DVSA Tester Shortage

DVSA Tester Shortage

Movers are increasingly finding it difficult to book annual vehicle tests, which has resulted in some trucks being taken off the road.

Scott, from Central Moves said, “I’ve never had this before. I tried booking annual tests and couldn’t get booked in for several months. I’ve had vehicles parked up in the yard because there aren’t enough DVSA testers.”

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) acknowledges a shortage of vehicle testers for mandatory annual tests at authorised testing facilities (ATF) and plans to review the current testing model.

Many ATF operators have been complaining for months that they are increasingly having to turn testing business away because of a shortage of DVSA vehicle testers.

That shortage of testers has forced many vehicle operators to look further afield for test slots and in some cases, they have been forced to take vehicles off the road temporarily.

The RHA is on the case, (of course) and in April 2018 wrote;

“If hauliers are unable to keep their vehicles compliant and on the road then the risk to their businesses and the economy is huge. We also know of hauliers having to book testing slots far from their operating centres – thereby costing them money and of course time.”

“This is a disaster for hauliers, for ATF operators and for the supply chain as a whole and we urge the DVSA to improve pay and conditions for ATF testers to attract more staff.”

The RHA is also urging government to offer PSV testers additional training to qualify them to assess HGVs and to redeploy roadside vehicle examiners into ATFs until sufficient numbers of dedicated staff have been recruited.


The RHA makes a good point. Perhaps the problem is a financial one, rather than an understaffing issue. Roadside vehicle examiners can generate a lot of income, while the cost of providing more testers will be high. However, DVSA cancellation of confirmed bookings can also be expensive in compensation claims from ATFs.

Information released last year (under the Freedom of Information Act) answered the question;

“How much compensation has DVSA paid to ATF’s since inception of The ATF scheme?”, thus;

“In total – £396,127.00

15/16 = £3,403.00

16/17 = £53,676.00

17/18 = £336,049.00 (to date)”

The full response to the FOIA request can be found here…

Maybe due to RHA pressure and maybe due to increasing financial penalties, (i.e. compensation to ATFs) for their shortcomings, the DVSA agreed in June 2018, to assign more staff as testers.

The RHA reported; “Hauliers and ATF operators are celebrating after the DVSA promised to increase the number of testers available to carry out MOTs on HGVs.”

AIM urges everyone to book annual tests as early as possible. There will still be the risk of cancellations, but that’s a problem only the DVSA can fix.

If you are struggling to find a test centre, you can download a list of the Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) and DVSA vehicle test stations.



Finns Removals & Storage Joins AIM

Finns Removals & Storage are a family run removal business based in Sturminster Newton. They primarily work locally, but also provide long distance removals throughout the UK. With over 20 years’ experience in the removal trade they pride themselves on providing a professional removal service to their customers.

They also provide light haulage out of Dorset, Somerset & Wiltshire to anywhere in UK.

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COVID-19 Statement

Although there is no rule to prevent them from doing so, not all removals businesses are working during the Coronavirus measures advised by the Government.

Those that are working have been provided with clear guidelines by the Government and supported by AIM, with safe working procedures, specific documents and frequent information updates.

Removals firms

Removal firms are able to operate and should follow the latest government guidance on safer working. Where moves are carried out, social distancing should be followed.
Companies should ensure employees understand how to operate safely and communicate this to customers.

  • Removers should contact the household in advance to check that no member of the household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. If they are, works should be delayed.
  • They should also encourage households to ensure all internal doors are open and surfaces and possessions have been cleaned with household cleaning products prior to them entering the property.
  • No work should be carried out by a person who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
  • Removers should wash their hands on entering the property using separate towels of paper towels which need to be washed or disposed of safely after use.
  • Removers should seek to minimise contact with homeowners and remain 2 metres apart from householders at all times.
  • Removers should implement a buddy system and ensure that the same people work together when moving bulky items and furniture.
  • Removers should bring their own refreshments but you should ensure they have access to hand washing facilities, using separate towels or paper towels if possible,
    which should be washed or disposed of safely afterwards.