It's now a year since we started work on our Vehicle Management exemplar. So one year in I thought it was time to reflect on some highlights.
What have we delivered?
Today we launched our first public beta service, 'Selling a vehicle into the motor trade'. This service allows motor dealers to notify DVLA when they've bought a vehicle from a motorist, typically in part exchange. This will update the DVLA records in real time and remove the current vehicle keeper from the record the same day. It will also ensure the keeper receives a refund of any tax remaining on the vehicle or cancels their Direct Debit if they had one set up.
Also, we’ve launched the next iteration of the service, 'Buying a vehicle from the motor trade'. This allows motor dealers to tell us that a customer has bought a car from them. Again, this updates DVLA records the same day and will remove the need to send any paper documentation into DVLA. Initially this will be available to a small number of users via a private Beta before we launch publicly in a couple of months.
What have we learnt?
Lots! One of the most rewarding aspects of digital is seeing people grow in confidence and skills. It's been a steep learning curve, most of the DVLA staff involved having never worked on an Agile or digital service development before. We've paired DVLA developers, Business Analysts, User Researchers, and Testers alongside colleagues from our suppliers. Their personal development is key to ensuring we have sustainable services, and these skills can be re-used on the next development they're involved with or continuing to improve this service.
The other aspect we have learnt is that you can never speak to enough users. The motor industry is made up of a huge variety of different users from small independent traders to auction houses to huge car warehouses and franchised dealers. Each has their own way of doing things, each with their own needs.
Understanding these has been key to the service design and even at this stage we learn new things. The feedback from beta will be crucial to ensure we can improve further.
We will complete the end of the first phase, which will allow private motorists to tell DVLA when they sell their car to another motorist. Then we will look to put all 3 services fully live and put in place a team to continuously improve the service and build more functionality such as the ability to notify DVLA when you export a vehicle.