“The NFDA remains firmly against the DVA’s recent decision to proceed with their proposed cost hikes for driving and vehicle tests, we are particularly disappointed to see that these increases are being introduced while their service is still not up to an adequate level. Motorists in Northern Ireland are still experiencing unacceptable waiting times for an MOT, and the test itself still lacks a credible emissions test.” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK and Northern Ireland.
The cost of driving and vehicle tests in Northern Ireland are set to increase by nearly 25%, with re-testing seeing staggering increases of 59.5%. This follows the Driver and Vehicle Agency’s (DVA) report which found that ‘no equality issues’ would affect the progression of the proposed fee increases. The DVA report provides a summary of key points and outcomes of the public consultation, and ultimately their decision to proceed with the increased fees.
In DVA’s own words:
“in the absence of a functioning Legislative Assembly, the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure has agreed, in accordance with the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2022 (as amended) that the proposed fee increases can be progressed.
The relevant legislation will be amended as soon as possible. The new fees will be published on nidirect.gov.uk and will be charged for tests booked from early autumn 2023”
NFDA’s consultation response opposed the suggested price increases and, using DVA’s own synopsis of responses, were pleased to be in the majority with over 80% disagreeing with the proposed fee increases. NFDA are seriously concerned that the DVA has still gone ahead with this move despite opposition from all areas of the automotive industry.
Sue Robinson added: “Whilst the NFDA recognises that fees have not increased since 2005, we strongly oppose the price rises across the board, in particular, the unjustifiably high increase in retest fees, which is set to disproportionally affect less affluent motorists and is poorly timed in the midst of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. This punitive decision is an attempt by the DVA to increase revenue at motorist’s expense.
“Many households still depend on their private vehicle in all aspects of their life, including their livelihood, and an MOT is a necessary legal process to ensure the vehicle continues to operate safely. Motoring costs are already the highest they have been in decades, with unprecedented rises in insurance premiums, cost of fuel and road taxation, so we are disappointed that the DVA have concluded that it is right to increase costs further.”
NOTES TO EDITORS -
For the full Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) synopsis report: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/infrastructure/changing-cost-of-driving-and-vehicle-tests-synopsis-of-consultation-responses.pdf
Adam Weeks, NFDA Communications Officer
Direct: 020 7307 3413
Mobile: 0788 003 9897