MOT and driving test fees to be raised in Northern Ireland from October

The cost of MOTs and driving tests is to rise in Northern Ireland from 1 October. Credit: UTV

Concerns have been raised over an "unacceptably large" price rise for MOT and driving tests in Northern Ireland.

The Department for Infrastructure has announced costs will be going up from 1 October.

UUP MLA John Stewart described some of the increases as "astounding" and called for them to be reviewed.

During 2022-23, the Driver and Vehicle Agency conducted 1,155,563 vehicle tests (full and retests) and 68,540 driving tests.

Proposals were revealed in June and the Department of Infrastructure carried out an eight week consultation.

Despite over 80% of responses stating the fee increases were unfair, the department has decided to implement the changes.

In the absence of a functioning Assembly, the Permanent Secretary of the DfI agreed that the proposed fee increases can be progressed.

The price of an MOT for a car and light goods vehicles will increase from £30.50 to £38, which is still less than the £54.85 charged in Great Britain.

Motorcycle MOT tests will increase from £22 to £24 – more than the £29.65 charged in GB.

MOTs for taxis will jump from £138.50 to £147.

Practical driving test fees for cars will rise from £45.50 to £65, for motorcycles it will increase from £58 to £80.

Lorry and bus (driving ability) will rise from £66 to £87.

The department says tests booked before 1 October will not be affected by the fee increases, regardless of the actual date of the test.

John Stewart MLA said: "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."

He continued: “While I understand that tough decisions need to be made by departments at a time when there is no Executive at Stormont to provide direction, any increase in costs that further burden those who are already struggling to make ends meet must be challenged and where possible, reviewed.

“It is my intention to seek clarification on the reasoning behind these, unacceptably large, increases."

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