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How can the DSA justify charging £62 for the driving test? Watch

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    I have just booked my DSA driving test, and I have been stunned at the price (I knew it was expensive, but not that expensive!).

    The question is:
    My driving instructor has to pay (extensive) maintenance, insurance and fuel costs for his car, as well as produce a syllabus and learning materials, be responsible for my learning, and actively teach me during my lessons. He has a professional responsibility over my driving, both whilst under his supervision, and in the rest of my driving career. He takes the risk of putting himself in a car with people who are new to driving. He charges £20 for an hour.

    A DSA examiner sits alongside me in the car for 45 minutes. The insurance is my instructors, not the DSA's, and the DSA do not have to meet and fuel or maintenance costs.

    How can the DSA justify charging £62 for 45 minutes of observation? I appreciate that examiners personally do a valuable job, however I very much doubt that they earn anything near £62/hour, and it stinks to me that the government are profiteering here. Especially considering I have already paid £31 for the privilege of sitting in front of a computer for an hour clicking buttons.
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    Its because the DSA are the only organisation that can give you a licence so they can therefore charge what they want unfortunately. That's the problem with monopolies. A lot of the money is probably spent in similar ways as road tax. It'll go on maintenance, road works, speed cameras etc
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    *shrug* Whatcha gonna do? We've all paid it.
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    (Original post by Ghost)
    *shrug* Whatcha gonna do? We've all paid it.
    as have I

    My biggest grumble is the mediocre service the DSA provide, not the price. The fact that you have to wait 2 months to get a test (no other organisation I know makes you wait this long), the fact you can't book after midnight (have you ever heard of a website that closes overnight?!), etc.
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      Here is how they justify it. You pay our overpriced fees or you don't drive. Comprende?
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      You're paying for a lot of things. Examiner's wages, running costs of the test centre, money for the DSA and perhaps the DVLA too, money involved in issuing a licence should you pass (yes, I know you paid £50 for it in the first place).

      And then of course, they probably do make some money out of it, but that's the way it goes.

      Just pass first time and forget about it.

      I think it was £56 when I did it in 2009.
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      According to THIS the DSA made an £8m loss last year (£9m year before).
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      Overpriced, but it does mean people are likely to wait until they think they can pass before taking it. Reduces the amount of inexperienced idiots on the road.
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      it isnt overpriced
      the training of its examiners is extremely expensive, insurance, and unlike instructors they need actuall buildings, many of which will be rented which is hardly cheap
      then you have supply and demand, just like any business, if the demand is there at that price, they will charge it, its only because its government owned their not charging £100+ for a test
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      (Original post by f00ddude)
      it isnt overpriced
      the training of its examiners is extremely expensive, insurance, and unlike instructors they need actuall buildings, many of which will be rented which is hardly cheap
      This is the closest answer yet.

      To clarify a few points:

      Individual examiners don't get paid £62 an hour; in fact only a fraction of this, but there are many more senior ranks of examiner and management above the rank of humble examiner who all earn higher salaries to run the organisation. This needs to be paid for somehow.

      Personnel salaries and expenses are only a fraction of the DSA's total outgoings. Training is a major cost too, with every member of staff requiring not just basic training on starting their respective jobs, but continued professional development and retraining on a regular basis. Who checks the examiner? Someone of senior rank who also must be paid, yet the customer doesn't pay any more for a supervised test; it must be absorbed into the test fee charged to everybody. EU law states that there must be a minimum retraining for examiners at regular intervals.

      DSA are nothing at all to do with the DVLA which are a separate trading fund and do not exchange monies. In fact, any vehicles owned by the DSA used for training purposes which are solely used in the service of the crown are exempt from road tax, so savings are made wherever possible.

      DSA's income is mainly from test fees, ADI registration fees and delegated corporate bodies that employ delegated examiners for vocational vehicle categories, so they earn little else.

      DSA is a self-funding trading fund which means they do not get any money from the taxpayer. They rely solely on the people who use their services, which is their choice. There is no compulsion to learn to drive, take a driving test or become a driving instructor. Conversely, no DSA money is given to central government other than statutory taxes, most of which will be deducted from staff salaries.

      If you have a certain disability and require extra time during your driving test, you will occupy a double length test slot for which no extra fee is charged, yet DSA must still fund this double length slot. If you have a test cancelled at short notice due to bad weather (lots of that at the moment) or some staffing issue, you are not charged for a re-booking, yet DSA must still pay staff salaries during this wasted slot at great cost to themselves. So all this annual cost of the whole operation needs to be divided by the total number of test slots available at all centres to come up with a figure that covers the cost of everyone's testing and assessment.

      £62 is very broadly in line with other government agencies' statutory fees; an MOT costs £54 and a passport £77.50. If you want the best value for money, make sure you are properly prepared for your investment so you will only need to pay it the once
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      (Original post by Advisor)
      £62 is very broadly in line with other government agencies' statutory fees; an MOT costs £54 and a passport £77.50. If you want the best value for money, make sure you are properly prepared for your investment so you will only need to pay it the once
      Thanks for the detailed response! I guess the above quote sums it up really - this is I suppose the price you expect to have to pay for a government service!
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      My instructor used to joke that the tests could be free if they just put a coffee machine in the waiting room for instructors whilst clients are out on test
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      (Original post by TheFatController)
      Thanks for the detailed response! I guess the above quote sums it up really - this is I suppose the price you expect to have to pay for a government service!
      Not only that, but look at the frequency with which you have to pay certain government fees:

      Most people need to pay the MOT fee every year. You need to pay the passport fee every ten years upon expiry. The taxman will hound you until the day you die.

      But if you play your cards right, you'll only need to pay a driving test fee once in your life. Ever. This kinda puts it into perspective
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      It's very stupid.
      There's usually more expense to that as well.
      My paid my instructor on the day for my test which was last month, it came up to £114 for use of the car before my test, during my test and that's obviously including payment for the test too.
      Rather sickening really. :p: I've gotta pay that again next month.

      But i'm sure DSA have good reason too, or they don't.
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      (Original post by PJ991)
      You're paying for a lot of things. Examiner's wages, running costs of the test centre, money for the DSA and perhaps the DVLA too, money involved in issuing a licence should you pass (yes, I know you paid £50 for it in the first place).

      And then of course, they probably do make some money out of it, but that's the way it goes.

      Just pass first time and forget about it.

      I think it was £56 when I did it in 2009.
      I agree- theres a lot of things it gets spent on really if you think about it.
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      It an easy way to make money who's not going to pay it when they need to drive!
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      (Original post by motorsportUK)
      It an easy way to make money who's not going to pay it when they need to drive!
      They don't make any money according to the link I posted earlier showing their accounts which reveal an £8m loss....

      (Original post by Walter Ego)
      According to THIS the DSA made an £8m loss last year (£9m year before).
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      I think that the test rate should be less expensive, so all people from all different jobs can afford the test rate. Everybody needs mobility and you can't rely on public transport for the rest of your life.
     
     
     
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