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Riviera Pebbles Blog: DVLA extend code system for Brits hiring cars abroad from 3 days to 3 weeks

Posted on 24th Jul 2015 in Nice News


© Gibert/Flickr

Brits wanting to hire a car abroad will now have 3 weeks rather than 3 days before the licence ‘check code’ you have to generate expires. This means most British holidaymakers can create a code at home before heading off.

3 week code

The code was introduced after the paper counterpart licence that carries such details was computerised. The DVLA initially allowed the code to stay "live" for just 3 days. The checking period is now 3 weeks.

The government responded after car hire companies complained of queues and drivers complained they may not have internet access while abroad to generate a new code.

"We're pleased that the DVLA has listened to industry feedback that the code lifespan was too short," said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.

"This common sense approach will reduce queues at rental desks and give millions of renters more time to plan and arrive prepared ahead of their journey." Motoring organisations were also concerned that many drivers and car hire companies were unaware of the new system, and those that were found it tricky to use.

The DVLA says using the system is not complicated. "It's very easy to view and share your driving record. Just go to and search for 'view driving licence'," said Oliver Morley, the DVLA's chief executive.

As a result of the abolition of the paper counterpart, all evidence of driving endorsements and convictions will be held online only. The eight million or so old-style paper licences - which carry endorsements on them - will remain valid.

Keeping guests informed

Pebbles have spoken to Elite Rent, our recommended car hire firm in France, about the changes in the law. Elite have confirmed that the paper counterpart license is not required to rent with them, and suggested that it should not prove problematic with most auto rental services as far as they are aware. Pebbles guests can take advantage of a 10% discount with Elite Rent.

To create a code, you need to go to online here. You’ll need your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence to hand.

We will update this blog as and when we receive key updates from the DVLA or respected motoring bodies.

The system does not apply to Northern Ireland drivers.


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