Concerns have been raised that motorists are being used as cash cows for the DVLA as their details are being sold on for tens of millions of pounds to parking companies – a tenfold increase in less than a decade.
Back in 2006-07 272,000 drivers’ records were accessed by parking firms chasing motorists for unpaid parking charges – with the DVLA received £2.50 each time information was accessed. This figure has spiraled to more than three million in the past year, however, with more car and van owners targeted by parking enforcement companies.
DVLA figures, unearthed by The Times, suggest that selling drivers’ records has raised the DVLA £31.6 million since 2006, with 12,658,578 motorists’ details being sold on to parking companies.
It is believed that more and more businesses are chasing drivers for unpaid charges with direct mail, after the government banned private firms from clamping cars parked on private land back in 2012. The DVLA has revealed that 100 companies requested vehicle records over 2014-15.
Responding to criticism over the system, the DVLA has claimed that it makes no profit from this system, with the £2.50 fee only being levied to cover its administration costs. The quango has also stated that it only shares the details it holds with accredited parking firms that have a “reasonable cause” to access data, reports The Times.
A test case is currently being heard by Court of Appeal judges, after a motorist challenged whether an £85 parking charge issued by a parking company operating in Essex could legally be enforced.