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: Driver and Vehicle Agency Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics
The key points in the report are:
Following the 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 March 2021, the DVA conducted approximately 54,500 full vehicle tests, an increase of 6,600 compared to February, and 78% of the 5-year March average (i.e. 2016 to 2020). This was the highest monthly total since January 2020.
For the full 2020-21 financial year, the DVA has conducted approximately 221,000 full vehicle tests, which is 26% of the total in 2019-20 (850,000 tests). Of the full tests conducted in 2020-21, more than three quarters (77.0%) were private car tests. The busiest test centre for 2020-21 was Newtownards (24,700 full tests), at which more than one in every ten tests conducted in Northern Ireland (11.2%) took place.
Driving Practical Tests
Due to the restrictions set in place by the NI Executive, the vast majority of driver testing was suspended from the 23 December onwards, and is not expected to resume until April. Due to the nature of particular tests, off-road Motorcycle and certain LGV tests were able to continue during this period.
In March 2021, the DVA conducted only 212 driving tests, of which 98% were off-road motorcycle tests.
For the full 2020-21 financial year, the DVA conducted 9,500 driving tests, which is approximately 17% of the total in 2019-20 (55,400 tests). Of the tests conducted in 2020-21, almost three quarters (70.7%) were private car tests. The busiest test centre was Belfast (Balmoral), accounting for 11.3% of all tests conducted during 2020-21.
Driver Theory Tests
The DVA suspended all theory testing from 20 March 2020, and resumed on 6 July. Due to the restrictions set in place by the NI Executive, theory testing was again suspended from 26 December onwards, and is not expected to resume until April.
During March 2021, theory testing was limited to ‘critical workers’ only, and so only 15 tests were conducted.
For the full 2020-21 financial year, the DVA conducted just over 30,400 theory tests, which is approximately 44% of the total in 2019-20 (69,600 tests). Of the tests conducted in 2020-21, 88% were private car tests.
Notes to editors:
Background to ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics’
- This is the seventh edition of the publication ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics’, relating to data up to March 2021. The release is written, and issued by, the DVA Statistics Branch in the Department for Infrastructure.
- The release presents statistics on vehicle, driver, and theory tests conducted during March 2021, together with trend series over the previous five financial years.
- We source vehicle and driver data from administrative data sources within the DVA, whilst Pearson VUE supply the theory data.
- ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics’ is published every month at pre-announced release dates, which are available from the GOV.UK website.
- Electronic copies of ‘DVA Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics – March 2021’ can be downloaded from our website at: Driver and Vehicle Agency Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics
- A detailed User Guidance document is also available on our website.
- This report supplements the existing quarterly National Statistics publication ‘DfI Driver, Vehicle, Operator, and Enforcement Statistics’. The quarter three edition of which was released 23 March 2021 and is available on our website at: Driver & Vehicle Agency Activity Statistics
- 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
- For further information, please contact:
Driver and Vehicle Agency
Annex 4, Belfast Test Centre
66 Balmoral Road
- Tel (press enquiries): 028 9054 0007
- Tel (public enquiries): 028 9054 7911 (Text relay prefix 18001)
- E-mail: DVA.Statistics@nisra.gov.uk
- Website: Driver and Vehicle Agency Monthly Tests Conducted Statistics
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: email@example.com.
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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