Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fourth Report


APPENDIX 1

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

GOODS VEHICLES (PLATING AND TESTING) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/1433)

  1. At its meeting on 20 June, the Committee requested a Memorandum about this instrument (S.I. 2000/1433, not 1434) on the following points:

    "The following fees are increased by this instrument by a percentage considerably in excess of inflation over the period since the last changes were effected-

    "out of hours" supplement for motor vehicles (regulation 12(4A) of 1988, Explanatory Note paragraph 6) (12%);

    retest for a trailer and supplements for both a motor vehicle and a trailer (regulations 16(1) and 16(4A), Note paragraph 7) (13.6%, 14.3% and 25% respectively);

    supplement for other retests for both a motor vehicle and a trailer (regulation 16(5A), Note paragraph 8) (12% and 9.4%).

    Explain the reason(s) for these increases."

  2. The testing of all heavy goods 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 heavy goods vehicles is one, were prescribed on the basis of gross costs.

  3. The overall increase in all of the fees covered by this instrument is approximately 6%; slightly above the rate of inflation for the period since August 1998, when statutory fees for tests etc of heavy goods and public service vehicles were last changed. On that occasion they were raised by 10%, the first increase in six years. But prior to that change, fees had been decreased twice and held in the intervening years; equivalent to a 25% reduction in real terms.

  4. The additional income that the current increase will generate will be used to modernise the Vehicle Inspectorate's estate, improve their services and increase the level of educational and advisory activities as well as to meet increased costs generally. In addition, many of their fees are now in either 50 pence or whole pounds which they believe will contribute to improved levels of customer service for presenters, especially those who prefer to pay in cash and for other presenters who would have had to wait while staff provide change for fees that are still in odd pence.

  5. Regulation 12 (4A) refers in fact to a supplement for tests of motor vehicles undertaken at premises that are not provided by the Secretary of State, whether or not the test is undertaken out of hours. However, the fee increase that the Committee are referring to is one of 12%. The reason for the rise from £6.25 to £7.00 is to contribute to the overall 6% increase and to bring the fee to the nearest whole pound, for the reason given above. This increase and the associated one for trailers is the first since these supplements were introduced in March 1997. The level of inflation throughout the three year period since these supplementary fees were introduced has been about 7.7%.

  6. Regulation 16 (1) refers to the fee for a retest. In the case of a trailer this has risen from £8.80 to £10.00. The reason for the 13.6% increase is to contribute to the overall 6% increase and to bring the fee to the nearest whole pound for the reason given above. This particular fee was set in October 1992 at a level of £9.70. Since then it has been reduced twice to £8.30 and £8.00 before the increase of 10% in August 1998. The inflation figure throughout the period of just under eight years (October 1992 to June 2000) has been just under 26% as compared with a rise of 3.1% to its current level of £10.

  7. Regulation 16(4A) refers to the supplements of £4.00 and £2.00 for retests of motor vehicles and trailers that are undertaken in premises that are not provided by the Secretary of State. The reason for increases of 14.3% and 25% are to contribute to the overall 6% increase in fees and to round the fee to the nearest whole pound. Both supplements were set in March 1997 at £3.50 and £1.60, since when they have remained unchanged. Throughout the period since these supplementary fees were introduced inflation has been about 7.7%.

  8. Regulation 16(5A) sets the supplements for retests of motor vehicles and trailers (£7.00 and £3.50 respectively) that are undertaken at the applicant's request at premises not provided by the Secretary of State. The reason for the increases of 12% and 9.4% is to contribute to the overall 6% rise in fees and to round the fee to the nearest whole pound or 50 pence. Both supplements were set in March 1997 at £6.25 and £3.20, since when they have remained unchanged. The level of inflation throughout the three year period since these supplementary fees were introduced has been about 7.7%.

27th June 2000


 
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