Dealers are being urged to prepare for the withdrawal of the paper counterpart of the driving licence – or face an unexpected administrative burden that could affect service and sales departments’ performance, says Cooper Solutions.
Working with over 1,650 dealers across the UK, Cooper Solutions estimates that the vast majority of UK dealers are not fully aware of the implications of the withdrawal of the paper element of the licence on June 8 2015.
Feedback suggests few dealers have yet made any plans to manage the licence checking process as part of their duty of care and insurance responsibility. Feedback from dealers who insure customers on their own motor insurance policies suggests that as many as one in two are considering a move to alternative cover, to deal with the cost and administrative hassle created by the scrapping of the paper counterpart.
The most pressing issue concerns dealers using their own motor trade policies when loaning a vehicle to a customer or taking them on test drives.
Insurers will expect dealers to carry out one of the available additional checks that replace the paper counterpart, some new, some existing. These options include a premium rate phone line, the View My Licence and Share My Licence portals or Access to Driver Data (ADD) and specialist solutions like that available within FullCover; Cooper Solution’s fleet management product.
Director at Cooper Solutions, Dean Pipitone, suggests that dealers speak to their motor trade insurers and ask for written confirmation with respect to the paying of claims if the licence photo card has been checked, but eligibility to meet the policy terms and conditions has not been proven.
Pipitone said: “We’ve been spending time assessing the real-world impact of these options for dealers and frankly, none of them make life easier for busy motor retailers.
“Before using the Share My Licence option, a driver will need to go through the View My Licence portal, which relies on them knowing their national insurance number, postcode and driving licence number.
“While the DVLA premium rate phone line is another option, this costs dealers 51p per minute and may face unprecedented demand as it copes with the estimated 10million annual calls, compared to the current level of 2.5 million. Lastly, the DVLA has developed a secure online checking option for the motor industry (ADD); however this has significant set up costs, subsequent annual charges and substantial look up fees.”
He also argues that this significant change in the way dealers carry out their duty of care to drivers, should act as a catalyst for change. He said: “Those dealers that have been ahead of the curve on this issue have taken it as an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and review their existing insurance arrangements.”