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SMMT voices concern at planned DVLA charges

Motorists should not be forced to fund upgrades to DVLA systems or the renewal of photo licences, says the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Trader.

It criticises the licensing body for failing to absorb costs by improving efficiency.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan says: "No business would survive if it passed the costs of going online to the customer, so why does the DVLA think this is acceptable?

"The Government takes £4.4 billion a year in road tax and just got an extra £32.5 million from last year's massive hike in the new car registration fee. Continuous licensing also means fewer road tax dodgers and more income. So where is all the extra money going?"

The DVLA's plans to increase income include:

  • The introduction of a 'change of keeper' fee set at anything up to £7.50, for the 7.5 million used car transactions each year.

  • 10 year photo card licence renewal set at a cost of around £19.00.

  • An annual registration fee for the UK's 29 million cars of between £2.50 and £4.50, generating an additional £130 million.

    Macgowan says: "The introduction of photo licences should be delivering benefits to society through reduced crime. If there were cost implications, the process should have been subject to an impact assessment. With proper scrutiny, the industry believes that costs could have been absorbed without hitting drivers in the pocket."

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