The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) were tasked to provide the new test by 29 Sep 08. The criteria they had to fulfil were that no one was to have to travel more than 20 miles or 30-45 mins to get to a test centre. However in large areas of the country this is not going to happen. By the DSA’s own appalling admission their latest estimates state only 60% of the country will be served by a test centre fulfilling this criteria. They have had 5 years to arrange this.

So if you don’t have a local centre and most people won’t know this until they book. You may be shocked to find you have to travel miles, to a totally unfamiliar area, possibly into another county to take your test. You will incur extra costs, because the DSA have not provided what they said they would. So I think it is only fair the DSA provide compensation until they bring all the new MPTCs’ online. (Multi purpose test centre).

My solution is simple fair and easily applied. The test fee should be reduced. They are Hiking it a massive 30% from £60 to £80 anyway. So I propose each MPTC has a banded ripple effect that changes the test fee accordingly to how far you have to travel to it. You have to produce your licence details which include your registered postcode address when you book, so calculation of your travel distance is easy enough. (And if your address is wrong that’s your own fault) A reduction of £5.00 per band, each band being 10 miles wide would seem fair compensation to me. This should also apply to training schools, this will help them stay in business and remain competitive against schools with MPTC’s on their doorstep.

I proposed this to the DSA but did not get a response. I am hoping if enough people are aware of it and complain strongly enough they may admit their failings and compensate accordingly.

Regards L S Williams Written Feb 08