End of paper driving licence problematic for hiring cars abroad End of paper driving licence problematic for hiring cars abroad
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End of paper driving licence will cause problems hiring cars abroad

On June 8 the paper driving licence will be no more, but motorists are being warned that this will cause problems when hiring a vehicle abroad. What’s the problem? Book theory Test Today investigates.

Book Theory Test Today says: “If you’re a motorist heading abroad after June 8, you will need to take a special code with you if you want to hire a car.”

Paper driving licence to be scrapped

If you weren’t aware the British paper driving licence, which holds records of fines and endorsements, is being scrapped as of June 8, 2015 in favour of a computerised system. This means that hiring a car abroad could require a code so that hire companies can access details of any driving convictions for offences such as speeding.

In order to retrieve a code, motorists will be required to access the DVLA website prior to travelling. However, the code expires after 72 hours, meaning that motorists needing to hire a vehicle for over three days may have to obtain a new code while overseas.

Where internet access is unavailable, there will be a number to call in order to acquire a code. Book Theory Test Today says: “The code is not actually a requirement, whether one is needed is at the discretion of the car hiring company’s terms and conditions.

Simon Williams, an RAC spokesperson, said: “Many motorists are not even aware of changes concerning the paper driving licence. Our research shows that with just over a month to go before the paper driving licence that accompanies the photo-card licence disappears, 55 percent of drivers are not aware of the planned change.”

Keep or destroy the paper driving licence?

The DVLA is advising that people destroy their paper driving licence after June 8. However, the AA recommends that motorists keep them in the event that hire companies are not aware of the upcoming changes.

AA president, Edmund King, said: “Not all car rental companies, or indeed traffic police abroad, will be aware of the changes, so a ‘belt and braces’ approach of also taking the counterpart might help.”

The AA was quick to add that it’s not always a problem to hire a car abroad without the paper driving licence. The AA said: “Just as some car hire companies do not currently ask for a counterpart, not all will ask for a code after 8 June.”

However, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) think that it’s all a little confusing. A BVRLA spokesperson said: “Due to the short notice provided by the DVLA and the need to thoroughly test the new system, many car rental companies are still finalising their plans for the UK and abroad.”

While the old paper driving licence, introduced in 1998 before the arrival of photo cards, will still be valid, holders will require a code in order to fully validate them.

From June 8, motorists can access a record of their driving convictions via the UK government website by visiting the ‘View My Driving Licence Page.’   

 You will need your driving licence, national insurance number and postcode to hand. Please note the changes taking place will not affect driving licences issued by the DVA in Northern Ireland.

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Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

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