Older drivers are being urged to be alert to rip-off websites trying to overcharge them for simple licensing services.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has warned that drivers looking to renew their licence after the age of 70 should be wary of sites charging a premium for handling services after receiving hundreds of complaints from motorists.
Figures released by the agency show that it has received notifications from 803 drivers who paid more than necessary to renew their licence after being taken in by the third-party websites.
When a driver reaches the age of 70 they must renew their driving licence every three years. The DVLA handles online renewal applications for free but some websites have been found to charge handling fees of up to £81 to process the application.
These sites often appear close to or above the official DVLA site in web searches and offer to handle the renewal process.
Many have been found to closely mimic DVLA designs and colours as well in an attempt to make them look official. However, they aren’t affiliated with the DVLA and simply charge a fee for passing the application on to the agency. The DVLA has emphasised that applications made through such sites won’t be processed any quicker than those lodged via the official DVLA site.
Julie Lennard, chief executive said: “Drivers looking to renew their licence at 70 and over should use our online service which is secure, free of charge, and also the quickest and easiest way to transact with DVLA. Customers usually receive their driving licence in just five days.
“Always remember to always use GOV.UK when using any of DVLA’s many online services.”