Northern Ireland

Cost of driving and MOT tests in Northern Ireland to increase

MOT tests in Northern Ireland are set to increase from next month
MOT tests in Northern Ireland are set to increase from next month

The cost of driving and MOT tests in Northern Ireland are set to increase from next month. 

A practical driving test fee will rise from £45.50 to £65 with motorcycle tests increasing from £58 to £80.

The cost of vehicle tests for cars and light goods vehicles are also going up, from £30.50 to £38, motorcycles rising from £22 to £34 and taxis from £138.50 to £147. 

The price rise comes into effect for bookings made from October 1.

Tests booked before this date will not be affected by the fee increases, regardless of the actual date of the test. 

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) said it is the first price rise for most vehicle test fees since 2005 and for most practical driving test fees since 2009. 

The department said that the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA), which carries out driving and MOT tests, is facing a shortfall in its income due to "the rising cost of delivering services". 

Read more: 

Motorists facing delays of up to three months in getting MOT slot

Warning over surge in vehicles without an MOT as drivers ‘cannot afford tests'

It said the DVA "must cover the cost of delivering services through the income it generates from fees". 

It comes as motorists continue to face a backlog when booking MOTs. The service was disrupted in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic leading to major delays.

In September 2021, a new online booking system was established to deal with the backlog, but it faced technical problems, creating further delays.

UUP MLA John Stewart has said he believed the price rises were "unacceptably large".

"A month ago I challenged the department to address the unacceptable delays for motorists who were trying to book MOT tests, calling for the issuing of temporary exemption certificates, which had been used at the height of the pandemic, to be reinstated," he said.

“It seems this call has fallen on deaf ears, with the department instead announcing today that the cost of MOT tests will increase in a little over 3 weeks by £7.50 for a private car and £8.50 for taxis.

“Individuals who are trying to book tests today are very unlikely to be able to find an available date ahead of this price rise, placing further financial hardship on many who are struggling to keep their heads above water

“Additionally, the announcement that practical car driving tests are to increase from £45.50 to £65 for a weekday test and from £62.50 to an astounding £95 for evening or weekend tests is simply unbelievable.

"Those who are seeking a driving licence to obtain work, and particularly those who live in our more rural areas, are being severely disadvantaged by these increases."