DVLA reduces costs by 30% with online service

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DVLA reduces costs by 30% with online service

Rebecca Thomson

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) expects to save £50m over the next eight years, as it begins to reap the benefits of technology to enable customers to pay their car tax online.

The Electronic Vehicle Licensing system has allowed the DVLA to reduce the cost of each transaction by 30% since its roll out in 2004 at a cost of £36.5m.

Thirty per cent of all customers use the online service, and the DVLA plans to increase this to 65% by the end of the 2008 financial year. Twenty five per cent use the telephone service, the DVLA said.

The system works by checking MOT and insurance details electronically, with the Vehicle Operator Services Agency holding the MOT database and the Motor Insurance Bureau holding insurance.

The insurance database, which has relationships with every insurance company in the UK, is run by credit checking service Experian and is checked via a live link.

There are further live links to the Veteran's Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions to check for exemptions.

Andrew Rhodes, head of electronic customer services at the DVLA, said usability was key to the site's success. "Information gathering services often do it the way the organisation wants to do it, rather than what the customer needs or prefers. We have minimised the amount of effort customers need to put in," he said.

He added that there were plans to roll out more services on the site. "We made all the necessary investment upfront and completely restructured the architecture, so we can upgrade as we go along," he said. There are also plans to link to the passport service.

The Electronic Vehicle Licensing system is written in Java J2EE and runs on eight AIX servers. Six Windows servers run a Siebel customer relationship management system which links the licensing system to call centre agents.

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