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Car Hire Changes to the UK Driving Licence

Our tops tips for hiring a car abroad!

Never beaten on price

Way back in 2015, the DVLA scrapped the need for the paper counterpart to the UK driving license. This means that all endorsements are now stored on a central database. You can gain access to this database and view up-to-date licence information using the DVLA's View Driving Licence service.

In order to hire a car, you need to get hold of a DVLA code so the car hire company can check to see if you have any penalty points.

It all sounds very confusing, but it's actually really simple. Here's our quick step-by-step guide to getting your code and what to do with it once you've got it:

1. Getting your code from the DVLA

DVLA plan retro

In order to get your code from the DVLA, you'll need your post-code, driving licence and National Insurance number - time to dig out the crumbling NI card! Enter those details here and the site will give you your unique code to jot down. Write it somewhere safe as you'll need it to collect your hire car.

2. Take this code to the hire company in order to prove your endorsements

driving endorsements retro

Even if you don't have any endorsements, it's still important that you bring the code with you as most car hire depots will require it just to double check. They'll run a quick search whilst you're at the desk, verify everything with you and then you're good to go.

3. How long does the code last?

3 weeks retro

Your code is valid for 21 days from the date you obtain it and can only be used once. If you need to, you can have more than 1 active code at a time.

4. Should I print off a copy of my driving history?

driving documents retro

Although not all hire companies will accept this, it's worth bringing along. Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared!

Once you've handed over your code and signed your paperwork, not forgetting to read the Ts and Cs, you're ready to head off in your hire car and explore the sites. Hiring a car is the perfect way to get off the beaten track in your chosen destination, so make sure you don't forget your DVLA code! If you do forget, there's a chance that the depot won't allow you to take the car away.

If you'd like any further information or would like to book car hire for your next trip, contact us.

Got a question? Call us on 0800 804 7362 or email

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