News

Dealer Groups Save Hours with Real-Time Checks

Car dealer groups, often employing up to 100 employees per branch, must regularly check their employees’ driving licences. With a large percentage of dealership staff required to test-drive or manoeuvre stock, deliver courtesy vehicles, or even re-fuel, they must have a valid licence.

With the current chip crisis affecting new vehicle supply (and sales), it’s critical that automotive groups minimise hassle, cost, and delays elsewhere, in order to operate as efficiently as possible. Using an automated licence checking tool like Licence Link is a significant time-saver – enabling dealers to get staff to get behind the wheel quickly and safely. Will Blackshaw, Managing Director at Blackshaws explains –

“As a dealership, Licence Link really helps us. We’ve got many staff members who drive – especially in a workshop environment, with multiple technicians driving customers’ cars. It’s absolutely paramount that they are being driven legally and within our insurance parameters.

Our insurance company like to see the reports, it helps reduce our premium – everyone enjoys a reduction in their premiums! And obviously, we need to have the confidence that our drivers are compliant and legal.”

Why Must Dealers Check their Team Members’ Licences?

Dealers that fail to check their employees’ licences risk severe consequences – from legal action to fines to invalidated insurance policies. If staff are caught with excess endorsements or disqualifications, it could cost the business thousands.

For a small cost per check (less than a high-street cappuccino), dealers can be certain that every driver in their business complies. Even in a small or family-owned business, employers should not rely solely on the trust and discretion of their staff. Even a loyal employee may unknowingly attain points, resulting in the employer being held liable. It’s quick, easy, and secure to run checks with a tool like Licence Link, and all data is quickly accessible via their handy reporting suite.

“Licence Link is very easy to use. Frighteningly, it identified quite a few concerns and issues that staff weren’t aware of, with licence expiries coming up. For any new driver, we put their information in the system and get a check done. In seconds, we know what their status is from a driving compliance point of view. It works really well and it’s so simple” – explains Blackshaw.

Benefits of Regular Licence Checks

Following the pandemic, most dealers have digitalised their processes. As a result, they were able to reduce paperwork, increase data security, and boost convenience. Licence Link falls perfectly in line with these new standards, offering a fully digital permissions process. Dealers gain digital approval to check their team’s licences via a simple email link, with permission that lasts three years. This streamlines the outdated manual process to alleviate delays, and consequently save hours for HR teams.

Multi-site groups can easily manage driver transfers with Licence Link. Similarly, systems that offer multi-branch reporting provide an overview of every driver and branch, so management can maintain complete control when handling compliance.

In short, dealer groups see substantial benefits when using an automated licence checking tool, freeing up time and providing assurance. To find out more about the benefits of licence checking, get in touch today.

Licence Link Launches New Website

Licence Link has launched their new website, packed with helpful advice for fleets, informative articles, and tips on how to reduce the risk of driver compliance.

With over a decade of experience in providing driving licence, CPC and Tacho checks, the knowledgeable Birmingham-based team has built up a strong customer base, spanning almost every industry. Whether it’s Pizza Hut, City Councils, or international courier businesses, Licence Link has streamlined processes and reduced the risk of non-compliance for hundreds of HR teams across the UK.

The importance of driver compliance should not be overlooked – with severe consequences for employers that fail to comply. Licence Link’s new website outlines the risks, challenges, and consequences, along with providing advice for businesses about how to save valuable hours when keeping check of their drivers.

Many employers are yet to use an automated licence checking tool like Licence Link. Instead, they allocate hours of time to check every driver manually. With potentially hundreds of drivers, it quickly adds up. With manual checking, there’s also the risk of mistakes when inputting driver data, which could delay the return of check results.

Licence Link’s new website makes it easy to understand the benefits of a secure and approved system. This ranges from reducing the risk of missed checks, winning back valuable hours, and getting results in real-time. Visitors can watch informative videos explaining the benefits of the digital tools in the system, and browse testimonials, to see exactly why employers favour Licence Link over manual checking.

Supported by their parent company – leading global automotive system provider, Pinewood Technologies – Licence Link has proven valuable for their vehicle retail customers. By applying their expertise in the motor trade, Licence Link has been able to offer dealers a time-saving, reliable solution for checking licences across their businesses.

This is explained by Will Blackshaw, Dealer Principal of Blackshaws Garage:

“Before we started using Licence Link, I would have to chase over 50 staff for copies of their licences, in order to check them with the DVLA. We’d often find errors, whilst spending periods concerned about any potential unknown issues.

I can now relax knowing that everything is checked on a regular basis. This has removed a big admin task and given the business better protection for a very small cost. Licence Link really is an investment, and I would recommend any business of any size, with drivers, to utilise this system.”

The benefits of using an automated licence checking provider are significant – especially for larger companies or sizeable fleets. Licence Link’s new website offers valuable knowledge and advice to businesses that still check licences manually, or which seek advice on how to reduce the risk of missed checks.

Driving licence checking doesn’t have to be a headache

Handling driving licence checking can be a chore, taking up valuable time from HR and Fleet Managers. Businesses that manage driver checks manually waste a significant amount of time (and subsequently, money). That’s where Licence Link comes in! HR teams can manage hundreds of drivers at once, with results returned in real-time. It’s a no brainer.

Licence Link makes it easy for employers to keep track of every driver in the business. The system is intuitive and has a range of useful tools to help businesses in every sector comply. Alongside Driver, CPC and Tacho checking, Licence Link includes features to help with:

Managing Driver Transfers

Businesses with employees that work (or transfer) between branches can manage their teams seamlessly in Licence Link.

There’s no need to delete or recreate drivers. Records are accessible across all branches, to provide total visibility. This saves on cost and admin time.

Licence Link sends each driver a digital approval. Once signed, any branch can run a licence check on the driver for the next three years. This is simple to set up within the systems permissions.

This is explained by Leigh Lafever-Ayer, AVP HR UK and Ireland at Enterprise-Rent-a-Car:

“With digital approvals and instant real-time checks, new drivers can be on the road in minutes, rather than days. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has peace of mind knowing that we are managing our Duty of Care responsibilities with Licence Link.”

Handling Associated Drivers

If employees share their company car with a partner or spouse, the business is responsible for checking both drivers’ records.

Any endorsements could potentially invalidate the business’s insurance policy. With Licence Link, employers can track both records as one, seamlessly. The system automatically deletes any associated drivers, if the employee leaves, to comply with GDPR.

Licence Link removes the time involved when processing and maintaining associated drivers. This includes regaining approval, as both employee and partner can be prompted at once, plus automating the checking routine. Here, both employees and partners can be automatically checked on a recurring basis – based on the risk they pose.

For example, drivers with 6+ points who pose a high risk can be checked bi-annually, and lower-risk drivers annually. Once set up, Licence Link automates the entire process, with minimal human intervention required.

For fleets with potentially hundreds of drivers, Licence Link reduces the risk and time involved significantly.

Insufficient Credit Alerts

In Licence Link, users can order credits upfront to pay for their driving licence checking needs, on mass. The system notifies users when these are running short, allowing the business to re-order. This prevents the risk of missed checks and saves hours of inputting details for each individual driver.

In comparison, managing licence checks manually is slower, less secure and runs the risk of human error.

Frequency Groups

Licence Link is completely adaptable to the business needs. Users can categorise employees – such as by risk, or vehicle category. This makes it easy to filter the built-in reports in the system, or when scheduling checks, saving hours of unnecessary admin.

Users can simply set up automated alerts and schedule checks in advance, based on how frequently they wish to check each category. This eliminates the risk of missed checks (and unidentified endorsements), along with the hefty fines which would result.

Businesses managing this process manually must keep their own record of all driver checks – an arduous task. They refer to spreadsheets and paperwork to calculate how often each driver needs to be checked, then must remember to do so.

The system gives you the control that you need, allowing you to check company drivers and manage risk effectively. It’s completely automated, with notifications eliminating any manual intervention. This definitely is a benefit with over 460 locations and over 4,000 drivers nationwide.” – explains Lafever-Ayer at Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Built-in Reports 

Licence Link’s reporting suite provides access to historic checks in just moments. It’s easy to manage drivers, with access to real-time results, customisable reports, and automated scheduling. These factors remove hours of hassle, associated with manually managing driver checks.

How Can Businesses Seriously Save?

The benefits of Licence Link’s driving licence checking services are substantial. Businesses can easily meet their Duty of Care requirements, whilst avoiding the costly consequences of non-compliance. HR Managers can focus on adding value in their role, rather than co-ordinating hundreds of drivers, separately. The tools and reports they need are available at their fingertips in a matter of clicks.

See how Licence Link can benefit your fleet business today.

Take check of your drivers, or your fleet could end up in hot water

With the lifting of coronavirus restrictions fast approaching, business owners should be prepared. According to Licence Link, the return to ‘normality’ could see a spike in driver endorsements – following the imminent reopening of nightlife and the return of commuters. Now it’s time to take stock of your drivers’ licence points or risk serious consequences.

According to figures released by DVLA, 92,000 UK drivers already have between 9 and 11 points on their driving licence, making them a high risk to employers. * This figure is only set to rise too – with motorists having racked up a hefty 1.5 million points during the first half of 2020 alone, amidst a full lockdown. **

With these figures in mind, it’s crucial to consider how your business may be affected if your staff were to incur points – whether they’re employed as a driver, have access to a grey fleet vehicle, or are insured on your fleet policy. For example, being convicted of drink driving, speeding, or using a mobile behind the wheel – even out of working hours – could result in anything from 3 points to a driving ban. From invalidating your insurance to rendering your business temporarily driverless, this could have a serious impact.

What’s more, if the employee fails to disclose this information, your business could be held liable for fines (or worse), so it’s imperative to always keep check of drivers. With Licence Link’s real-time licence checking tool, Fleet Managers can set automated checks for their workforce – reducing the risk of missed or undeclared points. They can flag high-risk drivers to check more frequently too, providing peace of mind that new endorsements will be identified quickly.

Melvin Jeffers, Sales and Customer Relations Leader at Licence Link explains:

“With thousands of employees still awaiting a return to the workplace, its inevitable HR teams will be overrun in preparation. Using Licence Link is a significant time-saver, safeguarding against the risk of missed checks. It’s so easy to make mistakes when tracking results manually, often for hundreds of drivers. For less than a few pounds per check, you can be sure your staff have a valid licence and pose no risk to your business. Your HR team can focus on other priorities, with no hassle of managing compliance.”

With the lifting of restrictions just weeks away, now’s the time for businesses to prepare – identifying high-risk drivers, checking the terms of insurance, and scheduling regular driver checks. All this can be managed seamlessly with a provider like Licence Link.

References for figures:

*  THISISMONEY.co.uk, 2021, ‘On the brink of a driving ban: Britain has 92,000 motorists with between 9 and 11 points on their licence – and are just one offence away from losing it.’, [online]. Available from: https://bit.ly/3hmjoGy [Accessed: 08/07/21]

** TTC Protecting people on the move, 2020, ‘Motorist speeding offences soar during lockdown’, [online]. Available from: https://bit.ly/2TEjboZ [Accessed: 08/07/21]

Free checks or false economy? Weigh up what’s best for your fleet

Driver compliance is critical and failure to check licences can result in hefty fines for employers. According to Licence Link, buying checks from a certified provider, rather than using the free GOV.UK online service has substantial benefits – especially for busy HR teams managing several employees. Both services access driver details from the DVLA, then return these results, but what’s the difference from an employers’ view?

With the free GOV.UK checking service, employees manually apply online – they’re sent a one-time code valid for 21 days, allowing their employer to view their licence details. This relies on all drivers returning a code and the HR team following it up, which isn’t easy to track, especially for potentially hundreds of drivers. Licence Link makes it easier to manage, explains Andy Bealing, Fleet Manager, Exeter City Council:

“Licence Link’s digital checking service allows us to ensure we’re compliant with the DVLA at all times. It’s removed a number of administrative duties, giving us more time to carry out other tasks.”

For a small fee, the pressure is taken off both the business and employee. With Licence Link’s automated service, drivers can sign their consent digitally in a matter of seconds, staying valid for 3 years. It saves hours of admin time – which can end up costing significantly more than a few pounds for a check. Unlike the GOV.UK checks, Licence Link provides a full audit trail, including any past checks.

Employers can schedule routine checks as frequently as they like in Licence Link, with results returned in real-time. Again, this isn’t possible with the GOV.UK service. This makes it simple to keep watch of any new endorsements, which without attention could result in severe consequences – from invalidated insurance to driver downtime to breaking the law. Nicola Bradshaw at Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council explains:

“The reports in Licence Link are very useful, keeping us on top of driver risk. They save us time, providing all the relevant information we need to fulfil our roles successfully and efficiently.”

Ultimately, for any sizeable fleet there are stand-out benefits of using a provider like Licence Link – saving time, relieving pressure, and gaining a trackable record. Free checks are (on the surface) cheaper, but when managing more than a handful of drivers, the process can quickly become more time consuming and costly on a check-by-check basis. It’s essential to weigh up the cost to check versus the time taken by your HR team to manage the process.

Team back from furlough? Don’t forget to check their licences

More employees are returning to the workplace – some for the first time in months, as the UK lockdown continues to ease. Licence Link urges employers to take precautions before returning team members to the road again – a simple licence check can save getting stung.

During the furlough period, many businesses temporarily paused their routine licence checks for absent team members. It’s important to be aware of any driving convictions incurred, affecting their licence, before staff return. Failure to check could result in devastating consequences for a business.

From clocking points for a speeding ticket to more serious convictions, if an employee fails to disclose a change to their licence, their employer could face penalties. This includes insurance exemptions (above a certain level of points), driver downtime (loss of licence) or even breaking the law. Failure to check can result in hefty fines, or worse.

Over 2.8 million motoring offences were issued in 2018 and 2019* alone. Although the pandemic will have affected this volume for 2020/1, it clearly shows that motoring offences are not a rarity – so they should be anticipated. Employers are naive if they fail to take precautions as part of their duty of care, they must ensure the safety of other road users and essentially cover their backs.

Melvin Jeffers, Sales and Customer Relations Leader at Licence Link explains:

“As a business, your staff are your responsibility – why risk it? With Licence Link, each check costs less than a cup of coffee. We return the results in real-time, so there’s no delay when it comes to getting your team back on the road. It couldn’t be easier.”

For businesses with drivers yet-to-return from furlough, don’t forget to check licences before employees take to the wheel – it could save your business thousands.

Do future drivers fit the bill beyond their CV?

Good fit for the team? Got the qualifications? Questions like this are commonly asked when interviewing. Although… did you check the driving licence? According to Licence Link, employers often overlook driver licence checking during interview stage which can result in extra costs, driver downtime and even breaking the law.

Fleet and HR Managers should be taking precautions when hiring to save time and money in the long-term, by incorporating licence checks before offering a job. Candidates may hold back information if not asked to take a licence check, and if an employee commits a driving offence whilst holding a critical level of points, this can have serious consequences for a business.

Refer to your insurance policy! It’s often outlined that drivers mustn’t exceed a certain level of points, meaning a business could face legal consequences – in addition to invalidating their policy. It is also critical to ensure candidates have the right licence for the role. Candidates claiming to have driven a Category C vehicle could have mistaken it for a C1 – a vital error, capable of invalidating insurance. Melvin Jeffers, Sales and Customer Relations leader at Licence Link explains:

“It’s your duty as a business to ensure all drivers have a valid licence, right for the job. Regardless of the CV or candidate, checking their licence beforehand safeguards your business. Why risk the consequences when each check costs less than a coffee?” 

Licence Link helps businesses stay on top of compliance, with results returned in real-time, making it a quick and easy process:

It saves time and provides the relevant information we need to fulfil roles successfully and efficiently” explains Licence Link customer at Cheshire West & Chester Borough Council.

Licence checking should be part of the hiring process, ideally followed by regular maintenance checks. You wouldn’t buy a dangerous car so why hire someone who puts your business at risk? It’s a small price to pay!

Licence Link API gets key workers on the road quicker

Licence Link has assisted the NHS throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Coinciding with the early stages of the pandemic, the Birmingham-based driving licence checking firm introduced a new API for NHS Fleet Solutions, speeding up the driving licence checking process for employees.

A representative of NHS Fleet Solutions shared how the API has been beneficial:

“During COVID-19, our NHS teams and key workers have worked tirelessly around the clock. Licence Link made it simple for us to check and manage the driving licences from public sector employees applying for lease cars.”

With increased pressure on the emergency services, the API was introduced at the ideal time, vastly speeding up the process to check licences for key workers. Many public sector staff get their lease cars through NHS Fleet Solutions, so the API made the process much faster for all, eliminating rekeying between systems. Admin staff now only have to input licence data once – returning results quickly and seamlessly.

With Licence Link, key workers can authorise checks to their licence electronically.

Licence Link’s API will continue to provide value and speed up the process for key workers to lease a vehicle through NHS Fleet Solutions.

Free checks keep fleets compliant during COVID pandemic

With the UK amidst its third national lockdown, new factors and costs are constantly arising so it’s easy for driver compliancy to slip. To protect road users and prevent breaking the law, businesses must prioritise compliance – ensuring key workers meet requirements.

Licence Link have made the process easier and more feasible to manage – offering free CPC and Tacho card checks to all customers when checking their entitlement to drive.

Those responsible, usually Fleet and HR Managers, can feel at ease knowing their drivers have received the correct training (holding a valid Certificate of Professional Competence) whilst also monitoring hours worked in the driving seat, to ensure they comply with the law.

Melvin Jeffers, Licence Link Team Leader explains:

“Giving our customers free CPC and Tacho checks has been a great help. Licence Link has saved our customers hours, manually organising checks. Freeing up extra time and funds means they can focus on running their business without worry. From delivery drivers to doctors, Licence Link has helped keep key workers on the road.”

Checks are accessible in real-time, with minimal contact. Licence Link’s eDec (electronic declaration) feature allows drivers to provide approval by eSignature – the entire process taking just moments. This has been a huge benefit, as employers strive to restrict contact throughout the pandemic.

The consequences of driver downtime, missed checks or failure to notice and rectify non-compliance could lead to detrimental consequences. Using a trusted provider such as Licence Link can substantially reduce the risk and hassle for your team.

Licence Link takes the hassle out of handling licence renewals

Keeping on top of licence checking is a time consuming yet critical task for fleet businesses, ensuring that every driver they employ is in possession of a full, valid driving licence to comply with the DVLA and the law.

The issues surrounding COVID-19 meant that the DVLA provided an 11-month extension period on driving licences due to expire between 1st February and 31st December 2020. This has complicated the tracking of expiry dates for potentially hundreds of employers, fleets that track records manually or where systems don’t account for the extension.

Licence Link removes the hassle and confusion of keeping check of driver data across the fleet – automating the entire process and saving hours of admin time. Automated reminders can be set up easily to flag upcoming licence renewals via the DVLA for company drivers.

Once a driver has been added to the Licence Link system and they’ve electronically signed to approve checks, the employer will be notified when each licence is due for renewal. Working closely with the DVLA, Licence Link accounts for the 11-month extension period, enabling the admin team to notify drivers in advance of the correct renewal date.

In addition to reminders, businesses can schedule automatic alerts – triggering frequent licence checks on an ongoing basis, to keep on top of any penalties, fines or disqualifications employees may acquire. This eases the risk of businesses unknowingly allowing employees to drive with an invalid licence, and the associated consequences.

Get in touch to see how Licence Link can help reduce risk and save time for your fleet!

Scroll to top