Decisions regarding the location of individual driving test centres are taken by the Driving Standards Agency.
The agency is a trading fund. As such, it is generally obliged to ensure that its operating costs are met from fee income. It seeks, therefore, to strike a reasonable balance between providing readily accessible driver testing services and the resultant costs that must be passed on to its customers.
In reaching decisions about car practical test centre location, the DSA must take account of the following ministerially agreed guidance on distance criteria at each level of population density:
|Population density||Distance criteria|
|>=1,250/km(2)||No more than 7 miles|
|101-1,249/km(2)||No more than 20 miles|
|0-100/km(2)||No more than 30 miles|
In respect of motorcycle practical test centre location, the DSA requires that most customers should be able to reach a motorcycle testing facility within 45 minutes, travelling no more than 20 miles.
When considering the closure of a driving test centre, DSA follows the "Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres" which is available on the DSA's website and was agreed by Ministers.