How hard are the DVLA working to prevent the big car scams?

3 February 2010

The headline story is a couple of days old now but it's worth taking a look; it's a report by the BBC on how DVLA documentation is being used to sell stolen cars. Three years ago, the DVLA printed thousands of vehicle registration forms but then found an error on them - they were meant to be destroyed but, you know, weren't. Then they were, you know, stolen:

Bitterwallet - DVLA scam

Our favourite line comes from the DVLA spokesman - "clearly it's a criminal act - we can't be held responsible for that criminal act!" Nope, nothing to do with you! Why, you only printed tens of thousands of these official documents, failed to destroy them and then allowed them to be stolen. How could any of this possibly be your fault?

Another line states the DVLA has done "all it can" to make consumers aware of the serial numbers printed on the rogue documents. That's good to know, so we decided to see what lengths the DVLA were going to.

Stick DVLA in a Google search and what do you find? The first result is a DVLA website selling car registrations - their current promotion is for Valentine's Day. The second Google return is a result which has never seen SEO before, but that's the link you need. Odd that the DVLA will spend money optimising websites that help consumers spend money and generate profits, but not one that prevents grand fraud on a nationwide scale.

Let's assume you guessed which link you need. Is there any information about these stolen documents when you click through? Nope. Given the apparent scale and nature of the crime, a simple panel and link on this homepage would seem appropriate. Instead, you've got to hunt well below the fold to find "Buying and Selling a vehicle" under "Consumer Advice". Let's assume you guessed that, too. Then you've got to click "Advice on buying" and you still don't see any information until you scroll down again, well beyond the fold to the very foot of the page. That's it.

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the DVLA is doing "all it can" to prevent this crime by hiding the relevant info in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'. They'll be first up against the wall when the revolution comes, assuming they don't fuck up the paperwork for that, too.

TOPICS:   Scams   Motoring


  • zacspeed
    Here here - fucking wankers!
  • MayContainNuts
    The DVLA is a complete farce. They fined me £60 for tax on a car I sold 5 years previously, because their system "forgot" I no longer owned it and they claimed there was nothing they could do to reverse the fine as I hadn't kept the original of the form which I was supposed to post (the original of) to THEM. Eventually, they got bored of me and stopped responding to my letters (they refused to deal with me over the phone) and just called the bailiffs in instead. There was absolutely nothing I could do, even though they admitted it was their fault, so I ended up paying the fuckers £60 for a car I didn't own. I wonder how many other people they have bullied into paying fines that they don't owe?
  • The B.
    If you're going to paraphrase Adams, at least mention fire lighters.
  • Gunn
    They are well known for making mistakes, usually the excuse is that they have such huge numbers to deal with that only a small % are affected. Is that a viable defence when you become a large organisation? Its ok if you mostly you get it right.....
  • diGriz
    DVLA cost me several thousand pounds, had on old bike stolen with a private plate on it. Reported it stolen and a few months later our local rag and bone man applied for ownership, we said no of course and they gave it to him anyway. Apparently the guy dealing with it was off sick and it was sent in 'error'. The then situation basically meant I had to say Fuck it and lost out.
  • Amanda H.
    My OH had to send them her Original Birth Certificate to get one of those credit card licences. They lost her birth cert, or rather, they sent it to someone else, she never got it back, she got DVLA to pay for a new one (a copy at that). No doubt, someone somewhere is now opening bank accounts and credit cards in her name, oh joy.
  • psst c.
    Another bunch of useless govt wankers. ..In no shape or form could they ever be deemed responsible enugh to be held responsible is what the dvla spokesman should have said of his fuckwit dept!
  • Jef P.
    DVLA:- Fuckwit cunt shit bastards. And that't swearing. But only on a good day. Has anyone ever succesfully complained about these cowboys?
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