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DVSA could do U-turn on theory test booking fees

Mere weeks after fees to make an online driving theory test booking dropped to £23, the head of the DVSA dropped a bombshell recently, suggesting that fees for some services might have to be increased over the coming years.

Paul Satoor, the new, recently appointed head of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), has announced that the agency may have to increase fees for the range of services it provides, including theory test booking fees.

The announcement comes just weeks after the fee for a theory test booking dropped to £23 on 1 October 2015. Satoor was appointed interim chief executive of the DVSA following the retirement of Alistair Peoples.

Commenting on fees, Satoor said: “With the merger of the DSA and Vosa complete, combined with the effective completion of the authorised testing facility (ATF) programme, fees are back on the agenda.”

“The challenge over the next five years will be the direction that we take with our fees. How do we balance our fee schemes up? In terms of value for money to the customer, the government is crystal clear on its expectations. Therefore, I think fees will have to be looked at,” Satoor added.

DVSA theory test booking fees

The DVSA charges ATF fees (for providing examiners), small scheme fees (including the individual vehicle approval process) plus driving and theory test booking fees. Under former DVSA chief, Peoples, Vosa underwent a major transformation.

It turned from an executive agency running a significant deficit – reported to be £35m in the year ending 31 March 2011 – into a steady business operation, without an increase in general fees.

The most recent annual accounts submitted by Vosa, for the last time as a separate entity, revealed a stable income of £185m for the year ending 31 March 2015. However, expenditure exceeded the income across its testing and enforcement activities.

Book Theory Test Today says: “It would appear that an increase in operating costs by £12.8m to £183.2m is the reason behind a potential U-turn on theory test booking fees and other service fees.

Learner drivers of the future should brace themselves for higher fees when making an online driving theory test booking. It would appear that the current £23 fee is as good as it’s going to get.”

Although Satoor described the Department for Transport (DfT) as a ‘good sponsor’ and played down the potential impact of the DVSA’s autumn statement concerning the agency’s budget, due to be published in December, he did stress that all government departments face acute cost pressures and the DVSA is not immune to them.

Satoor said: “We’ll begin the discussion on fees by talking to the industry. We’ll certainly be setting up meetings with key stakeholders with a view to enhancing the service, whatever that might look like.”

No immediate plans to increase fees

For now, learner drivers making an online driving theory test booking can relax as the DVSA has no immediate plans to increase theory test booking fees or any other service fees. In fact, they said some service fees could be reduced, but any fee changes must face a public consultation.”

Need to make an online driving theory test booking? We can help

Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

No. We’re not affiliated with the DVSA or the website, but that does not make us a scam. You’re charged an admin fee to cover our staff costs and the process of booking a theory test or practical exam on your behalf.

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