British motorists spent an estimated £5 million more than necessary on driving licences last year, according to the DVLA.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has released new figures showing that more than a million drivers paid more than they had to when renewing or applying for a new licence because they chose to do so by post rather than online.
Data from the agency shows that the number of people applying for provisional driving licences or renewing their licences online has risen by 10 per cent in the last three years. However, 20 per cent of new licence applications and around half of renewals were still done by post.
A provisional licence costs £43 when applying by post, but only £34 online, with renewals costing £17 by post and £14 online. If you’re over 70, renewing your licence is free.
While the additional cost to each individual is relatively small, with more than 1.2 million drivers posting their applications to DVLA last year, the excess sums spent add up.
DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard commented: “Each year, more and more people are choosing to use our online services and it is always cheaper and quicker to renew your driving licence on gov.uk. It’s also the quickest way for those who have lost or misplaced their licence to apply for a replacement.”
The DVLA also urged drivers to make sure they deal directly with it via the gov.uk site rather than an intermediary.
There are third-party websites which offer to help with the application process but many charge additional fees for services which are free or significantly cheaper if accessed directly.