The annual test for lorries, buses and trailers is similar to the MOT test that cars take each year.
These used to be carried out at government testing stations. Since 2010, a network of over 475 private testing facilities has been set up.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) assessors now carry out almost 90% of annual tests at these authorised testing facilities (ATFs). The remainder of tests are carried out from DVSA sites.
Providing a better and more cost effective service
By carrying out annual tests from ATFs, vehicles don’t need to travel to and from DVSA sites. This makes them available for businesses to use for longer.
Reducing these unnecessary journeys cuts emissions and causes less wear and tear on roads.
It’s also allowed DVSA to reduce the fees for annual tests taken at ATFs, which fell by an average of 3.5% in October 2014.
A more flexible service
DVSA is improving the service it provides to ATFs. Yesterday (9 March 2015), new arrangements formally went live for ATFs operating in south Wales and Herefordshire.
DVSA vehicle standards assessors will now be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (subject to demand from customers).
ATFs will have direct access to a support team to help with:
- scheduling availability for DVSA assessors
- improved management of pre-funded accounts, which can be used to pay for DVSA services
- daily test reports
- reporting problems
Availability of the new service across Great Britain
The improved service will be available in South Yorkshire later in March 2015, and will be available across Great Britain by 2017.
DVSA will be contacting ATFs to let them know how to move to the improved service as the rollout continues.
Rollout follows a pilot of the new service
The launch of the improved service follows a pilot which started in south Wales, Herefordshire and parts of the West Midlands in April 2014.
On 9 March 2015, DVSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples visited an ATF in Caerphilly which had taken part in the pilot.
The ATF, run by Glenside Commercials, was among the first to start using the improved service.
Alastair Peoples said:
We have been working tremendously hard to provide an efficient, modern service for our customers.
More commercial vehicle tests than ever are now being carried out by DVSA staff at privately-owned sites, reducing the amount of time and money operators need to spend travelling to test stations.
We are now providing even more flexibility by making tests available whenever customers need them, at any time of the day or week.
Denise Lovering, Commercial Director of Glenside Commercials, said:
Glenside was delighted to be asked to help pilot the new service in south Wales and it has proved to be a great success with our customers.
Set up an ATF
You must apply to DVSA if you want to set up an ATF.
As an ATF, you can:
- have DVSA staff test your own vehicles
- offer a testing service to other companies using DVSA staff - customers can test their vehicles at your ATF instead of at a DVSA test station