The extent of the pandemic’s impact on DVSA coffers has been revealed in a Parliamentary minute, which confirmed that the testing and enforcement agency will not be making a return in this financial year.
The Treasury minute, dated 31 March, stated: “The Secretary of State for Transport, being the responsible Minister, has determined (with HM Treasury concurrence) that, recognising the exceptional circumstances arising in financial year from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Trading Fund will not be expected to achieve a return in the financial year ending 31 March 2021 and will not be expected to pay a dividend to the sponsor Department in respect of the financial year ending 31 March 2021.”
The DVSA has previously operated at a surplus; however, it has fallen significantly over the years.
During 2016/17, it reported a surplus of almost £37m, but this has fallen each year with the surplus for 2019/20 of just under £8m.
A DVSA spokesperson said its finances had been hit in 2020 by the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic: “DVSA receives 95% of income from fees charged to customers that is used to deliver its services and the associated improvements to help to keep everyone safe on Britain’s roads.
“Driver and rider testing, and vehicle testing have been suspended at times throughout the financial year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a significant reduction in income.”