Why wouldn't the DVLA allow me to contact a driver who damaged my car?

In your October 12 column you responded to a query about a car scraped while parked on private land. You recommended that the owner should ask the DVLA for the other car keeper’s details. I found myself in virtually the same position last year. While in the chemist with my car on their forecourt my car’s front wing was scraped. There was a note from a passer by who described the driver, the car, and gave the car’s registration number. I contacted the DVLA who responded that the amount of damage did not justify them giving me the name and address of the owner. I remonstrated but with no joy. There seems to be a fine line between what the Data Protection Act will allow and the rights of an injured party certainly as far as the DVLA is concerned.

Asked on 21 December 2013 by FR, Norwich

Answered by Honest John
A loophole in the Data Protection Act allows the DVLA to sell driver data to any member of the British Parking Association who wants to penalise a driver for any parking 'offence' on private land without having to show 'just cause'. Selling this data seems to be big business for the DVLA. The consequence is that if your car breaks down and you wait more than two hours for the AA or RAC at a motorway service area, you will automatically be penalised with a £40 fine for overstaying the permitted ‘two hours free parking.’ No ‘just cause’ is shown. Only the fact that your car is photographed entering the services, then leaving them more than two hours later. Not only that, BPA members, with the support of the BPA, are pursuing 'keepers' of cars for penalties even though they have identified the driver at fault. How was the DVLA ever allowed to get into bed with this bunch of bandits? How was the clause in a Parliamentary bill ever passed? Were all of our MP’s asleep? Or do they too have financial interests in private parking enforcement?
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