The price of a driving licence could soar by 80 per cent under proposals being considered by the government.
It’s estimated that increasing fees from GBP 38 to GBP 68 as early as next year could rake in an extra GBP 42 million a year for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The organisation needs to find the extra cash to pay for the recall of existing paper licences, new security features and standardising licences across Europe.
Another option under consideration would involve putting the fee up to GBP 45 but also increasing the vehicle registration fee, for owners of new cars, by GBP 20 to GBP 45.
A third option suggests charging drivers GBP 3 every year but cutting the cost of new licences to GBP 29.
A DVLA spokeswoman said that after the end of the consultation period in July, the results would be analysed before a wider consultation was launched, with the final decision in the hands of the government.
Andrew Howard, of the AA Motoring Trust, said: ‘We are immediately worried at the prospect of the GBP 3 annual registration fee. People could turn around and say `Well, what’s three quid?’ but as we generally know with motoring taxation it isn’t very long before someone decides that GBP 3 charge can be a GBP 10 charge.’
Edmund King, of the RAC Foundation, suggested a possible alternative would be to put up the price motorists banned for drink-driving or other offences would have to pay when they apply for a new licence.
‘It would be fairer to increase this rather than bundling it on to new drivers who possibly can least afford it.’ he said.