Headlines: July 5th, 2012

Proposals to centralise the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency and close all regional offices have been agreed. Consultation on the proposals started at the end of last year.

The DVLA will centralise operations from March 2013 and will close its 39 local offices by the end of 2013. It is estimated that the annual saving from the move will be £26m.

The DVLA will provide more transactions online. Local businesses will act as intermediaries to offer motorists more convenient access to certain DVLA services through at least 4000 outlets nationwide compared to the current 39 DVLA local offices. The DVLA will ensure that alternative service channels will be available before offices close.

The Freight Transport Association predicts that centralising the DVLAs services
will result in slower and more costly services for its members. It argues that centralisation of its services in Swansea or using intermediaries will not meet members’ needs and will result in unnecessary administration time and cost.

FTA members have valued the service, support and guidance provided by the staff at local DVLA offices where they could speak to experienced people qualified to deal with queries, and now worry that the closures could result in a reduction in customer service levels, ultimately impacting on the running of businesses and significantly raising costs.

The local DVLA offices have always played a significant part in the running of freight organisations day to day business, from tax discs to digital tachograph services, and if the proposed intermediaries are not geared up to handle bulk business sector enquiries, everything will now to be dealt with by post.