DVLA Warn of Rogue Websites Once Again
By: Click4Reg Team
Last updated: 22 May 2014
The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have once again issued warnings to motorists to advise people to only apply for licences and tax discs through the official .gov website. A number of copycat websites have been set up over the past few years. These look extremely similar to the official website but those using such services will incur additional fees and charges. These should be avoided by motorists who need to take care not to accidently fund these morally debateable services.
When drivers, with or without private plates, apply for tax discs from the DVLA, only the cost of the disc is actually required. However, when copycat websites are accidently utilised, an admin fee is charged. This is often disguised in a so called “check and send” service, with websites saying they’ll check over the documentation before it’s sent on. But, in many scenarios, the online forms are simply printed off and sent back to motorists, who then have to send them to the DVLA for processing. Effectively, the service charge is made simply for the cost of printing and posting. There is no need to do this, though, and going directly via the .gov.uk website ensures minimal costs are paid.
One of the major problems some drivers face is that due to search engine technologies and the ability for people to pay for websites to appear in the top rankings, many copycat services actually appear above official services. This often misinforms internet browsers who truly believe they’re using the right process when, in fact, they should have looked lower down on the search engine list. In some cases, these service provides charge up to three times the ordinary fees, said the DVLA, adding that “the Office of Fair Trading has ruled that websites which charge additional fees and services are not acting illegally.” It is, therefore, the responsibility of the motorist to ensure they’re using a process which incurs as low costs as possible.
The costs of driving continue to creep up, certainly in terms of petrol and insurance. Therefore, to pay more for renewing a license or getting a new tax disc is the last thing that most motorists want to be doing. It’s imperative, therefore, to take care when going online to fill out documentation, particularly when using search engines to find the correct website. Instead, people should ensure they utilise the official .gov.uk website and keep their additional driving costs as low as possible.