Industry concern at DVLA plans to hit motorists in the pocket

02 November 2004 #SMMT News

Motorists should not be forced to fund upgrades to DVLA systems or the renewal of photo licences. That’s the line taken by the SMMT in response to the DVLA’s fee proposal consultation. The Society goes on to criticise the licensing body for failing to absorb costs by improving efficiency.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘This doesn’t make sense. No business would survive if it passed the costs of going online to the customer, so why does the DVLA think this is acceptable?

‘The government takes £4.4 billion a year in road tax and just got an extra £32.5 million from last year’s massive hike in the new car registration fee. Continuous licensing also means fewer road tax dodgers and more income. So where is all the extra money going?’,

The DVLA plans to increase income include:

  • The introduction of a ‘change of keeper’ fee set at anything up to £7.50, for the 7.5 million used car transactions each year.
  • Ten year photo card licence renewal set at a cost of around £19.00.


  • An annual registration fee for the UK’s 29 million cars of between £2.50 and £4.50, generating an additional £130 million.


Christopher Macgowan added, ‘The introduction of photo licences should be delivering benefits to society through reduced crime. If there were cost implications, the process should have been subject to an impact assessment. With proper scrutiny, the industry believes that costs could have been absorbed without hitting drivers in the pocket.’

Last year, DVLA raised a record £74.9 million from the sale of personalised number plates.

Notes to editors:

1. The first registration fee was introduced and designed to cover the administration costs throughout the life of the vehicle. The fee increased from the original £25 in 1998 to £38 in 2004.


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