More than 800 drivers have notified the agency about third-party websites charging elderly drivers more for simple DVLA services. They warn some sites have even charged up to £81 as a handling fee to renew a driving licence in a blow to motorists in the run-up to Christmas.
They warned the third-party sites did comply with regulations because they have a disclaimer admitting they were not affiliated with the DVLA.
However, the DVLA says this service is completely free on the GOV.UK website.
Julie Lennard, DVLA Chief Executive urged drivers to always use the official website when renewing a licence.
She added customers will receive their licence in just days if they use an official service.
Ms Lennard said: “Drivers looking to renew their licence at 70 and over should use our online service which is secure, free of charge, and also the quickest, easiest and way to transact with DVLA.
This means many are inadvertently using the services, believing they are dealing with the DVLA.
These third-party websites charge a fee to pass a driver’s application to the DVLA.
However, they warn these sites are not affiliated with the official services in any way.
Despite charging drivers more for basic free services, the DVLA has previously claimed the sites were not illegal.
“They are third-party services sites but provide a disclaimer on their sites and a link to the services that the DVLA provide.”
They added: “There was a time when these type of sites operated without anyone able to do anything but now there are regulations in place.”
Drivers are urged to use the DVLA’s online service when renewing their licence to avoid delays.
An update by the DVLA this week showed they were still renewing paper driving licence applications received back in September due to the effects of the pandemic.