Following 10 July 2015 announcement by the DVLA that the validity of the online code required to 'share driving licence' details with car hire companies has been extended from just 72 hours to 21 days, Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief of money.co.uk, comments:
"The abolition of the paper counterpart of the British driving licence has caused the chaos we predicted, particularly for drivers hiring cars overseas. Today's announcement from the DVLA to extend the validity window of the share driving licence code from just three to 21 days is wonderful news and should help resolve some of the teething problems.
"This means that travellers generating the code before they leave the UK will not have to complete the same process again if they don't hire a car immediately.
"However, the second issue that the DVLA still hasn't addressed is the fact that drivers need to use their national insurance number to generate the code. This is a piece of information that many people do not have to hand, particularly when they travel. This initiative set out to simplify the DVLA's services and save the Government £8 million.
"To truly simplify this service, the DVLA should rethink the information required to generate the code without compromising security. There's definitely an argument that going forward more research and testing should be done before a major policy change is implemented."
money.co.uk's recent research carried out amongst 1,435 drivers¹ revealed:
Four out of five (79%) of those surveyed would arrive at the car hire office with incorrect documents, 11% would just take their driving licence photocard and 42% have no idea what they should produce
Almost three out of four drivers (73%) are not aware they have to produce a code when renting a vehicle overseas to enable the hire company to check driving records online
Amongst those that are aware of the code, 46% believe you should specify the duration of the code when you generate it and one in ten do not know there is a time limit
Accessing online driving records requires a national insurance number. This could cause problems as 78% of drivers would not take this number on an overseas trip
Drivers can view and share their driving record at View your driving licence information. They will be able to see their information electronically and generate a check code which can then be shared with the car hire company. Drivers can also download and print a summary.
Notes to Editors: 1. Research was carried out amongst money.co.uk's opinion panel on 18 May 2015 amongst 1,435 drivers, 1,182 of which travel abroad and hire vehicles.
About money.co.uk: money.co.uk, recently ranked second fastest growing business in the Sunday Times Fast Track, was established in 2008 by Chris Morling and remains the only independently owned comparison website within the top players in the UK. The Cirencester based business employs around 38 people and is currently one of the most used financial comparison websites in the UK, attracting around 2.5 million visitors a month. It's a free, online comparison service which allows customers to compare a range of personal finance products and utility services. The website compares over 20,000 products across 56 categories using over 800 comparison tables, offering consumers the best tools and information.