Agency aims to reduce confusion over tax changes with new ‘start’ pages for website payments
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is aiming to reduce the confusion over the changes in car tax by producing new ‘start’ pages for its online payment and renewal service.
The move comes in response to widespread complaints over the changes to the car tax system and increasing pressure on the DVLA’s contact centre.
It is accompanied by the progress of new online services, including the move of that for informing the agency of buying or selling a vehicle into its beta phase.
A DVLA blogpost acknowledges that changes in its rules, made in October 2014 and involving the abolition of the tax disc and emphasis on using direct debits, have confused members of the public and led to an increasing number of calls to its contact centre. It became clear that many customers have struggled to understand the website instructions, prompting the agency’s digital team to look at the problems.
It identified two recurring problems: that users did not understand the difference between receiving a tax reminder and taxing a new vehicle; and they wanted more reassurance that they had set up a direct debit for the payments successfully.
This has led to a redesign of the start pages that the agency believes is “idiot proof” and identifies where the required information can be found.
The new pages are scheduled to go live next week, with more changes based on user feedback to follow. The agency said that since the service went into beta last year it has made dozens of changes over 26 development sprints.
In a further change, the DVLA's online service allowing owners to tell it when they have bought or sold a vehicle has now entered its beta phase, after it successfully passed the GDS assessment. It is now looking for feedback on the service.
In addition, it has introduced online services for the public to inform it when they have sold a vehicle to the motor trade or to a private individual or business.
The agency has been going through a surge of activity in developing online services. It recently announced plans for two more: a View Vehicle Record service will enable users registered on its fleet scheme to access data on their vehicles; and Share Driving Licence will allow licence holders to share the information with anyone they select.
It also reported an early surge in the take-up of services introduced at the beginning of the year, to register personalised number plates online, and of the facility for motor traders to notify the sale of a vehicle.
Image: Iain Thompson CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons