Drivers warned to keep their licence safe this Christmas

A close up of the top left corners of a provisional UK driving licence and a full UK driving licence

Keep an eye on your driving licence at all times

Make sure you take good care of your driving licence over this holiday period or you could find yourself a victim of identity theft. 

More than 1 million licences reported lost or stolen 

According to the DVLA, 1,015,048 licences were reported lost or stolen between September 2022 and August 2023. That equates to approximately 2.5% of all UK licence holders.  

It costs £20 to buy a replacement licence if yours has been lost or stolen. Data reveals that, in total, drivers spent £20 million replacing their licences during this period.  

Graham Conway, an expert at Select Car Leasing, warns people they should make sure they know where their licence is at all times, especially if they’re going out and using it as a form of ID, as Christmas is a particularly active time for thieves.  

He added that anyone who does lose your driving licence card should report it to the DVLA immediately. 

Hotspots for lost and stolen driving licences  

Some of the UK’s biggest cities were the most common places for licences to be reported lost or stolen.  

Between September 2022 and August 2023, London saw the most drivers report their driving licence as missing, racking up 108,000 reports and generating £2.2million in replacement fees.  

Birmingham came in second with 32,000 reports and £650,000 in replacement fees with Manchester not far behind at 23,000 reports and £455,000 in fees. 

However, Edinburgh claims the top spot of most licences lost per 100,000 people. 2,547 per 100,000 people reported their licence lost or stolen in Edinburgh, which is almost 500 more per 100,000 than London, which came in at 2,094 per 100,000. 

The Christmas period is one of the busiest for replacement driving licences, however more people report their licence lost or stolen in July (93,000 licences) and January (91,000 licences). 

Conway warns of the danger of losing your licence: “A driving licence holds lots of personal information and could be used by the unscrupulous to commit identity theft. No-one wants to be £20 out of pocket at this time of year, either, which is the cost of a replacement licence.” 

If you want to know more about car-related thefts, check out our blog on keyless car thefts.