If you want to hire a car in UK, you must comply with the DVLA car hire requirements. As most drivers in the UK probably know, the counterpart that accompanied the photocard driving license was abolished in 2015. The counterpart held important information about a driver, such as the type of vehicle they could drive, the period of validity of the license and the driver’s penalty points. Abolishing the counterpart by no way means that this critical information is inaccessible. In fact, the DVLA made it much easier to access this information through the internet. Read on to learn more about these changes, and how they affect both car hirers and hiring companies.
What Car Hirers should know
Although the counterparts to photocard licenses were done away with, old paper licenses are still valid. Do not get rid of your old license yet. It is also important to note that the abolishment of counterparts does not affect Northern Ireland. That means that if you plan to visit Northern Ireland, the counterpart to your photocard license will still be considered valid.
However, in the rest of the UK, the only way to access details about a driver is by visiting the DVLA website. Of course if you are a driver it is very easy to access your own details using the information on your driving license. But the case changes for hiring companies who do not have access to the information that you do. Keep in mind that these companies still require to know about your penalty information before hiring out their car.
For hiring companies to be able to access your information, they are required to use a code that is generated by the DVLA. In order to get this code, you need to visit the View Driving License site. Enter the required details there, such as your driver number, your postcode and your national insurance number. After filling in the required information, a code will be generated. The code is only valid for 21 days after you obtain it. Also, you can only use the code once. This is the case in order to protect the privacy of your information as a driver. Moreover, it is important to note that you can only obtain up to 15 codes at any particular time. This is yet another measure to protect the privacy of your information.
This code will give the car hire companies information they need to know about you as a driver. In case you encounter any problems getting the code, or if you cannot somehow access the site, you can contact the DVLA. Beware that when you contact the DVLA you will be asked some question to verify your authenticity as the driver you claim to be. This certainly helps protect the security of your information as well.
What Car Hiring Companies Should Know
As a car hiring company, it is important that you know about the person you entrust your car to. You should be able to tell whether or not they are good drivers, because it is important that you get your car back in as good a condition as you rent it out. Even in the absence of the counterpart to driving licenses, you must insist that you get other details about the driver. Legally of course, their driving license should be sufficient to allow you to hire out your car, but it is generally advisable that you get as much information as you can.
There are various options that are open to you when it comes to accessing information about drivers. One way is to ask the driver to give you the code to their account. The rules about a code still apply even to car hire companies. For instance, a code is only valid for 21 days, and can only be used once. Also, remember that you can only get 15 active codes at any one particular time.
Alternatively you can ask the driver to print out their Driving License information from the site. This might be time saving for you and a bit more convenient. On the flip side however, it requires that the drivers have access to computers and printers. Additionally, it is important to note that the information on the print out might not be up to date. It is the information about the driver at the time the time of printing. A lot could have changed between the time of printing and the time of hiring.
You could also ask the drivers for permission to access their details. To do so, call DVLA using this number and get ascertain that you have verbal consent from the driver. Then go ahead and call the DVLA to access the details about their driving license.
Why was The Counterpart Abolished?
There are various reasons why the counterpart to the driving license was abolished, mostly pertaining to the inefficiency of the system. The DVLA seeks to provide fast and timely services to drivers, while at the same time making tax paying a much simpler and precise process.
One problem with the counterpart to driving licenses was that the information was not always up to date. This gave a leeway for unscrupulous people to mislead others. Secondly, the counterparts were not exactly cheap which placed an unnecessary financial burden on motorists. The code system has also helped to reduce red tape. All in all, the code system is a much efficient and practical process than using counterpart to driving licenses.
Obtaining details about a driver has been made loads easier by the code system, as opposed to the more cumbersome and rather inaccurate counterpart to driving licenses. As a driver, all you have to do is fill in the details required in the View Driving License, and you will be able to see all the relevant details about your driving license. You can also authorize hiring companies to access this information using a code generated from the site. Before you travel to a given area, or before you approach a given car hiring company, be sure to confirm what information they need before hiring out cars. That will save you a lot of disappointment as you travel.