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DfT Motoring Services Strategy Consultation: Moving Britain Ahead

17 November 2015

Story from PACTS.

The Department for Transport has launched a new consultation on motoring services

Much of the document focuses on possible changes to the DVLA, DVSA and VCA and their work in light of the 2015 Spending Review, under the headings ‘Digital’, ‘Efficiency’ and ‘Agency Transformation’, as well as a discussion of commercial clients and Vehicle Excise Duty.

However, road safety receives a number of mentions as does the upcoming road safety framework.  Of particular note are the proposed changes to the driving test. Suggestions such as improving testing options are included - in particular:

  • More weekend and evening appointments
  • A wider choice of test start points (potentially through partnership with the private sector)
  • Paying extra for greater flexibility of driving test slots

The main new proposal is the introduction of a financial incentive to encourage people to only take their driving test when they are confident that they have a high chance of passing.

At the moment, just under a quarter of people pass their test on the first attempt. By introducing a system in which candidates pay a deposit, alongside their fee, which they will receive back if they pass, it is hoped that candidates would actively seek to ensure that they only take the test when fully prepared.

Young and novice drivers still comprise a significant proportion of those killed and injured and there is clear evidence that more driving experience prior to taking the test helps to reduce their risk on the roads, especially in the first few months after getting a licence. 

While this proposal would only be a minor change, falling well short of other measures such as Graduated Driving Licences, it would be relatively easy to implement and there are a number of potential benefits:

  • Improved chances of passing the test first time
  • Improved driving following the test, as drivers would have already encountered a wider variety of roads, weather conditions and driving scenarios
  • A better use of money and resources for both candidates and examiners
  • More available driving test appointments, resulting in shorter waiting times

The consultation is now open for responses (details in the briefing), and closes on the 8th January 2016.

PACTS encourages you to respond directly to DfT or send your ideas to PACTS and they will try to incorporate them in their response.   . 

Responses can be sent by email to: motoringservicesstrategy@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Or by post to:

Edward Bunting
Motoring Services Agency Sponsorship
Department for Transport
Zone 2/29
Great Minster House
Horseferry Road



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