£200 million bill for the taxpayer – the most costly printing error ever?

I arrived home to an official looking envelope. It wasn’t from HMRC. I know their envelopes. I opened it to find a red Registration Certificate for my car from the DVLA. This is to replace my blue registration document.

The thought fleetingly flitted through my brain that the government was spending a fortune on a fastidious re-colouring exercise. Perhaps they had brought in Colin and Justin who had advised that red goes better with most people’s curtains….

But no, they’re having to replace everyone’s registration documents because of a theft of 2.2 million blank registration forms that should have been shredded due to a minor printing error.

Some googling reveals that it is costing the government £200 million to recover from the theft (which happened in 2006 – so that’s one long recovery!), and so far it is estimated that £13 million of cars have been stolen as a result of the loss.

Phew! That’s one expensive printing error!