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(30 Posts)
grannyrebel7 Fri 20-Nov-20 10:26:12

My DH has just renewed his driving licence with the DVL as he's approaching 70, or so he thought. For this he was charged £69. I thought this was quite expensive but thought no more of it. Turns out he'd actually gone through an agent working on behalf of the DVL to assist people with the process. To think that this government body encourages this sort of practice is scandalous. If he'd been more careful he could have renewed the licence on the DVL's website without incurring any cost. He's mad with himself for being duped like this as he's usually so careful. He's now written a strongly worded emailed telling them exactly what he thinks of this practice. He has over 2000 followers on Twitter and is going to make them aware of how easily it is to fall into this trap. He's asked me to warn all GNers too.

Toadinthehole Fri 20-Nov-20 10:28:20

Thank you. It’s a long way off for us, but good to know. Hope your husband gets his money back?

Cabbie21 Fri 20-Nov-20 10:31:01

I am not sure why you say that “this government body encourages this sort of practice”?
If you go straight to GOV.UK it won’t cost anything, but if you type into a search engine what may come up are the scam websites which charge the unwary a small fortune.

Jaxjacky Fri 20-Nov-20 10:31:31

My friend did exactly the same, I’m not sure if these people really work for the DVLA, there are scams all over, using the site is the best option, £14.

Alygran Fri 20-Nov-20 10:34:19

Did he google the DVLA site and click on an advertisement by mistake? I got caught like this when getting a US visa and paid over the odds. Companies pay to have their ad at the top of a google search outcome so it’s easily done,

FannyCornforth Fri 20-Nov-20 10:35:34

Cabbie is right.
It's not the fault of the DVLA.
There is nothing that they will be able to do about it.
As you say, your husband should have 'been more careful'.
It's very unfortunate and annoying.

Alygran Fri 20-Nov-20 10:35:58

Just googled ‘renew driving licence’. The top 4 hits are ads. The site is 5th.
Sharks out there....

wildswan16 Fri 20-Nov-20 10:38:16

This has been well known and written about for some time. It is not the fault of the DVLA. They have no power to stop it.

We all just have to double check that we are on the correct sites.

Blossoming Fri 20-Nov-20 10:38:26

There are firms doing the same with passports. Always go through the site for anything of this nature.

Callistemon Fri 20-Nov-20 10:42:58

Turns out he'd actually gone through an agent working on behalf of the DVL to assist people with the process.

No, they're not working on behalf of the DVL at all.

The same can happen with all agencies, here and overseas.
We have a friend who said that it had only cost him £45 to get an Autralian holiday Visa and I said 'but it's free!' and he looked at me and said 'I've been had, haven't I'!

He's not daft, he didn't realise and these sites appear top of the page on Google, before the official one.

vampirequeen Fri 20-Nov-20 10:56:25

This is a very profitable business which is a sort of scam but not illegal. People pay the money and get their new documents so don't realise they've been scammed. It's money in the pocket of the scammer for something the person could have applied for themselves and got for free.

Marydoll Fri 20-Nov-20 11:02:58

My DH has just renewed his for free. These sites do not work for the DVLA, an expensive mistake to make.

It's a sharp lesson for all of us to double check the URL address of the site you are on. Sometimes it's just a subtle name change and people can be easily fooled.

EllanVannin Fri 20-Nov-20 11:06:48

This scamming is a shocking business and that amount rings a bell with me for when my phone wouldn't work this year TalkTalk were keen to squeeze £69 out of me for an engineer, saying it was a fault inside the property.
No, it damn well wasn't ! It had ended up that BT had been renewing cables that had perished over time. I was ages without a phone---because I'd refused to cough up.

Alegrias2 Fri 20-Nov-20 11:25:44

I'm sorry that your husband paid for something he didn't need grannyrebel7.

Its a bit unfair to call this a scam though, or to blame the DVLA. They are companies offering a service, its just a service that most of us don't need or want. I just did a quick google and the three top returns are companies that charge a fee for this service. You can tell they are not the DVLA because they have "AD"" next to the title in the google list. The first one had this at the bottom of the first page. (See attachment)

Caveat emptor is a good motto for all of us, I think.

Lucca Fri 20-Nov-20 11:29:25

Same thing when you want a visa for Australia. You have to go via the government website

Riverwalk Fri 20-Nov-20 11:34:20

These 'agents' are perfectly legal but they often make their websites look like the official ones, so they are misleading.

It's same when applying for visas or ESTA for the US (when we used to travel!)

The problem is these companies pay to go to the top of listings on search engines - I've just done a Bing search for 'renew driving licence' the top listing is the private company, followed by the government website.

25Avalon Fri 20-Nov-20 11:37:29

It’s an easy trap to fall into and it’s good you are making more people aware. My dh made me aware of these companies so now I am extra cautious. It isn’t DVLA’s fault.

MrsThreadgoode Fri 20-Nov-20 12:31:16

Well at least his Twitter followers won’t do it , but I hope he didn’t send the email to the DVLA because it’s not them he should be complaining too.

Sarnia Fri 20-Nov-20 12:37:12


I am not sure why you say that “this government body encourages this sort of practice”?
If you go straight to GOV.UK it won’t cost anything, but if you type into a search engine what may come up are the scam websites which charge the unwary a small fortune.

You are right. It isn't just the DVLA that get targeted by scammers. I watched a programme about insurance (yes, I know I must get out more!) but people thinking they are contacting their insurance company sometimes find they have clicked onto a bogus site who charge a fortune for items that would likely be free under their policy. Often these fraudulent websites are above the genuine article, encouraging people to click on them first. It recommended that people write down the genuine phone number for their insurers to avoid getting caught.

Luckygirl Fri 20-Nov-20 12:54:51

This happens with lots of things - I got stung for an EHIC card (RIP) via an agency rather than directly - so I had to spend money on it when I need not have done.

travelsafar Fri 20-Nov-20 12:57:35

Do we have to renew our licence when 70??

Are you contacted by DVLA to do this or are you just expected to know about it.

Sorry, but genuinely I didnt know about this.

Marydoll Fri 20-Nov-20 13:17:48

DH did it himself, about three months before he was 70. It's your responsibility.
It's very easy to do, especially if you have a current passport. You can use that photo.

Hithere Fri 20-Nov-20 13:26:29

Same thing happened in the US for the green card lottery

grannyrebel7 Fri 20-Nov-20 14:52:51

Yes he thought it was connected to the DVL but have since found out it's not. I doubt we'll get the money back but just wanted to make everyone aware of it.

M0nica Fri 20-Nov-20 17:48:13

Well, they are a scam because they design their sites, choose their name so that anyone accidentally clicking on them think they are on an official site.

The DVLA and other organisations have been doing a lot to try and stop it and make sure their site is always top on the list, but it is a game, that these fraudsters are very good at it.

The rule is: if doing any official forms check that you are the address of the site you are on ends .gov. 'gov' is the UK government domain name and that cannot be used by anyone other than a UK government entity.