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Increase in fees for driving tests - Regulatory Impact Assessment

Issues

These regulations concern the financing of the driver testing service provided by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

Objectives

DSA is required to recover the full cost of delivering its statutory services from the fees paid by customers. Fees for lorry and bus practical tests have not been increased since April 1998 - the proposed increase compares with a 7.7% increase in the Retail Price Index since then. Fees for car and motorcycle practical tests were last increased in May 1999 - the Retail Price Index has increased by 4.5% since then.

The costs of delivering tests have increased by 3.2% since fees were last increased. This is lower than the increase in the Retail Price Index over the same period, owing to savings and efficiencies made by the Agency. To cover these additional costs, these regulations increase fees as follows:

 

Old Fee

New Fee

% Increase

Weekday Practical Tests

 

 

 

· Car Test

· Lorry/Bus Test

· Motorcycle Test

£36.75

£73.50

£45.00

£38.00

£76.00

£46.50

3.4

3.4

3.3

Evening & Weekend Tests

 

 

 

· Car Test

· Lorry/Bus Test

· Motorcycle Test

£46.00

£92.00

£55.00

£47.00

£94.00

£56.00

2.2

2.2

1.8

Extended Tests Following Disqualification

 

 

 

· Car Test - weekday

· Car Test - evening & weekend

· Motorcycle Test - weekday

· Motorcycle Test - evening & weekend

£73.50

£92.00

£90.00

£110.00

£76.00

£94.00

£93.00

£112.00

3.4

2.2

3.3

1.8

Timing

These regulations increase fees for test applications made on or after 27 August.

Risk Addressed

The Agency is committed to meeting customer demand. A forecast of demand and of the cost of providing tests, less the efficiency savings the Agency has made, give rise to these increases. If demand or costs vary from forecast, the Agency will have to compensate to avoid a supplementary fee change.

Those Affected

Those directly affected by fee increases will be the estimated annual 800,000 practical car test candidates, 29,000 lorry and bus candidates, and 80,000 motorcycle practical test candidates.

Public Sector Costs

The cost of providing DSA services in 2001/2 is estimated as £85 million, financed by user-charges. There would therefore be no burden on the general taxpayer caused by providing these tests.

Costs to Individuals

DSA estimates that the proposed increases in test fees represent an average increase of less than 1% in the total cost of learning to drive a car, lorry or bus, or ride a motorcycle.

Costs to Business

Most candidates pay their test fees as individuals, so the proposed increases are not likely to have an impact on businesses. The road freight and passenger transport industries have advised the Agency that companies pay the test fees for lorry and bus candidates in around half of cases.

The increases are not considered to be great enough within the overall cost of learning to drive to discourage people from learning and reduce customers for driver trainers or to impede the flow of trained vocational drivers into the road and passenger transport sectors.

Social Exclusion Issues

No significant social exclusion issues have been identified. The fee increases are not considered to be great enough within the overall cost of learning to drive to discourage people from taking their test, or to encourage unlicensed driving.

Environmental Issues

No environmental issues have been identified with these changes.

Declaration

I have read this Regulatory Impact Assessment and I am satisfied that the balance between costs and benefit is the right one in the circumstances.

Signed by the Responsible Minister.............................................................................

Date............................................

Contact Point

Paul Butler, Head of Policy, Driving Standards Agency, Stanley House, Talbot Street, Nottingham Tel. 0115 901 2571