According to the DVLA they make no profit from this, and they also reject the idea that they are "selling" the data to these private companies. However, if you have listen to these three conversations (1, 2, 3) it becomes rather clear that someone might actually be making a profit from this, and it isn't the DVLA.
According to the DVLA representative in the third conversation, the electronic portal that provides virtually instant access to the DVLA database of information for registered companies is managed by Fujitsu and IBM. It is these companies that charge the DVLA via contract for running the system and handling the requests. Is it likely therefore that the £2.50 per record charge does not carry a margin mark-up for these requests? I think not.
It wouldn't be in their interests to manage a system for the DVLA that was revenue neutral for them. As such, whilst the DVLA can hide behind the "it's an administration cost" what they actually mean is that it is a administration cost that has to be paid to Fujitsu for providing the means for companies to get information from the registers. Put your hand up if you honestly believe that those companies are not making a profit from this?
At £2.50 a pop, on 1.5 million requests a year that is just short of £4 million. Given the information in the audio downloads, it suggests that somewhere along the line a profit must be being made for this information disclosure. Worse still, after six months a company can go electronic and the chances of any oversight of their requests is minimal.
Click the links below to listen to the DVLA.