National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) general secretary George Thomson warned that an “aggressive” tendering process for the DVLA work last year would mean subpostmasters’ payments might be lower than expected.

“While the NFSP will continue to fight for the best possible deal for hard-working subpostmasters, this PayPoint-led race to the bottom will inevitably have a significant impact on the level at which subpostmasters will be paid for the work,” he said.

“We must face the reality of the situation, which is that as a result of PayPoint’s exceptionally low bid, Post Office Ltd (POL) was forced to put in a very low, aggressive bid to win the DVLA contract.”

A PayPoint spokesman denied Thomson’s allegation regarding the bid for the DVLA work.

“As the procurement was conducted under strict confidentiality rules, none of the bidders was aware of each other’s bids, so the remarks by Mr Thomson have no foundation in fact,” he said. “Subpostmasters must assume that the Post Office based its pricing decision on other criteria and assumptions so POL must now justify its bid and decision to reduce earnings to sub-postmasters. As a successful commercial organisation which doesn’t receive or need a substantial taxpayer subsidy, PayPoint always submits bids that are commercially viable and produce an acceptable level of return for shareholders, as demonstrated by our most recent financial results.”

The Post Office won the contract to continue to offer DVLA services for the next seven years last November.

Thomson added that rumours of “ridiculously low” payment rates were unfounded and were “rates which the NFSP would simply never agree to”.

The new DVLA contract comes into effect on April 1 this year.