Rookie Drivers Face Five Month Wait To Take Test

Wed 24th Mar 2021

Learner drivers who have had to endure a frustrating wait to get on the road over the past 12 months are facing even more torment with the news that the wait for a driving test will now be up to five months.

Lockdown restrictions brought on over the pandemic over the last year have made it almost impossible for driving instructors and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to make any concrete plans on driving tests. There may be light at the end of the tunnel with tests returning on the 22nd April, but there is currently a backlog of 420,000 cancellations to get through. 

With almost half a million cancellations to get through before any new tests can take place, it is estimated that practical driving test drivers will face a wait of five months.

“Candidates affected by the suspension are automatically being booked on to the next available test at their chosen centre,” the DVSA said in a Daily Mirror report.

“As soon as it is safe DVSA will increase the number of driving and theory tests available.”

With many drivers not even getting to apply for the test over the last year there is expected to be a deluge of applications, which could push that five month wait even higher. There are an additional 380,000 learners waiting to sit theory tests, and millions more drivers taking lessons with the aim of getting on the road as soon as possible.

The DVSA has employed 300 extra examiners to join the 1,675 they already have to help get through the backlog, and Carly Brookfield, chief executive of the Driving Instructors Association has said that the DVSA should offer online tests to speed up the system.

“What these numbers don’t tell you is how many driving tests have been cancelled time and time again. There’s a huge worry among pupils that if they fail a test, how long will it be before they get a retest?

“The DVSA will argue that people will try to cheat. But so many testing bodies are going online using technology that monitors individuals.”