2020 will go down in the history books as the year of corona. How do you keep an eye and ear for your customers in such hectic times? That was the biggest task for the RDW in 2020. RDW employees have gone to great lengths to maintain the service provision and to help customers where possible. At the same time, we managed to come out of the difficult year in a financially healthy way.

Accelerator due to corona

After the corona outbreak, the RDW has two priorities: the health of RDW employees and ensuring that the services continue to run as smoothly as possible. Where possible, we came to the rescue of our customers: for example, the vehicle suspension scheme was temporarily extended to provide financial support for companies during lockdowns. Corona has also been an accelerator for improvements in our services. An example of this is the new, temporary import procedure for recognized garages. The RDW assesses on the basis of photos whether an import vehicle is included in the Dutch vehicle registration register. Previously, every import vehicle had to be assessed at an inspection station. Vehicles they have doubts about have yet to come by. They are evaluating and improving this method and they may want to keep it.

Many projects continue

In the meantime, many projects continued as usual, such as the registration of agricultural vehicles and drones, the preparations for the truck levy and the process related to vehicle and traffic safety, in which they contribute ideas about the admission requirements for light electric vehicles. Sustainability also remains high on the agenda. In 2020, for example, they completed the investigations into diesel fraud started in 2016 and started the implementation of the new framework regulation aimed at cleaner and safer vehicles. On behalf of the Netherlands, the RDW is also involved in the development of the Euro 7 emission standard, with even stricter environmental standards, and in research into tire wear. And they are researching the possible setting up of a sustainability laboratory where different types of vehicles can be tested for various properties. 

The RDW is financially healthy

Financially, 2020 was an uncertain year. In the second quarter, the economy contracted considerably. The RDW decided to absorb the expected fall in turnover through the use of the reserves and through cost reductions. Fortunately, the economy recovered well in the second half of the year. Ultimately, the corona measures had a limited effect on the turnover of the RDW, because it increased by € 6,3 million compared to 2019. This is mainly due to a higher turnover for providing documents because more second-hand vehicles were sold. And due to higher incidental project revenues, such as for the truck levy and for the registration of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). In addition, they were able to quickly switch from physical services to digital services, which kept turnover up to standard. The net result for 2020 comes to € 11,3 million. Solvency is up to standard at 54,3%, according to the RDW website. The annual report is published subject to official approval by the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. The 2020 annual report can be found on the annual reports page at www.rdw.nl/over-rdw.

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