway.co.uk data. Similarly, some cars located in the UK might be registered overseas.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Motorway.co.uk data doesn’t include model derivatives and special editions. For example, although production of the ‘standard’ Huayra was limited to 100, Pagani also built a Huayra Roadster and a number of specials.

The same could be said of the Koenigsegg Agera and the models that followed, including the S (5 built), R (18 built) and RS (25 built).

Hypercars of the UK

  • Hypercar – make and model
  • Bugatti Veyron
  • McLaren Senna
  • Porsche 918 Spyder
  • Porsche Carrera GT
  • Ferrari LaFerrari
  • Bugatti Chiron
  • McLaren F1
  • McLaren P1
  • Aston Martin Vulcan
  • Ferrari Enzo
  • Koenigsegg Agera
  • Koenigsegg One:1
  • Pagani Zonda
  • Pagani Huayra
  • Lamborghini Centenario
  • Total
  • Number of cars built
  • 450
  • 500
  • 918
  • 1,270
  • 499
  • 500
  • 64
  • 375
  • 24
  • 399
  • 18
  • 6
  • 140
  • 100
  • 40
  • 5,303
  • Number registered in UK
  • 65
  • 64
  • 49
  • 42
  • 41
  • 15
  • 11
  • 6
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

‘Melt your face’

Porsche 718 Spyder in London

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway.co.uk said: “The hypercar is the ultimate driving machine; with seven-figure price tags and top speeds to melt your face, our research reveals just how rare these ‘supercars on steroids’ really are.

“With fewer than 300 registered to UK-owners, hypercars aren’t just for the wealthy connoisseur; these are cars that laugh at a £1 million price tag and sit in a league of their own for the mega-rich.

“Sadly, the closest most of us will ever get to a hypercar is seeing one unveiled at a motor show. Or, if you’re lucky, parked outside Harrods.”

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DVLA warns of ‘significant delays’ for motorists

DVLA delays

The DVLA has warned drivers using its services to expect ‘significant delays’ during the coronavirus crisis.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) maintains the registration and licensing of drivers and vehicles, and the collection of road tax (VED).

Yesterday, the organisation tweeted: “There are significant delays in processing applications and returning ID documents, please bear with us and do not contact us for an update.”

Over the weekend, the DVLA advised motorists not to send in any paper applications until further notice. In a subsequent tweet, drivers are advised that VED refunds are being processed as normal. Many drivers have opted to take their cars off the road during the lockdown, registering the car with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

Motorists get a refund for any full months of remaining tax, so there’s likely to be a spike in the number of SORN applications this week. Click here to tell the DVLA you’re taking your car off the road.

Services for key workers

Key worker and car

Although the driver and vehicle services can be accessed via the DVLA website, only key workers can speak to the contact centre. Key workers with an urgent query can contact the call centre between the hours of 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

The DVLA’s contact centre will be closed on Friday 8 May 2020 because of a Bank Holiday. The contact centre will also be closed on Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May, reopening again on Monday 11 May at 10am.

The early May Bank Holiday has moved to Friday 8 May 2020 to coincide with Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). When announcing the change, business secretary Greg Clark said: “It will ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War and reflect on the sacrifices of a generation.”

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Prince Philip crash encourages older people to quit driving

Prince Philip and the Queen

Prince Philip seems to be behind a sharp rise in the number of older drivers giving up their licences.

Last year, the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a car crash while driving a Land Rover Freelander near the Sandringham Estate. The crash resulted in two women requiring hospital treatment, with the Prince saying he was “deeply sorry” for the incident.

DVLA figures reveal a 21.2 percent jump in the number of drivers aged 90 and over voluntarily surrendering their licences in 2019. This compares with an increase of 9.7 percent in 2018.

The data, which was sent to retirement specialists Responsible Life, also shows a 39 percent increase for drivers of Prince Philip’s age or older. The Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate his 99th birthday in June.

‘Old age is cruel’

Older driver

Steve Wilkie, executive chairman of Responsible Life, said: “When to stop driving remains one of our most difficult decisions in later life. For many retired motorists it means letting go of a symbol of their independence, even if they only make the occasional trip to the local shops.

“Older age is also cruel and creeps up on you, making it impossible to judge the best time to hang up the steering wheel and get a taxi, rather than soldier on for another year.

“Prince Philip’s misfortunes, however, seem to have jogged a great number of people into confronting this difficult decision head on.”

Although there’s no requirement for older people to stop driving, there are laws which outline the medical standards that every driver must meet, no matter how old they are. There are also minimum eyesight requirements, along with the need to renew a driving licence at the age of 70. 

Renewing a licence can be done online for free if you’re 70 or over, or will be 70 in the next 90 days. 

‘Red herring’

Older person driving

At the time of Prince Philip’s crash, Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “In the wake of the incident, we have inevitably heard calls for mandatory testing of people of a certain age. This is a red herring – age is a completely arbitrary and unreliable measure for assessing someone’s ability to drive. Statistically, older drivers have fewer accidents than other age groups.

“If we were to restrict drivers based on any relationship between age and accident rates, we would need to take a fresh look at inexperienced, younger drivers aged 17 to 24. Although this younger age group accounts for just seven per cent of the driving population, they are involved in around 22 percent of fatal or serious road traffic incidents.”

Visit the RoSPA older drivers website for more advice and information.

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DVLA car scams up 20 percent

‘Real life’ DVLA car scams up 20 percent

DVLA car scams up 20 percent

Latest figures show a 20 percent increase in the number of scams reported to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). 

To protect motorists, the DVLA has released images of the new scams that are used to trick motorists. These include links to fake services, and driver and vehicle documents for sale on the internet. 

ALSO SEE: Drivers in Dorset targeted by smoking engine scam

Drivers reported seeing Facebook adverts advising motorists to contact WhatsApp numbers to buy a “100 percent real” driving licence. In a separate social media post, motorists were offered non-existent ‘DVLA services’ including ‘wipe ban’, ’wipe points’ and ‘endorsements removed’.

A common trick is for fraudsters to send text messages offering Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) refunds in the region of £40. The message is clear: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

‘Real life scams’

DVLA driving license scam

DVLA chief information security officer David Pope said: “We’ve released examples of real life scams to help motorists understand when a scam is at work. These websites and messages are designed to trick people into believing they can access services that simply don’t exist such as removing penalty points from driving licences.

“All our tax refunds are generated automatically after a motorist has told us they have sold, scrapped or transferred their vehicle to someone else so we don’t ask for anyone to get in touch with us to claim their refund.

ALSO SEE: DVLA clamping down on car tax evasion

“We want to protect the public and if something seems too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. The only trusted source of DVLA information is GOV.UK

“It is also important to remember never to share images on social media that contain personal information, such as your driving licence and vehicle documents.”

‘Stressful time of year’

DVLA tax refund scam

A spokesperson for Action Fraud added: “This can be a stressful time of year, sorting out finances for the year ahead. Fraudsters are aware of this and are using different ways to trick people.

“Taking a couple of minutes to familiarise yourself with a few simple online safety tips can be significant in protecting yourself from becoming a victim of online fraud. You should always be cautious when sharing personal information online and avoid being scammed by only using GOV.UK for government services online, such as the DVLA.

“If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to us.”

Fraud or cyber crime can be reported to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or by using the online reporting tool.

DVLA car scam

DVLA clamping down on tax evasion

DVLA clamping down on car tax evasion

DVLA clamping down on tax evasion

The DVLA is taking its vehicle tax evasion campaign to the road with a clear message: ‘Tax it or lose it’.

A giant clamp is at the centre of the campaign, with the DVLA warning motorists that they face ‘real consequences’ if they don’t tax their vehicles. At best, they risk a penalty or having their car clamped. At worst, they could lose their vehicle altogether.

If an enforcement officer spots a vehicle on the road that isn’t taxed or is wrongly declared SORN (off the road), there’s a chance it will be clamped or impounded. The enforcement teams are based around the country and travel in vehicles equipped with number plate recognition cameras.

Your chances of being caught are likely to be higher in one of the 20 locations named by the DVLA. These are the regions of the UK where vehicle tax evasion is rife. In total, the DVLA took nearly 590,00 enforcement actions in these regions alone.

Belfast tops the list, with 78,501 enforcement actions in 2019. Birmingham isn’t far behind, on 61,531, while 34,375 motorists were caught driving an untaxed vehicle in Glasgow. The full table is below – so you know where the giant clamp is likely to appear.

‘There really is no excuse’

DVLA tax it or lose it

Julie Lennard, chief executive of the DVLA, said: “The number of untaxed vehicles on the road is falling, but we are determined to reduce this even further. We operate a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay and hard to avoid, so there really is no excuse if you fail to tax your vehicle.

“While the vast majority of motorists do the right thing and tax correctly, this campaign highlights the real consequences that motorists face if they don’t tax their vehicles.”

RAC spokesman Simon Williams added: “While the vast majority of motorists abide by the law and tax their vehicles correctly, high-profile enforcement campaigns like this are needed to make sure the consequences of not doing so are fully understood. This DVLA campaign gives a very clear warning of the action that will be taken on untaxed vehicles. Having your vehicle clamped is expensive and inconvenient so it’s far simpler to make sure you tax it.

“You can easily check when your tax is due using DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service on GOV.UK: all you need is your vehicle registration. It’s also really important to tell DVLA straightaway if you move house, so you don’t risk missing the reminder letters that DVLA sends to all vehicle keepers.”

The 20 regions where vehicle tax evasion is highest

AreaTotal enforcement actions in 2019
Belfast78,501
Birmingham61,531
Bristol24,747
Cardiff28,857
Coventry23,739
Doncaster17,885
East London26,005
Edinburgh24,779
Glasgow34,375
Leicester23,174
Manchester34,106
Newcastle22,996
Northampton18,729
North London24,766
Nottingham26,134
Peterborough23,271
Romford18,325
Sheffield30,467
South London29,336
Swansea18,237

Taxing a vehicle has never been easier. Motorists can do it online 24 hours a day, and can check whether their tax is up to date by asking Amazon Alexa or Google Home. It’s important to remember that vehicle tax is not transferred to a new owner when buying a used car.

Click here for our dedicated motoring advice section.

The bizarre questions motorists have asked the DVLA

Missing sock

“Where are my socks?” is just one of the more unusual questions received by the DVLA.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has revealed some of the questions posed by motorists using voice assistants.

But while it’s possible to ask the DVLA when your vehicle tax is due, the government agency is not the place to contact if you’ve mislaid your socks or need to know how to remove chewing gum off a sofa.

DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard said: “We want motorists to be able use our services quickly and easily and voice assistants are becoming more and more popular.

“While some of the questions customers have asked us fall a little outside our area of expertise, we will continue to make our services simpler, better and safer.”

Chewing gum

Since the DVLA launched its digital service two years ago, more than 20,000 unique users have turned to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to find out when their tax is up for renewal.

Today, 98 percent of all interactions with the DVLA are carried out using one of its digital services.

DVLA’s most unusual questions

  • How do you get chewing gum off a leather settee?
  • How do I apply for Love Island?
  • Do you know a good vegan recipe for chicken?
  • Are red cars the fastest?
  • What time is lunch?
  • Is it going to rain in Ellesmere Port today?
  • What did you think of the Bumblebee movie?
  • How can I stop my flatmate drinking my milk?
  • Where are my socks?
  • Is this rash normal?

The message is simple: use “Talk to DVLA” or “Ask DVLA” to make vehicle tax-related enquires.

But ask Mark Kermode for views on the Bumblebee movie and the Met Office for the weather in Ellesmere Port.