11:54 a.m. July 6, 2022
Drivers are charged a premium by unaffiliated websites that pay for cheaper or free services through a government website.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued a warning to drivers amid an increase in complaints.
New figures have shown that there have been 1,200 complaints since January 2020 about websites that are not affiliated with the DVLA but claim to offer DVLA-related services.
Although these sites genuinely offer advertised services and are not illegal, they charge significantly more than what the DVLA charges.
He said some sites offer help with V5C vehicle registration certificates or renewing a driver’s license from the age of 70, which can be done for free on the DVLA website.
How to Avoid Getting Caught
Guy Anker, Deputy Editor of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “These copycat sites are not illegal, but they disguise themselves as legitimate web pages and use clever tricks to appear higher on search engines.
“They make you fill out forms, which takes no more work on your part than if you had done it yourself through the official sites, and then they overcharge you for ‘administration’ or ‘services’ – which only passes to the competent body, without additional work.
“These services are usually free or much cheaper if you do it yourself, which can leave a very sour taste.
“The obvious red flag that you’re on a copycat site is if you’re being charged for something that’s usually free – like updating your vehicle logbook (V5C) when you’ve changed your address.
“Another telltale sign is the web address, so if you must be on a government website, inspect it carefully to make sure it says GOV.UK.
“It’s also worth knowing the real price of a paid service – in the past we’ve spotted companies offering ‘verification services’ for driving license renewals for £60, more than four times the 14 £ what it costs to do this via GOV .UK.”