BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has announced a major success on behalf of fuel retailers by securing agreement from the DVLA to enable service stations to request and access registered vehicle keeper details from its database.

Previously retailers have been unable to access details from DVLA’s vehicle register in situations when a driver filled up with fuel but only paid for shop items, as the non-payment for fuel was invariably deemed a cashier error by police and the DVLA. Following a concerted campaign by BOSS involving detailed negotiations with DVLA representatives, an agreement has been reached meaning that retailers are now considered to have reasonable cause to require registered keeper details. The new agreement begins with immediate effect.

Kevin Eastwood, BOSS executive director, said: “This is a significant positive development for BOSS on behalf of all fuel retailers. It has been clear to us that when a motorist draws fuel and goes into the kiosk but only pays for shop goods, it should not be incumbent on the retailer to prove that there was also fuel to pay for.”

DVLA communication to BOSS read as follows: “DVLA has given further consideration as to whether it is able to lawfully release information from the vehicle register in situations where somebody has obtained fuel from a filling station, and paid only for items on sale in the premises, not the fuel.

“The Agency’s view is that, regardless of whether the cashier asked the person whether he had bought any fuel, the person is probably guilty of the offence of making off without payment under section 3 of the Theft Act 1978. Therefore, our view is the petrol station does have reasonable cause to require the information requested.”

Eastwood added: “BOSS has argued long and hard to bring about this change, which will tremendously improve the ability of retailers to pursue robustly those who deliberately fail to pay for fuel.”