VOSA has issued a consultation on changes to its fees structure. As well as the first general fees increase in four-and-a-half years, the proposals complete the process started in the last review of differentiating test fees according to where tests are taken to better reflect the costs to VOSA; test fees at VOSA test stations will increase while at ATFs they will decrease. In some instances the cash price of a test at an Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) including the pit fee could now be equal to the price at the VOSA test stations. While no specific implementation date is stated the changes are intended to take effect before the end of 2013. The proposals include:
- a one per cent general fee increase on all VOSA fees, the first such increase in four-and-a-half years
- a further one per cent increase on all operator licence transactions to fund the running costs of the interconnection of the national registers of operators and transport managers with those of other European members states, thus aiding enforcement of foreign operators across borders.
VOSA has accepted FTA’s proposal in the last fees review that the funds for interlinking of international databases should come from HM Treasury, nominally funded by the increased penalties that will come from foreign operators as a result of the improved enforcement. Thus the project costs of establishing the interlinked database will come from Treasury. This means that the fee for an operator licence application or variation will increase from £254 to £259 and the fee for grant or continuation of licence increases from £397 to £405. In terms of the total fee pot for statutory services taken from industry these are the only increases.
Within that envelope, however, there is further redistribution of statutory fee values. This is most marked in annual test fees where the testing element (the test fee also includes a portion which funds enforcement activities) at ATFs and DPs will decrease by 4.4% (before the general increase) and at VOSA test stations will increase by 24.2% (before the general increase). This means that for a 4 axle motor vehicle a test at a VOSA test station will increase from £150 to £179, while at an ATF it will decrease from £141 to £138 not including the pit fee which is capped at £55.
Other changes include:
- the fee for notifiable alterations will have the differential removed (£27)
- Reduced Pollution Certificates (RPC) and Low Emission Certificates (LEC) will have the same differential as the annual test applied meaning the fee at a VOSA site will increase from £20 to £25 and at ATFs will decrease from £19 to £18
RPC examinations at DVA sites in Northern Ireland will not change.
- the ADR certification vehicle examination will increase by 23.7 per cent at VOSA sites (£99 to £118) and decrease by 23.7 per cent at non-VOSA sites (£99 to £84)
- 65 per cent of annual tests are now taken at private premises; operators whose testing is completely or predominantly carried out at private sites will see their testing bill fall as a result of these proposals. But the cost of tests taken at VOSA sites will rise by around 20 per cent
- The proposals also alter the fees for non-statutory or voluntary services offered at VOSA test stations
- for voluntary tests ‘associated’ with the annual test (e.g. roller brake, headlamp aim, smoke test and the hire of a laden semi trailer) these services will increase in line with changes to statutory fees (24.2 per cent before the general increase), meaning a brake test on a 4 axle motor vehicle will increase from £19.85 to £30.38 including VAT (voluntary tests, unlike statutory tests, are subject to VAT)
- for other voluntary tests fees will increase by 2.7% which was the rate of CPI in December 2012
To view the proposals in full, the consultation document can be found here: Fees for HGV and PSV testing, operator licensing, other VOSA services and some DVA services. This also includes a complete table of changes to all VOSA fees (annex 1).
FTA will be discussing the proposals in its June/July round of Freight Councils. To get involved in FTA’s Freight Councils and get your voice heard in the Association’s policy-making process click here.