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Number of drivers having licences revoked jumps 50%

The number of drivers in the UK who have had their licences revoked has risen 50% in the last four years, increasing the need for fleets to carry out regular licence checks.

Terry Hiles, general manager, Licence Check

DVLA figures published by Licence Check following a Freedom of Information request show that the number of drivers who had their licence revoked under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 stood at 7,944 for 2015, but by the end of last year it had risen to 11,953. That figure includes an 8% increase between 2017 and 2018 alone.

Including licences refused for medical reasons, the number jumps to 61,482 for car and motorcycle drivers alone; an increase of 4% over 2017, and up 29% when compared with 2015. Meanwhile the figure for lorry or bus drivers who had their driving entitlement revoked or refused for medical reasons rose from 11,213 in 2017 to 12,242 in 2018; a rise of 9.2% in just a year.

And the number of drivers with 12 or more penalty points on their licences is also on the increase. In July 2018, there were 10,978 drivers with 12 or more penalty points recorded on their current driver record. By the end of March this year, that figure had risen to 11,150, a 1.6% rise in less than six months. The figures come just weeks after IAM RoadSmart highlighted that more than 11,000 drivers with 12-plus penalty points are still on UK roads – despite the DVLA having reportedly said to the organisation years ago that they would take action on the issue.

With latest Licence Check figures also showing that there are a growing number of drivers in the UK who may be driving on foreign licences under reciprocal arrangements with the UK authorities, the firm said these new statistics underline the need for companies to remain vigilant at all times.

The firm’s general manager Terry Hiles commented: “These latest figures confirm that licence checking and risk assessment are an essential part of any company’s armoury under various pieces of duty of care legislation. Regular checks, with the frequency dependent on the risk profile of the drivers concerned, are of fundamental importance to a company’s security and wellbeing.”

The figures have been published as new DVLA data shows that Licence Check, now part of online solutions provider Ebbon-Dacs, is now officially the UK’s fastest growing provider of fleet licence checking and compliance services. The figures reveal that the company carried out a record number of licence checks in 2018, with the numbers rising steadily throughout the year and the fourth quarter of the year, finishing 52% higher than the first in terms of licences checked.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.