A grey area for licence checking

As any self respecting transport manager knows, if you have employees driving for your organisation for business purposes, you’re legally obliged to ensure that they’re qualified to drive, their licence valid and that it covers the vehicle they are using. Failure to do so can put your operator’s licence at risk.

What some perhaps don’t know is that the same rule applies to the ‘grey fleet’ – that is employees who use their own vehicle for business purposes. The numbers falling into that category might come as a surprise. According to a survey by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) the UK’s grey fleet comprises 14m – that’s 40% of all vehicles on our roads. Annually they cover 12bn miles a year.

That’s a lot of licences to check. And, of course, following the withdrawal of the driving licence’s paper counterpart in 2015, a visual check is no longer possible; this process is now completed online. The details of every licence must be submitted to the DVLA’s central records where they’ll be checked for validity, any restrictions, endorsements and expiry date.

And that’s where an accredited driving licence checking service, such as Driver Hire’s ‘dh Licence Check’ comes in. With the permission of the licence-holder, a fully auditable check can be completed immediately. Record keeping is made easy with an ‘at a glance’ screen-based record of all your drivers’ licences. The service can also be programmed to undertake regular, scheduled checks too.

“We strongly recommend using an accredited licence checking service to keep track of your grey fleet drivers,” says Chris Chidley, Driver Hire’s Chief Executive. “Whilst you can still contact the DVLA direct, using their system can be quite time consuming if you have a lot of licences to check. A good licence checking service will provide an authenticated record at the time when the check was made, further reducing any risk of fraud.”