Publication of "DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics - August 2021"

Date published: 14 September 2021

The ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics - August 2021’ report, containing statistics up to August 2021, is now available.

Statistical press release

The publication is produced by the DVA Statistics Branch of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), and contains summary volumes on the vehicle, driver, and theory tests conducted by the DfI’s Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).  The publication is available on the DfI website at:

Key points

The key points in the report are:

Driving Practical Tests

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, driver testing was able to resume from 23 April 2021 onwards.  Due to the nature of particular tests, off-road Motorcycle and certain LGV tests had been able continue prior to this period. The DVA driver testing booking system opened to all customers in the first week of May 2021.

The DVA conducted 5,628 driving tests in August 105 (1.9%) more compared with July (5,523), and almost 40% (1,603) above the five year August average (4,025). This is the highest number of tests conducted for August since the beginning of this series in 2014.

Private cars accounted for 80% (4,490) of all driving tests conducted in August.

In August 2021, the DVA received 5,872 applications for a driving test appointment. This is just over 900 (14%) less than in July (6,789), and 32% (1,440) above the five year August average (4,432).

Driver Theory Tests

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, theory testing was able to resume from 23 April 2021 onwards.

The DVA conducted 7,640 theory tests in August, almost 25% (2,494) below that for July (10,134). Private cars account for 88% (6,730) of all theory tests conducted in August. The transition to a new service provider (DVSA) may help to explain the drop in theory tests conducted for August.

Vehicle Testing

Following the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the DVA suspended all vehicle testing from 24 March 2020, and resumed testing in stages during June (IVA), July (priority groups incl. taxis and buses), and September (four-year-old private cars and motorcycles, three-year-old light goods, and all heavy goods).  The DVA was able to continue testing throughout the winter-2020 lockdown, albeit with a reduced capacity due to social distancing measures.  Temporary Exemption Certificates (TEC) were issued to those eligible vehicles that the DVA was unable to test.

In August 2021, the DVA conducted 60,680 full vehicle tests, just over 30% (18,419) higher compared to July (42,261), and 98% of the five year August average (62,145).

Private Cars accounted for almost 82% (49,657) of all full tests conducted in August.

The DVA received 81,227 applications for a full vehicle test in August, just over 23,800 (41%) more than for July (57,393).

Notes to editors: 

Background to ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics’

This is the twelfth edition of the publication ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics’, relating to data up to August 2021.  The release is written, and issued by, the DVA Statistics Branch in the Department for Infrastructure. 

  1. The release presents statistics on vehicle, driver, and theory tests conducted during August 2021, together with trend series over the previous five financial years. 
  2. We source vehicle and driver data from administrative data sources within the DVA, whilst Pearson VUE supply the theory data. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took over the contract for theory testing from Pearson on 4 September 2021. With the administrative system in transition, application figures for August were not validated for publication but will be included in our published series at the earliest opportunity.
  3. ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics’ is published every month at pre-announced release dates, which are available from the GOV.UK website.
  4. Electronic copies of ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics – August 2021’ can be downloaded from our website at:
  1. A detailed User Guidance document is also available on our website.
  2. This report supplements the existing quarterly National Statistics publication ‘DfI Driver, Vehicle, Operator, and Enforcement Statistics’.  The latest edition of this for quarter one 2021-22 was released on 2 September and is available on our website at:

Official Statistics

This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at: Statistics Authority

Further Information

For further information, please contact:

DVA Statistics Branch,
Driver and Vehicle Agency,
Annex 4, Belfast Test Centre,
66 Balmoral Road,
BT12 6QL

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