Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Seventh Report

Appendix 3

S.I. 2003/1698: memorandum from the Department for Transport

Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1698)

1. The purpose of this Memorandum is to update the Committee on the reason for increases in the fee MOT testing stations pay to the Secretary of State, as explained in previous memoranda in August 2000 and November 2001.

2. The Secretary of State (in practice the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)) recovers the cost of policing the MOT scheme by charging a fee to MOT testing stations. At present the fee is the charge made for the supply of pads of MOT test certificates (the "pad fee"). In future, once the MOT scheme has been computerised, the fee will be the charge each test station will incur entering the results of each MOT test onto a central computer database ("entries in the electronic record"). In each case the fee is / will be passed on to motorists applying for MOT tests as part of the prescribed maximum MOT fee.

3. Regulation 7(2) increases the cost of an entry in the electronic record from £1.19 to £1.44. Regulation 7(3) increases the pad fee (a pad contains 100 forms of test certificate) from £119 to £144- that is, increasing the cost of each certificate from £1.19 to £1.44.

4. The Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Act 1999 made provision for the introduction of the electronic record (the database of MOT test results), the cost of which would be covered not by general taxation but by an addition to the fee the MOT testing stations pay.

5. The Department entered into a PFI contract with Siemens Business Service ("SBS") to provide the service under the terms of which SBS would not be paid until the system went live, which was originally planned for May 2002.

6. The cost of introducing this computerised system of recording MOT test results was to add £1.11 to the then cost of each certificate of 58p bringing it up to £1.69.

7. The Department felt that this was too much of a rise to impose on the customer in one go and therefore agreed a strategy of phasing it in over four years. This strategy was set out in the Department's memorandum to the JCSI of November 2001: a 36p rise in 2000/01, a 25p rise in 2001/02, a 30p rise in 2002/03, and, finally, a 20p rise in 2003/04.

8. The first two rises were enacted as planned. However, it became clear that the project would not be delivered within the time period originally envisaged and so no fee increase was imposed in 2002/03 because the MOT account was in surplus. This surplus will be depleted towards the end of 2003/04 when we expect the project to be delivered and payments to SBS commence.

9. The total amount of money needed to pay SBS remains 50p per certificate - the 30p not collected in 2002/03 and the original proposed rise of 20p in 2003/04.

10. Again to avoid imposing a large increase on the customer in one go, we now propose increasing the cost per certificate / entry in the electronic record by 25p this year (1st August 2003) and again by 25p on 1st August 2005.

7th July 2003

previous page contents

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Prepared 24 September 2003