Tories slam driving test fee hike

The Conservatives have expressed dismay at the above-inflation increases to driving test fees.

Shadow roads minister Robert Goodwill said it "beggared belief" that ministers could even think about putting up costs when so many families were struggling during the recession.

The Driving Standards Agency said the increases, first announced last October, were necessary to cover costs.

From March 30, the cost of a car theory test will rise from £30 to £31 while the car practical test will go up from £56.50 to £62.

Increases announced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency were also criticised. From April 6, the cost of replacing a lost licence, updating a photograph every 10 years as required, and having endorsements removed will cost £20 rather than £17.50.

Also, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) attacked a 9% rise in Vehicle and Operator Services Agency test fees. "The Government is kicking us while we're down," an FTA spokesman said.

A DVLA spokesman said: "DVLA provides a wide range of key services to about 40 million people across the UK.

"We provide as many services as possible free of charge but we must cover our costs through the fees we charge. The fees for 2009/10 will allow us to continue to provide a high standard of service to our customers."

Copyright © Press Association 2009