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Thread: Courtesy Car and National Insurance Number (an odd question)

  1. #1

    Courtesy Car and National Insurance Number (an odd question)

    I was picking up a courtesy car from the dealership while they work on my car. Instead of the service manager I was supposed to see, I was met by another and was asked for my National Insurance Number and whether I had any points on my licence. I have never encountered this in all my years renting or having courtesy cars. Long story short, I didn't remember the NIN and this manager indicated that was the deal breaker. I asked to see the manager I was meant to see in the first place, suddenly they didn't need either of those things and just had me sign the usual insurance document, and that was that. While I was waiting for the second manager to come out I called my wife to look up my NIN, so I then offered it twice to the second manager, which he completely brushed off.

    I've since mentioned it to a few people and they have never come across this, but I am really curious whether this was normal and they just decided to waive it because I was being difficult, or whether that manager got some wires crossed. I just can't quite figure out what they would need the NIN for. BTW, this is a major main dealer.

  2. #2
    Master senwar's Avatar
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    I got a text from Marshall Group (Volvo) last week saying I needed to take my NI number in or check code. My own car was in for some work

    I wasn't asked for it on arrival though and have had cars from them before.

  3. #3
    I wonder if they got confused and actually wanted to see your driving license details via the DVLA website. You are issued a code to present to hire car companies which is valid for 21 days. I believe a courtesy car is classified as a hire car.

    You can generate the code here https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

  4. #4
    Master
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    Nonplussed, can only assume someone got mixed up with requirements for hiring staff? Given that there is a set format for NINos you could make one up on the spot! Even though they have your car why didn't they just warn you they would need some I.D. such as a driving licence?
    Ah, I see Phil might have nailed it?

  5. #5
    Ah! This would explain it. Thank you both.

    So it was a bit of both. He never explained the reasoning, but on the other hand I was completely unaware of the need for a code. Is this new? I've had courtesy cars in 2019 and rented a couple back in 2017, and all I needed was my driver's licence.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by adigra View Post
    Ah! This would explain it. Thank you both.

    So it was a bit of both. He never explained the reasoning, but on the other hand I was completely unaware of the need for a code. Is this new? I've had courtesy cars in 2019 and rented a couple back in 2017, and all I needed was my driver's licence.
    Itís been a requirement since the paper license was abolished. Itís the only way for a hire company to check for endorsements.

  7. #7
    And yes, I should've said when we arranged the car I was told they just needed my licence, which I brought. I am getting a better picture of what happened.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Lee View Post
    Itís been a requirement since the paper license was abolished. Itís the only way for a hire company to check for endorsements.
    Makes perfect sense and feels like it's something I should've known.

  9. #9
    Master
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    My work rent cars and vans from a local hire company and they also ask for my NI number and if I have points on my license (roughly every three months)
    There is a government site where you can obtain a code instead of showing your license.
    Itís not new idea as I have been having to do this for at lest two years.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hiring-a-vehicle


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  10. #10
    Master
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    I was asked for proof of my date of birth when an Amazon driver delivered some booze the other day. He wanted to photograph my driving license but I refused. I still got the booze! I once had my identity stolen so I'm very careful. There's far too much personal info being shared in the interests of "security"! Just think carefully before giving out info and who you are sharing it with!!!

  11. #11
    Master
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    Yes, I have recent experience of a friend having car hire companies asking for NI number. Under GDPR they need a good reason to collect this information so I'd be asking them why they want it.

    I did some work for a bit of the Civil Service a few years ago and we looked at using NI number as a unique id for a person. Turns out the treasury have a very firm policy on this which boils down to "it's our number, don't use it". Apparently some people have more than one NI number.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    I had a similar experience recently when renting a car, initially thought it was very strange but got to the bottom of it eventually.

  13. #13
    Craftsman T1ckT0ck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy67 View Post
    Yes, I have recent experience of a friend having car hire companies asking for NI number. Under GDPR they need a good reason to collect this information so I'd be asking them why they want it.

    I did some work for a bit of the Civil Service a few years ago and we looked at using NI number as a unique id for a person. Turns out the treasury have a very firm policy on this which boils down to "it's our number, don't use it". Apparently some people have more than one NI number.
    Using NI, Driver License number and Postcode they can access your record online at that .gov page.

    Maybe some places find it easier then asking a customer to go and get and supply the 21 hire care code.

  14. #14
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Where i had my Mini serviced always asked for NI number + driving licence in order to have a loaner.
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  15. #15
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy67 View Post
    Apparently some people have more than one NI number.
    Do they live in caravans and do tarmac driveways ?

  16. #16
    Master
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    I had a Honda loan car last year and this and both times they wanted my ni number

    - - - Updated - - -

    I had a Honda loan car last year and this and both times they wanted my ni number

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy67 View Post
    Yes, I have recent experience of a friend having car hire companies asking for NI number. Under GDPR they need a good reason to collect this information so I'd be asking them why they want it.

    I did some work for a bit of the Civil Service a few years ago and we looked at using NI number as a unique id for a person. Turns out the treasury have a very firm policy on this which boils down to "it's our number, don't use it". Apparently some people have more than one NI number.
    Double the ISA allowance.

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    Itís just to do licence checks, we do it every time drivers have a break in work, so even if they are off for a day they have a license check. It does 2 things, if you have a licence it shows any points but more importantly if the court takes your licence off you and you say you canít find it you can pass that off for anything but dvla will be informed straight away of the penalty and have it marked against your licence number. So the rule in my line of work is no NI number sod off!!!


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  19. #19
    Apprentice AlexG's Avatar
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    The use of national insurance number for accessing driving license information is intended for someone to access their own information, the gov.uk website is pretty clear about this and the relevant pages* include the following statement:
    You should only use this service to view or share your own driving licence.
    * https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

    Maybe there is another system I am not aware of, Iíd be interested to know more if there is one that has a legitimate use of national insurance number for this purpose.

    It certainly appears to me that using national insurance number to gain access to personal records in this manner is a breach of the Data Protection Act (it is entirely unnecessary processing).

    I am aware that as a long time lurker and infrequent poster I may attract some negative responses, my intention is not to Ďhave a go at anyoneí it is merely to raise awareness so that individuals can make informed decisions and businesses can decide whether to seek professional advice (it is easier to fix data protection stuff proactively than it is to be investigated by the ICO).

  20. #20
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    The use of national insurance number for accessing driving license information is intended for someone to access their own information, the gov.uk website is pretty clear about this and the relevant pages* include the following statement:


    * https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

    Maybe there is another system I am not aware of, Iíd be interested to know more if there is one that has a legitimate use of national insurance number for this purpose.

    It certainly appears to me that using national insurance number to gain access to personal records in this manner is a breach of the Data Protection Act (it is entirely unnecessary processing).

    I am aware that as a long time lurker and infrequent poster I may attract some negative responses, my intention is not to Ďhave a go at anyoneí it is merely to raise awareness so that individuals can make informed decisions and businesses can decide whether to seek professional advice (it is easier to fix data protection stuff proactively than it is to be investigated by the ICO).
    Thatís correct but nobody ever comes in with the codes they should to access the data but the majority can remember there NI number so rather than sending people away itís far easier just to either let them do it themselves or do it for them.


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  21. #21
    Surprised people remember their NI number, hardly ever need it and no idea what mine is.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aa388 View Post
    Thatís correct but nobody ever comes in with the codes they should to access the data but the majority can remember there NI number so rather than sending people away itís far easier just to either let them do it themselves or do it for them.
    I hope you make this very clear to your customers... While the desire to make things easier is commendable, just asking for the number (like in the OP's case) will get the garage/company in trouble.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  23. #23
    Master
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    Just to add, we've all heard of debit cards being cloned after making a purchase somewhere - providing your personal details along with your NiNo potentially leaves you vulnerable to someone accessing/creating a government account and/or claiming state benefits in your name.

  24. #24
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Surprised people remember their NI number, hardly ever need it and no idea what mine is.
    Keep a note in notes on the phone only way i know mine but the missus can roll hers out at the drop of a hat, different strokes etc.
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

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