DVLA hands over details of 23 million vehicle owners10 Jun 2019

Average of almost 64,000 a day

The DVLA released details of around 60% of all vehicles in Great Britain to third-party bodies in 2018-19.

The RAC Foundation has already reported that private parking companies accessed 6.8 million sets of vehicle keeper records in the last financial year but when releases to all organisations are added together the total comes to 23.2 million. At the end of 2018 there were 38 million vehicles licensed in Britain, 31.5 million of them cars.

The 23.2 million figure is up on the 20.5 million sets of data provided to third parties in 2017-18.

Millions of the requests for vehicle keeper data came from local authorities but others asking for information include bailiffs, private investigators and toll road operators.

Some 2.5 million requests were linked to the Dartford Crossing, whilst 1.5 million requests came from Transport for London. The operator of the Mersey Gateway received 1.1 million records.

The DVLA is obliged to provide the information to anyone who can show “reasonable cause” for having it. Public sector organisations are likely to receive the data free of charge but commercial organisations,l including private parking companies, will normally pay £2.50 per record.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“The DVLA must be one of the biggest data handlers in the country and as such needs to reassure us on two vital questions: first, that its systems ensure personal information is only released to those with a legally legitimate interest in it; and second, that these companies and agencies the use the information appropriately.

“Since the introduction of GDPR millions of businesses and organisations across the country have had to tighten up the way they deal with sensitive data. Drivers have a right to expect the DVLA to prove not only that it too is complying but also leading the way.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office told The Times:

“We are aware of the issues around the sharing of drivers’ details between the DVLA and private parking companies, and we are currently considering if and how new data protection laws affect this data sharing. We will be offering advice and guidance once those issues have been resolved.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | [email protected] | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705.

All the Foundation’s work is available on its website: