Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Forty-Fourth Report



APPENDIX II

Memorandum from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

MOTOR VEHICLES (TESTS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/1672)

  1. At its meeting on 21 July the Committee requested a memorandum about this instrument on the following point:

    In regulation 11(7) the Table of fees relating to the re-examination of vehicles of Class VI (most public service vehicles) shows the normal fee and the out-of-hours fee. Explain why the percentage increases over previous fees (shown in the helpfully detailed Explanatory Note) are smaller for out-of-hours examinations than for examinations done in normal hours.

  2. The testing of all public service vehicles is undertaken by the Vehicle Inspectorate which is an Executive Agency of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. In 1991 the Inspectorate became a Trading Fund and fees from statutory testing schemes, of which the testing of public service vehicles is one, were prescribed on the basis of gross costs.

  3. These amending Regulations increase the fees for examinations and re-examinations of public service vehicles carried out in normal hours. They do not increase the supplementary fees payable where such examinations are carried out out-of-hours.

  4. For example, the fees payable under regulation 20(1)(e) of the 1981 Regulations for examining Class VI vehicles prior to 1 August are £39.70 if the vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry more than 16 passengers and £28.20 in any other case. The supplementary fees payable under regulation 20(2A) where tests are carried out out-of-hours are £27.50 if the vehicle carries more than 16 passengers and £20.00 in any other case. The total fees for an out-of-hours examination are therefore £67.20 and £48.20 respectively.

  5. These fees are directly reflected in the '(b)' paragraphs in columns 2 and 3 of the Table in regulation 20(4) which deals with the re-examination of vehicles in Class VI. A concession is granted by the '(a)' paragraphs in those columns to the extent that the fees are reduced by approximately 50 per cent if a vehicle is submitted for a re-examination within 14 days.

  6. The fees payable under regulation 20(1)(e) of the 1981 Regulations for examining Class VI vehicles on or after 1 August will be £45.90 if the vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry more than 16 passengers and £32.70 in any other case. As can be seen from the Explanatory Note these represent increases of 15.6 per cent and 16.0 per cent respectively. The supplementary fees payable under regulation 20(2A) where examinations are carried out out of hours will remain unchanged at £27.50 if the vehicle carries more than 16 passengers and £20.00 in any other case. Accordingly the total fees for out of hours examinations will be £73.40 and £52.70 respectively.

  7. These fees are again directly reflected in the '(b)' paragraphs in columns 2 and 3 of the Table in regulation 11(7) which will apply on or after 1 August in relation to the re-examination of vehicles in Class VI. By comparison with the existing fees of £67.20 and £48.20, £73.40 and £52.70 represent increases of 9.2 per cent and 9.3 per cent as set out in the Explanatory Note.

  8. The simple answer to the question is that because the normal fees have been increased but the supplementary fees have not, the increase is mathematically a greater percentage of the normal fee than it is of the aggregate fee. The same principle applies in relation to the concessionary fees payable where a vehicle is submitted for re-examination within 14 days of the previous examination.

27th July 1998


 
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