Concerns have been raised over what is going to happen when the counterpart driving licence is dropped next year. This is the paper section of your licence which you are given when you pass, and is used mainly for administration and identification purposes for insurers and business car leasing services.
What Effect Will losing The Counterpart Licence Have On Business Car Leasing?
From next year the paper section of your driving licence will be phased out to be replaced by digital data, in a move which will have an effect on various parts of the motoring industry including insurers, the DVLA and car leasing companies. Some experts also warn that the change will make drivers data much more accessible, which could lead to privacy and data protection problems down the line.
Managing director of The Licence Bureau, Malcolm Maycock, has expressed concerns about how the DVLA would handle corporate licence checks after the counterpart's demise.
DVLA are brilliant at consumer transactions - if you want a tax disc you can do it online, if you want a V5 you can do it online - they are brilliant. I think as a Government organisation they're seen as being a flagship because they're dealing with millions of individuals and doing it really, really well. The issue that they have, or I certainly perceive that they have, is dealing with business.
How does DVLA deal with anywhere between 1.5m and 3m companies that will require access to driver data when you get rid of the counterpart? How do you control that and how do you manage the security of that?
These are questions which have so far been unanswered, and which if left until the last minute will leave little time to put an effective system in place. Insurers claim that digitising these records will stop them having to factor in price in risk costs which they have to add on to compensate drivers who lie on their policy or make a genuine mistake.
How Will It Affect The Business Car Leasing Industry?
The changes are expected to work to the benefit of contract hire companies, as it will cut out some of the administration costs which come with business car leasing. Some claim that any new digital system wont be able to be as fast as the current DVLA system, but once the database is up and running, it will make the whole process more reliable and easier to access across difference companies or sections of the industry.
However, Malcom warns that dangers may arise from failing to implement a controlled licence checking system after the counterpart licence has gone, he says, My fear is unless you're really careful with this, we won't continue to catch those drivers who shouldn't be driving. The disqualified, revoked provisional and expired won't be caught because either the data will be abused and it will be withdrawn or it won't be understood.
What we need is a system that's really cheap for us to obtain the driver record that we can put in additional controls with our contracted customers and have DVLA then deal with a smaller group to audit. It's as simple as that.
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