One of the major concerns of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is the small number of private companies knowingly misusing the registered DVLA trade mark. Seeing the familiar DVLA logo on a website could lull a potential customer into a false sense of security. Believing they are interacting with a government-backed organisation, or thinking that the company is in some way affiliated to the DVLA, may cause a consumer to trust the information provided without really questioning it. The issue is not just confined to cherished number plate dealers offering personalised registrations for sale, it is a wider problem which affects many motoring related businesses including; car parts suppliers, motor insurance claims handlers and even driving schools.
Rewards for Good Behaviour
The DVLA is tackling the issue of misuse of its official logo amongst personalised number plate dealers, by rewarding those businesses who employ good trading practices. DVLA caught a few people off-guard recently when it announced that cherished number dealers are to be offered a complimentary referral link from the DVLA Personalised Registrations website. This radical proposal is part of the Agency’s bigger plans to establish fairer trading practices throughout the cherished number plates industry, which at the same time should create a better environment for the British motorist who is looking to buy a private number plate.
Motorists searching for personalised registrations are often fooled into thinking they are viewing the official website of the DVLA, when in fact they are actually looking at a website belonging to an independent private company. To help counteract this problem, dealers will be incentivised via the web referral scheme providing they first agree to, and implement, a detailed set of terms and conditions.
No Affiliation to DVLA Personalised Registrations
One of the conditions necessary to qualify for the free referral link requires the participating dealer to place a disclaimer on the home page of their website. It has to clearly state that ‘DVLA’ is a registered trademark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and that the company concerned is in no way affiliated to the DVLA. This goes some way towards solving the problem of website visitors mistakenly believing they are interacting with the DVLA.
Failure to comply with this, or indeed any of the terms and conditions will result in the dealer missing out on the valuable referral link, or having an existing link removed. Simply Registrations is pleased to have been accepted into the scheme. We do feel however that some companies will take the decision that they have more to gain by trying to pass their company off as a DVLA affiliate to unsuspecting consumers, than abiding by the rules and receiving the DVLA website referral link.
There does not appear to be a hidden agenda behind the introduction of the DVLA web referral scheme. The Agency simply wants to protect its intellectual property. By first gaining the cooperation of the number plate dealers, the DVLA is effectively gaining greater control over the personalised registrations industry and partially influencing the manner in which business is conducted. Over time this greater control should create fairer competition between the private plate companies, but more importantly it should provide a better and safer experience for motorists who are looking to buy personalised registrations.