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Claiming Compensation from DVA

If things have gone wrong you may be entitled to compensation from the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). There are different circumstances in which you can claim compensation and if you feel you are entitled to claim you should follow the steps below.

When will DVA consider compensation?

DVA will consider a claim for compensation if:

  • a test is cancelled for any reason within its control and the notification given is less than one clear working day for vehicle tests and three clear working days for driving tests
  • your vehicle is damaged on DVA property and the Agency is found to be negligent
  • an Ombudsman investigation finds that there has been maladministration by the Agency causing you an injustice

DVA will not consider compensation if the reason for cancelling a test is outside its control. For example, if a test is cancelled because of bad weather or a power failure. However, every effort will be made to give you a new test date as soon as possible.

DVA aims to:

  • make applying for compensation as easy as possible for you
  • pay you within ten working days of your claim being settled
  • identify areas where problems often occur and take steps to improve its services

The amount of compensation paid

If the DVA:

  • does not give you the accepted period of notification (one clear working day for vehicle tests and three clear working days for driving tests) and the reason for cancellation was within its control you will get an automatic refund of 50 per cent of the test fee
  • accepts liability, you will get reimbursement of any expenses that arise as a direct result of a cancelled test or a damaged vehicle which are verifiable and reasonably incurred

If a compensation claim needs to be independently assessed the Agency will normally pay the amount recommended by the Ombudsman or the DVA Central Claims Unit.

How to claim compensation

If a test has been cancelled:

  • claims for expenses must be in writing
  • where possible, you should provide receipts for any costs you incurred
  • the claim and supporting evidence should be submitted to the centre where the test was due to take place

Fifty per cent of the test fee will be paid automatically and you do not have to claim this.

If your vehicle has been damaged:

  • you should report it as soon as possible to the centre manager who will inspect the damage, or if you have already left the premises, arrange a time for you to return with the vehicle for inspection
  • the centre manager will provide you with a claim form
  • the claim and three quotes showing the cost of repairing the damage should be returned to the centre manager

Once a claim is received

DVA aims to issue a decision to all formal requests for compensation within ten working days.

The Agency will thoroughly investigate your claim and examine all evidence available. As part of this process it may be necessary to ask  you for additional documentation or information.

You will be informed if additional time is required to investigate your claim.

If you are not satisfied with the process or outcome of your claim

If during or after the processing of a claim you wish to complain about any aspect of the Agency's service or the handling of your claim, you can write to:

The Customer Services Manager
DVA County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3HS

Your complaint will be dealt with in accordance with the Agency's complaints procedure which is downloadable at the link below:

More useful links