Car Hire Britons Get Licence Boost

Car Hire Britons Get Licence Boost
British holidaymakers wanting to hire a car abroad will now have three weeks to share their driving licence details with firms instead of three days, in a move hailed as a “victory for common sense”.

After the paper portion of the driving licence was scrapped in June, motorists have had to obtain a special online code to give to hire companies to check their penalty point records. But the code only worked for 72 hours, meaning travellers hiring a car in the second week of a foreign trip were forced to find internet access abroad or run up roaming charges by going online using a mobile phone.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said it was clear that “some users want the check code to last longer” amid claims it had been inundated with complaints.

The 72-hour limit had initially been set to “minimise the risk of unauthorised access to potentially personal data”, a DVLA spokeswoman said.

Pete Williams, the RAC’s head of external affairs, said: “This is a dramatic U-turn from the DVLA which feels very much like a victory for common sense. Presumably they were inundated with complaints from private motorists and businesses alike about three days being far too short a period to share your licence with a hire car company or an employer. The move to three weeks is sensible as it provides sufficient flexibility for people hiring a car in the second or third week of a holiday or business trip.”

DVLA drivers’ services manager Dudley Ashford said it had introduced the extension after listening to customer feedback, as for some people “the 72 hours validity period is not long enough. We will review this in three months once we’ve had sufficient further feedback from users and industry,” he said.