DVSA proposes raising the cost of theory and practical driving tests and the fees for vehicle tests such as MOTs and those for HGVs
The cost of driving theory and practical tests are set to rise under new DVSA plans announced today (Thursday).
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency says if it doesn't allow for price increases to driving tests, vehicle tests and other services it provides it will face a funding shortfall, be unable to provide the same level of service and things like waiting times may rise.
But in a small glimmer of hope for motorists – the government agency has said it hopes to keep the proposed increase to all its fees to 1.5 per cent, meaning that it should be just pennies or pounds being added to its service charges, if proposals go ahead.
A consultation has been launched today, which will run until September 2, to ask businesses and the public what they think about the new amounts it is proposing.
The money that motorists currently pay to the DVSA for things like driving tests are set out in law and so can only be agreed with Parliament's permission. The results of the consultation when it is complete, says the government agency, will be passed to ministers before they make a final decision.
Among its roles the DVSA carries out driving tests, approves people to be examiners and MOT testers, oversees the testing of vehicles including cars, lorries and buses to ensure they are roadworthy and safe and carries out roadside checks on motorists and vehicles.
As a result, it plans to increase the costs of tests including driving theory and practical exams, the price of an MOT slot fee, which authorised MOT vehicle testing stations buy from the government in order to carry out the assessments, and the charges associated with some vehicle checks like those conducted on HGVs.
For learner drivers, many of whom continue to face long waits to sit their tests because of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, just short of £1 could be added to the cost of a driving test and 40p to the price of a theory exam for a car or motorcycle.
Defending the proposed rise to the cost of driving tests, the DVSA says none of its charges have kept up with inflation in recent years, which would see a driving test now costing £75 instead of the current £62 if prices had been allowed to increase at the same rate.
In its consultation document, outlining the new charges, the DVSA said the small price rises would help it to both continue and improve services, having dipped into reserves to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic over the last 18 months.
It says: "The small increase will allow us to continue to make essential improvements to our services. In the next year we’ll be focusing on improving the driving test booking service, the way the theory test service is delivered, how we carry out heavy vehicle enforcement and the MOT testing service."
To learn more about the proposals and to have your say on the fee increases before September 2 click here.