The DVLA has issued a warning to drivers in the UK.
Websites ask drivers to pay for free services on the DVLA website.
The DVLA said some sites offer to help with V5C vehicle registration certificates or renewing a driver’s license from the age of 70.
All of this can be done for free on the DVLA website.
These secondary websites genuinely offer the services they advertise – it’s just that they charge too.
Even if the DVLA charges for a service, copycat websites will charge even more, according to the Mirror.
For example, it costs £14 to renew a driving license on the DVLA website, but up to £60 elsewhere.
The DVLA said it had been contacted by 1,200 drivers about the issue since January 2020.
Guy Anker, Deputy Editor of MoneySavingExpert, said: “These copycat sites are not illegal, but they disguise themselves as legitimate web pages and use clever tricks to appear higher on search engines.
“They make you fill out forms, which takes no more work on your part than if you had done it yourself through the official sites, and then they overcharge you for ‘administration’ or ‘services’ – which only passes to the competent body, without additional work. ”
If a website offering DVLA-related services does not have “gov.uk” in the address bar, it means they may charge these additional fees.
Another sign is that you’re being asked for money for something that used to be free for you – like updating your car’s logbook when you move house.
DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard said: “Gov.uk is the only site where customers will find our official services, many of which are free.
“You may be charged a premium when using other websites offering services that are not connected to DVLA.”
Drivers have already been warned that they face a hefty fine and penalty points on their license if they pay with mobile phones at drive-thru restaurants.
And if a new driver was caught, he would just have to be stripped of his license and banned from the road.
Current traffic laws state that it is illegal to pick up and use a cell phone while the engine is still running.
This means that many unwitting people inadvertently break the law by paying with their phone at a drive-thru or gas station.