DVLA extends new car hire code ‘lifespan’

Drivers hiring a car abroad will now have three weeks to share extra driving licence details with rental companies instead of three days.

Motorists are required under a new system to access the DVLA website to generate a check code that allows companies to see whether a driver has penalty points.

The code was introduced after the paper counterpart licence that carries such details was computerised.

The DVLA initially allowed the code to stay “live” for just 72 hours. The checking period is now 21 days.

The government responded after car hire companies complained of queues and drivers complained they may not have internet access while abroad to generate a new code.

The DVLA said that for those who do not have internet access, a phone number would also be made available – although this is not a 24-hour number.

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, told the BBC: “We’re pleased that the DVLA has listened to industry feedback that the code lifespan was too short.

“This common sense approach will reduce queues at rental desks and give millions of renters more time to plan and arrive prepared ahead of their journey.”

Motoring organisations were also concerned that many drivers and car hire companies were unaware of the new system, and those that were found it tricky to use.

All evidence of driving endorsements and convictions will be held online only as a result of the abolition of the paper counterpart.

The system does not apply to Northern Ireland drivers.

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