The latest money raising scheme by a Government Department involves the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) selling the names and addresses of motorists to companies chasing after them for private parking disputes.
In a move that is bound to cause controversy across the UK, the DVLA have admitted that they already pass information on to wheel clampers but in the future want to charge more. Simon Tse, the chief executive of the DVLA, is hoping to get ministerial approval to raise the current charge of £2.50 which only covers administrative costs, to a higher fee that will enable the DVLA to cover the £100 million deficit it is currently facing.
The proliferation of private parking enforcement companies has not been slowed at all by the Governments decision to outlaw wheel clamping on private land, instead the companies now issue tickets that are often passed on to debt recovery companies to collect. Van drivers and lorry drivers typically that have van insurance cover are often ticketed by these private companies if they spend a few extra hours at motorway service stations catching up on sleep to comply with their working hours. The tickets can be for as much as £150 and there is no official means of appealing against the charge.
The DVLA plan has not been welcomed by driving groups who believe that the end result of any increases could see drivers even more out of pocket. Professor Stephen Glaister, from the RAC foundation and long time transport expert, said “Rightly, an admin charge is currently levied to cover costs. Wrongly, it seems talks have already taken place about turning the system into a money making scheme. Not only would the DVLA be making cash out of drivers’ details, to add insult to injury car owners would ultimately foot the bill, because you can be sure parking companies would pass on the extra charges.”