Thousands of banned motorists may have ended up with more expensive car insurance because of a blunder at the DVLA charged them for medicals they did not need to regain their driving licences.
The DVLA reckons about 3,000 drivers were wrongly charged up to £90 for a medical and £25 to cover administration costs when applying for the return of their licence after a driving ban. The total compensation cost could reach £390,000.
Lawyers are looking at the case to see if they can also sue the Department of Transport for hikes in car insurance premiums as well.
Medical examinations are compulsory for disqualified drivers who are classed as “high risk offenders”.
Only drink-drivers picked up twice or more or those who has a blood-alcohol reading well over the legal limit or who failed to provide a specimen are branded with this label.
The DVLA had sent these drivers bills for medical examinations, but has disclosed officials misinterpreted the law in many cases, including drink-drivers who failed to provide a specimen.
The Department of Transport said: “”We no longer charge the medical fee and we are refunding the £25 administration premium built into their application fee that covers the set up of the medical and consideration of its results.
“We have identified 3,415 cases involving around 2,800 drivers which qualify for consideration of a refund.”
Meanwhile, many drivers who have points on their licences need to check they are not paying over the odds for car insurance.
The law says that many convictions are ‘spent’ over periods of up to 10 years, but some insurance companies still base car cover on these convictions even though they are not allowed to take them in to consideration when calculating risk and costs.
But both the topics in this article show that government agencies and insurance firms do make mistakes that are unfair to some motorists.