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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Part 2: making sure pupils are ready for test, and that no test goes to waste

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Driving test, Feature, Learning to drive, Road safety features

pupil driving in a car with an adi

This is part 2 of this blog series, part one discusses how DVSA is making more tests available and increasing the number of examiners.

Text message reminders

Between April 2021 to and 15 May 2022 over 76,031 tests have not gone ahead as planned as the candidate did not turn up.

We are keen to reduce the number of avoidable cancellations to an absolute minimum so fewer tests go to waste.

We will shortly start sending your pupils text messages to remind them about their upcoming test and what to do if they want to cancel or change their appointment.

We will update you and your pupils ahead of this service going live.

Improving learner drivers’ readiness to take their test

We plan to launch our campaign this summer to improve your pupils’ understanding of what it means to be test ready and how they can assess their readiness. If they are not ready, we will be encouraging them to delay their test.

If we can get those who are not ready to delay their test the driving test pass rate should improve and waiting times reduce, as fewer people will need a retest.

We will explain more about this campaign in the coming months. Ahead of the campaign launch we are publishing some guidance and information for you and your pupils.

This includes:

  • the ‘You’ve got this!’ pack including the theory test edition of First Car magazine will soon be available for your pupils to pick at theory test centres
  • publishing our mock tests research findings and guidance to help you make mock tests more realistic

You’ve got this! pack

The ‘You’ve got this!’ pack is full of information and guidance to help your pupils prepare for their driving test. It encourages your pupils only to take their driving test when they are ready. And the pack includes additional advice on how to control test day nerves, taking a mock test and more.

We will share more information about these and let you know when they will be available in your local theory test centre in the coming weeks.

Mock tests

In 2019, over 7000 of you gave us feedback on mock tests and how we can support you to make them more realistic and consistent with a driving test.

We’ve reviewed all your feedback and used your valuable insights to help us to develop our mock test guidance. We plan to share the findings of the result and our mock test guidance with you in the coming weeks. So, make sure you watch out for the next recovery blog post.

Thank you!

Your perspective and relationships with your pupils before they come to test are unique and your feedback and insights are extremely valuable to us. Thank you to all of you who have contributed when we’ve asked you to respond to consultations, surveys and talked to us at events. We know how busy you are and appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us.

Sharing and comments

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  1. Comment by Andy Frost posted on

    Such a vast number of lost test slots…. Would some kind of ‘penalty’ work for those that ‘abuse’ the available test slots.

    • Replies to Andy Frost>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Andy, we have been blocking certain accounts who abuse the system, and warning others.

  2. Comment by Rashid Bulbulia posted on

    It would be helpful if you could give us mock exam marking system like the one examiners use so we can more effectively and safely do better mock exams instead of having to type or write down mistakes and notes
    Most instructors have tablets these days so it will be very useful and more benefit to use for mock exams instead of using pen and paper

    • Replies to Rashid Bulbulia>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Rashid, its important to remember its illegal for ADIs to use electronic devices, such as phones and tablets when supervising a candidate, but a clipboard is ok. Examiners are allowed to use a tablet on airplane mode, as they are not legally in control of the car.

  3. Comment by Keith posted on

    What about all those that ignore our advice and use their own cars.
    You need a sign off by an ADI before they can book a test.

    • Replies to Keith>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Keith, we're collating the comments from this blog, and will be including yours to provide to DVSA's policy team as feedback.

  4. Comment by Bob Gray posted on

    I would like to see the DVSA challenging those sites that look for cancellation tests that pupils pay for as they don’t always send correct information to that pupil, which in turn if they don’t know about it they won’t turn up, MISSED TEST.

    • Replies to Bob Gray>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Bob, we are targeting the bots that these services rely on and are having success, but it is an ongoing process.

  5. Comment by Alan Shirley posted on

    You appear to acknowledge there is a need for more examiners to help improve test capacity. At least until waiting times are back to a sensible level. Recruitment appears not to be as speedy as any of us would like. Taking into account that you have already taken the view that instructors are at least partly to blame for lower than acceptable pass rates, allowing pupils to take tests when not ready, and furthermore to 'threaten' them with SC's and even possible removal from the instructor register, it seems to me that it would be wise to release all your testing capacity to include all examiners that carry out the SC's and refrain from all SC testing at least until the waiting times are back to a reasonable level. Not only would this show a high level of trust in the teaching profession but it would improve the testing capacity immediately. And it's worth reminding ourselves that as pupils can learn and put in for tests without any formal instruction (School of Mum and Dad), no amount of pressure on instructors will improve this situation.

    • Replies to Alan Shirley>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Alan, yes we are recruiting and training examiners, but it does take time. DVSA's policy of working with the ADIs who need extra support through standards checks is an efficient use of the limited number of examiners who carry them out. Many non-front line staff are already carrying out driving tests if they are qualified to do so since the pandemic.

  6. Comment by Andy Phillips posted on

    All positive things, but a couple of things that will help dramatically (in my opinion) would be stop the automated booking apps from booking test and also make the test booking post code related.

    • Replies to Andy Phillips>

      Comment by Janice Maciver posted on

      I wholeheartedly agree with Andy. Learners, without Driving Instructors, can book tests and there’s no consequence to them, other than losing their booking fee, if they don’t turn up!
      As an ADI I am being monitored based on the students I present for test, if my students weren’t turning up I would be penalised!

  7. Comment by Justin coates posted on

    As an adi I really do think helping candidates to know when they are ready will help, from my point of view clients even after not doing well on mock tests seem to say they want to go for it anyway ,which is senseless and something I won’t allow

  8. Comment by Mike Askew posted on

    These pack that are going to be available in TCs.... for ADIs using the TC, that works. Parents taking their child will not know about this (don't get me started on school of Mum and Dad!!)

  9. Comment by Brain Fry posted on

    Waste of money,make it compulsory to have 45 hours tuition regardless of ability,save money safer drivers better pass rates,it’s really not rocket science,who is in charge,get rid of them and get someone who knows what they are doing.

    • Replies to Brain Fry>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Brian, it would require a change in the law to introduce your first point, which is not in DVSA's gift. It is a very complex situation, which will be improved with the many measures we're implementing.Thanks.

    • Replies to Brain Fry>

      Comment by Andrew Millier posted on

      I like this comment,it's all true, and as always it's same ol same ol.
      We the ADIs are the most important, people in the process yet we are never acknowledged for that.Our ideas and comments only receive lip service, from the Growling Monster DVSA. The system will NEVER work.
      I could half test waiting with an obvious and simple idea..But I'm just not worthy enough to be listened to.

  10. Comment by Michael Deane posted on

    to have more cooperation between driving instructors and the DVSA is
    the best way to solve test waiting for DVSA not to allow pupils to
    book their test until they done a mock test with the instructor and
    depending on the result of the mock test and the amount of time there
    was left to improve the standard of there driving this would improve the
    standard of their driving before they take the test and would improve
    pass rates and reduce waiting times why the DVSA should trial this at
    first and see how it works

  11. Comment by Jason Reed posted on

    How do you expect a candidate to delay their test if the test system continues to be fully booked 6 months ahead and there are no tests available.

    You’re asking something that your current system cannot accommodate.

    Get your own system in order first and then perhaps you might find candidates more willing to listen (and us instructors actually able) to comply. (And don’t refer me to your recent 2022/3 business plan! You know full well you can’t possibly achieve your test waiting time reduction by December 2022…utter nonsense!)

    Your whole operation continues to be unfit for purpose.

  12. Comment by Dan posted on

    Regarding pupil's readiness for the test, usually, as instructors, we are able to tell whether the student is ready or possibly need some improvements, however pupils are very often not willing to postpone their test, as no dates are available or, if they are, they 6 months away, in London at least. How would the DVSA address this issue?

    • Replies to Dan>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Dan, its a good point. We realise that ADIs aren't able to influence every single pupil, but as our plan to bring waiting times down matures, candidates will be more willing to postpone their test when they're not ready.

  13. Comment by Mark Cornford posted on

    How do you plan to make the general public who don't see the necessity to use an ADI aware of your initiatives ??

    • Replies to Mark Cornford>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Mark, this the beginning of a wide ranging campaign which will use many channels of communication. While ADIs are a big influencer on candidate's behaviour, we realise some won't listen to an ADI, and some won't use an ADI, so we will be using direct messaging, social media and mass media to communicate this also.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Richard Taylor posted on

        The main problem I believe is where parents believe that as they passed their test in a short space of time years ago so should pupils be doing it now . The ways I think could help the situation.

        1. Ensure that pupils have done a certain amount of professional driving lessons . Maybe by not being able to book until you receive a code from DVSA which has to be applied for .

        2. Make it necessary that the cars used have to have dual controls as this will stop mums and dads teaching their children incorrectly as they will be required to use an instructor.

        3. In accordance with point one make it that only instructors can book driving tests.

        4. I am not sure how much difference this would make but make pupils complete the theory test before starting lessons.

        5. Sell test centres . Use money to buy vehicles and make the examiners self employed working different areas over a wider range . For example examiner A could go to an area for say one week and knock out 40 plus tests.if examiners are self employed would it not motivate them to do more tests and by being mobile and using own car it would free up instructors to do more lessons as the pupil wouldn’t need to travel

  14. Comment by Helen Law posted on

    'You've got this pack' would be helpful if available in driving test centres also.

    • Replies to Helen Law>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Helen, I'll pass this idea onto my colleague who's managing the campaign.

  15. Comment by Phil Harrison ADI posted on

    Welcomed news and a proactive move. The only obstacle is the amount of people taking tests who haven't had any professional (or little) tuition, they will not know the standard required and will continue to clog the system.
    There are also many people wanting to just "pass a test", not learn to drive safely.

  16. Comment by Lomas posted on

    Do you not realise pupils are not showing for tests generally as they are using apps to ‘grab a test anywhere in the UK’ - taking a chance whether somebody is able to take them or not??

    • Replies to Lomas>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Lomas, yes we are aware of this problem and we are taking ongoing action against the bots which these services rely on, it is ongoing, but we are seeing success.

  17. Comment by Jim posted on

    What are you doing about the ticket tout/black market driving tests? From these driving test apps.
    The government website is not fit for purpose, almost impossible to use it to book a test at a local centre.
    I tell my pupils to book anywhere on the country so that they can use a cancellation app to get a test in the local area.
    We have no choice! It’s an absolute disgrace!
    What is the government doing about this?

    • Replies to Jim>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Jim, DVSA is taking ongoing action against the the bots which these touts rely on. It is ongoing, but we are seeing success.

  18. Comment by Richard posted on

    Its worth considering that only pupils using a qualified adi should be able to book an online test with an email being sent to the adi who then has to click on a confirmation link to agree the pupil will be test ready. This could easily be put in place for a limited time to help reduce waiting lists significantly.
    I'm aware that tests are being booked by touts who are selling on the test dates at inflated prices (on occasion up to double the price) on social media. Whilest this is happening it will seriously delay test waiting lists reducing to normal levels as pupils are desperate to get a date less than 22 weeks away.

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Richard, we keep the booking system open to anyone, so admin staff at schools can use it and book for their ADIs. DVSA is taking action to block the bots which these touts rely on to acquire the tests, it is work that is ongoing though. Thanks

  19. Comment by Mahmud ul-haq posted on

    Good move sending text messages.


  20. Comment by Mark Weaver posted on

    Yesterday you informed me that the average waiting list is 14 weeks …… well please explain to me why my two local DTC waiting list is getting longer despite there being more examiners ….The way to stop so many tests being wasted is to stop people booking tests mikes from their place of residence . That way you will get a picture of where in the country has more demand and then allocate resources accordingly.

    • Replies to Mark Weaver>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Mark, DVSA is happy for people to travel for a test, as they should be able to drive on any roads, not just those which they have prepared on. Demand is monitored all the time, and examiners are moved around to suit this. More examiners are being recruited across the country.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Mark weaver posted on

        So what about the students that are from an area that cannot travel to another test centre to get a test .what is your answer to them ? Wait 6 months …… You have had a year to sort this out instead it is getting worse. Of course you are happy for candidates to them to travel
        To another test centre it’s why you the DVSA earned 5.5 million £ in revenue for not providing tests for you no shows …… it’s not the ADI ‘s who are not preparing students for tests because you are blaming them for the failure rate if they do …… that is why you monitor how many passes they have ……Do you also monitor the number of “ school of Mum and Dad “ passes you get ? What are the percentages there please ?

        You tried to put the blame on the ADI community. That hasn’t worked so it’s not them . What is your next idea …… ? Giving out a pack to prepare yourself is not going to stop another 70000 no shows next year snd the pass rate is not going to go up because there are only a certain number of ADI who can only cope with a certain number of clients each …. Every month a new batch join the waiting list . Whilst the DVSA takes money for no show tests from people d we Ho do not have a car or a driving instructor .

        I like many receive 4/8 call a week from people with test booked mikes from the test centre wanting me to take them to test with only 2 hours with me …. Why e we oils I do that because if they fail you the DVSA point the finger at me the ADI I didn’t create this situation . These then become your “ no shows “ it’s not rocket science !

        Mark Weaver ADI

  21. Comment by Gary Larcombe posted on

    I was recently sent a text from a supposed driving school. It stated that they specialised in arranging tests at short notice and gave me a list of three all in May and at Tolworth. How ? Why? This is not right I have pupils unable to book, and these sharks are selling them on the black market.
    I am an ADI and have brought forward my retirement plans because of the mess of it all !!

    • Replies to Gary Larcombe>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Gary, tackling services which "game the booking" system is being worked on now. We've already beefed up security to block apps and bots which prey on candidates who want to pass.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Gary Larcombe posted on

        Thousands of tests country wide were not taken last month as a result of these crooked greedy so called driving schools. Many more pupils could have taken tests and shortened the list. I have several pupils on hold because they can not book a test within a reasonable time. Very sad and bad for my business . I can not take new pupils because I have no idea when existing pupils will have a test and have a commitment to them! Sadly you don't have the commitment to us that you do LGV drivers. We are fully trained professionals and most of us very proud, but it is waning amongst the long serving. WE NEED MORE TESTS!!

        • Replies to Gary Larcombe>

          Comment by jameslindley posted on

          Thanks Gary, our priority is to provide as many tests as possible to those who need them. This will be a team effort, with us tacking the bots and providing more tests, and ADIs doing a few bits to ensure every candidate is prepared.

  22. Comment by Steve hunt posted on

    If a student includes their instructors ADI number on the application, why can't the DVSA copy them in with the confirmation e-mail and also the test result e-mail. Obviously a note to this effect would have to be included in the terms and conditions.

    • Replies to Steve hunt>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Steve, its a good point, I will mention this to the policy team working on the booking system.

  23. Comment by Ron posted on

    This all sounds well meaning but what are you actually doing to improve examiner consistency/bias?
    Of course we must ensure that we only release safe drivers onto the road with a full licence. I have witnessed experienced long standing examiners take a 'minor' view of obvious 'serious' errors rightly so as the pupil has clearly demonstrated that they otherwise were completely competent during the test. I have also seen greatly experienced and new examiners alike take a very harsh view of a comparatively minor error and fail otherwise competent drivers. We are all human, being unreasonably harsh adds more to your waiting lists than any other factor.
    You simply must in spite of the manpower challenges you have, run covert quality checks on your own staff arranging tests with undercover staff to attempt to develop a consistency and weed out favoritism (the relationship between some examiners and instructors is very cosy distorting the figures you use for standards checks. There are some truly unbelieveable results driving your statistics.

    • Replies to Ron>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Ron, all tests are marked to the same standard, our examiners are assessed for consistency throughout the year, both by senior staff on test from within the car, and by monitoring statistics also. Thanks

  24. Comment by Lynne Fitzharris posted on

    I agree mock test are invaluable to assess if a pupil is at test standard, and it provides the pupil the opportunity to 'experience' what the test will feel like. The problem is instructors do not know how to assess a driving test accurately. they understand and can deliver 'test wordings' but their assessment skills are not accurate. We must remember the new entrant Examiner course can sometimes lead into 5 / 6 weeks as some often struggle with assessment. So little unsure how driving instructors can develop this 'practical assessment' skill, unless they were invited on a course that was designed and delivered by DVSA.

    I do understand what I am talking about. I was an Assistant Chief Driving Examiner and spent some of my career at Cardington designing and delivering the New Entrant course. Also spent years as a driving examiner conducting many, many driving tests.

    I am currently an ORDIT trainer grade A 51/51 and have conducted many mock test for ADI's and have helped them with assessment skills. I have also delivered some training on 'assessment' and can honestly say that most have no understanding of the correct level of assessment. Unfortunately most Instructors sit in the back of driving tests and think they have the knowledge based on what they have witnessed.

    I suggest 'assessment' is a practical skill and the understanding required to accurately assess cannot be done on a zoom presentation. A CPD course would need to be designed and practically delivered.

    Hope this helps,


    • Replies to Lynne Fitzharris>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Lynne, I'll pass on your comments to the current policy team here.

    • Replies to Lynne Fitzharris>

      Comment by Graham carroll posted on

      So if Adi's can't assess whether a candidate is ready for test, who do you suggest does???

  25. Comment by Glenn Smith posted on

    I do mock tests with all of my pupils i may do up to 3 to 4 mocks per pupil this makes the pupil realise what's required to pass their tests. I do swap tests about if someone needs more lessons. A lot of driving instructors don't do mock tests why i don't know. Why not have the driving examiner ask the candidate before the test if they have done mock tests.

  26. Comment by Robert Jackson posted on

    Nice to see some positive progress but nerves are still the big problem.
    These cancelation sites and apps need to be stopped, they are picking up everything, then having the cheek to add extra cost to them!
    If they were put back in the system those that really wanted to get an earlier test could do it of there own time.
    In the North west I cover a few test centres and the waiting list is October at the earliest.
    So, the ones that have failed recently because of nerves have lost the skills we teach them, almost back to the start plus the nerves are added to knowing that if they fail then its another 5 months or so.

    • Replies to Robert Jackson>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Robert, we agree nerves are a factor. We'll be doing some communications with candidates on this, including guiding them to use mindfulness to help them control their nerves.

      We're also putting work into the app/bots which target cancellations, which is ongoing.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Mick Snelling posted on

        Very little has been mentioned about test day nerves throughout this thread, whilst ADI's can have total confidence in their learners ability to be ready to undertake their test with candidates who appear confident when undertaking lessons you simply cannot predict how they will perform on the day.

  27. Comment by Iain Smith posted on

    Hi DVSA this is what you put in your recent blog / email:
    (Between April 2021 to and 15 May 2022 over 76,031 tests have not gone ahead as planned as the candidate did not turn up)
    I'm not sure how many times driving instructors need to tell the DVSA that the majority of these 'No Shows' will most likely be down to the third party apps that target these young naive learners to book an early test and then look for an instructor. Do you not think that it's a massive coincidence that we have never had this problem before these apps?
    In 40 years of doing this job I can honestly say that for 39 of those years I very rarely had pupils calling who already had a test date booked and yet for this last year it seems to have become the norm for pupils to book their test and then go and look for an instructor. A number of Apps have sprung up in this last year and now there are hundreds of learners calling driving schools and saying their test is in a few weeks time.
    You sent an email quite a while ago stating how you had set up a system to combat these Apps and then nothing changed.
    Even my webmaster said he could put a stop to them and yet you are probably spending a fortune with so called IT Specialists and yet it's still not working.
    I really can't believe how you can spend all your time and money doing these surveys / blogs and then tell us how many candidates fail to attend for their tests when it's staring you in the face because most of these 'fail to attends' can't find instructors to take them.
    Actually while I was writing this comment I have just had 2 calls both with a test next week!
    Iain Smith (Ordit trainer)
    PRN 85544

    • Replies to Iain Smith>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Iain, your point is valid, and DVSA is putting work into blocking the bots which these services rely on, but it is ongoing, and very complex, indeed many international websites struggle with bots too.

  28. Comment by Robert kerr posted on

    This sounds like a great idea i hope pupils take it on board that they shouldn't take driving tests until they're ready as quite a lot think they're ready when their not some think your trying to prolong the lessons to get more money from them

  29. Comment by Gareth Jones posted on

    More examiners need to be recruited to shorten waiting times. Then pupils might be more receptive to moving their test date if we advise they aren’t ready. Sto the bots to stop the tests not going ahead.

    • Replies to Gareth Jones>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Gareth, thanks for your comment, we're both recruiting more examiners and tackling the bots, both are ongoing and seeing success already.

  30. Comment by Brian posted on

    What a waste of time the dvsa are. If you want ro stop the no show of people turning up for tests them make it that a test can only be taken with an ADI or pdi. This will not be done as the dvsa are happy to take money for nothing.

    • Replies to Brian>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Brian, thanks for your comment. Your idea would require a change in the law, which is not in DVSA's gift.

  31. Comment by John posted on

    Ready for their test ! HA HA when you keep cancelling test at short notice and moving them back by 3 months. Get your house in order and stop blaming everybody else

    • Replies to John>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks John, COVID brought some very specific challenges which meant more tests were cancelled at short notice than normal, and other issues such as bad weather have added to this issue. We're working to provide more tests and bring tests waiting times down.

  32. Comment by trev thomas posted on

    Looks like its a little but to late?

  33. Comment by Edward Cox posted on

    I think this is a great idea. I, as an ADI, don’t take anyone to test I don’t believe will be safe on the road. Any help, specifically with anxiety and supporting instructors in delaying tests will be fantastic

  34. Comment by Josiah Carrier posted on

    DVSA should let the public know through a publication, that ADIs have a duty to not present a pupil to test unless both parties agree they are ready to drive independently.
    The public should also know that ADIs test results are scrutinised

  35. Comment by Savvas Savva posted on

    The challenge is that pupils are often test ready but still fail their test. Failing a test does not imply you are automatically not test ready.

    • Replies to Savvas Savva>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks, You're right, but the result is dependent on the candidate's performance on the day of the test. We will be doing some work around helping candidates with their nerves.

  36. Comment by Patrick. posted on

    Test's are wasted because:
    (a) people are booking a test without asking an instructor if they are ready.
    (b) people just book a test then franticly ring around to try and find someone to take them.
    (c) parent pressure, "it's a long waiting list you might as well give it a go"

    Evan if they realize they are not ready they are unable to find a later date so take it anyway.

    • Replies to Patrick.>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Patrick, thanks for this. You're correct that it is the parent's and candidate's responsibility to ensure they are test ready too. We are doing all we can to tackle the bots and apps, but it is work that's ongoing.

  37. Comment by MR TP JUKES ADI posted on

    The main, perhaps only reason people don't turn up for tests, is that they book their own test,then having no instructor who will take them when they say " I only need a couple of hour's, the use you're car for the Test,because I can drive " ,they then phone every instructor they can right up to the day of their test, then don't turn up.There lies the problem,

    • Replies to MR TP JUKES ADI>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Mr Jukes, the bots/apps that supply these these candidates are being tackled, but the work is ongoing.

  38. Comment by Gavin Brownlie posted on

    stop putting the blame on the ADI Get your own house in order There is a salution Priatise Driving tests the way MOTs are franchised

  39. Comment by Kevin King posted on

    It would be interesting to know how many of these people who don't turn up for their tests have booked using an ADI number. From my records since lockdown ended 18% of the enquiries I receive are from people with their tests booked in the next few weeks and don't have a driving instructor or car. They are desperate and often offer over the going rate for the use of your car. If, like me, other instructors are not taking them on they won't be turning up for test.

    • Replies to Kevin King>

      Comment by Patrick posted on

      Agree with your comment, would say more like 25% in my area, with alot having a test in just a couple of days.

  40. Comment by Colin posted on

    Hi I emailed loveday ryder last year saying it would help if every test centre trained a handful of ADIs that are willing to do tests a couple of days a week and pay them on a daily basis this creating up to 500 extra tests per week per test centre but no reply

    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Colin, Thanks for your comment. The law prohibits someone being an ADI and an examiner at the same time. Loveday receives many ideas from the ADI community and we take on board as many as we can, we're sorry we didn't reply this time though.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Colin posted on

        The law prohibits you from driving a motor vehicle without an MOT certificate but everyone got 6 months without one.

    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by Roger Baker ADI posted on

      This rediculous current situation requires some different solutions if only temporarily

      This is an idea I have often thought would be an excellent way to improve the situation.

      Let's be honest they managed to extend the MOT period without much problem which I'm sure also required a change in the law

      This would solve the problem with in a matter of weeks

      The current situation requires radical thinking not just the same old nonsense blaming everyone else.

      • Replies to Roger Baker ADI>

        Comment by jameslindley posted on

        Thanks Roger, to be clear, the government changed the law to extend the MOT period, DVSA does not have the power to to change the law.

        • Replies to jameslindley>

          Comment by Roger Baker posted on

          You are a government department. Does no one in the department speak to grant Shapps the transport minister

          • Replies to Roger Baker>

            Comment by jameslindley posted on

            Thanks Roger. Grant Shapps is aware of the situation, we update The Department for Transport frequently and they approve our plans before they are announced.

  41. Comment by Carla Hartman posted on

    The best way forward is to only allow instructors to book the practical test. If a student is taught by a parent then all they need to do is book a mock test with an ADI. then the ADI can book that students test if they feel the student is safe and competent. That would definitely bring down the waiting times and give control back to the ADI and DVSA instead of these rediculous 3rd party companies and students booking tests when they're not ready. When an ADI refuses to take the student to test , that's when some of the no shows or test fauls occur because student is not ready qnd either just doesn't turn up or uses own car. This needs to be tightened and more regulated

    • Replies to Carla Hartman>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Carla, I'll pass your thoughts on to our policy team who are working to bring waiting times down.

  42. Comment by David Jephcott posted on

    Waiting times for tests were poor before COVID and they are appalling now and appear to be getting worse. If the DVSA is serious about reducing waiting times for tests they need to pay examiners an attractive wage to encourage greater recruitment, insist that all tests candidates are signed off as “safe and test” ready and stop closing test centres (Wycombe) whilst insisting that a 40 mile round trip (1. 5 hrs) for pupils is “local”.

    The DVSA say the right things but are busy actually doing the wrong things then replace whoever is in charge and responsible for these poor decisions when what ADI’s have warned them about comes to fruition. No accountability.

    Start listening and more importantly trusting ADI’s. They know better than the DVSA how to reduce waiting times.


  43. Comment by David Adams posted on

    I know it wouldn't actually resolve the issue of waiting times, but is there any reason why the booking system for driving tests cannot now be opened up indefinitely into the future? If every pupil, was able to book something, however far off, it would be much easier for us (I am an ADI) and them to plan ahead.

    • Replies to David Adams>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi David, its because we have to ensure the slots for tests are available before we release them on sale. If we were to release them ay further in advance, we'd find it difficult to ensure there was an examiner in place.

  44. Comment by Terry posted on

    Carla that's us such a good idea but it will only full on deaf ears
    As they will not have the bottle to tell mums and dad's they don't know what thet are doing
    I'm a ADI would they let me do dental work on there child ? I don't think so

  45. Comment by Steve Pearce posted on

    I'm afraid this seems to be another money wasting exercise hoping to get the pupils ready for test.
    I, like many instructors, have pupils who have passed their theory test and just want to book a practical test - yet if you ask them a HYC question during a lesson - they don't have a clue to the answer - so, do we really expect pupils to read all this literature?
    Continuing to blame ADI's for the situation, although is an easy way out, do we have any evidence on how the ADI is to blame for the current situation? I would love to know the answer to this.
    We have people calling us with last minute cancellations looking for instructors to help them - phoning us with 3 days notice - if we are lucky - and they don't even live in the area (I have actually been asked where the area is as they were coming from 200 miles away - hoping to use my car for test!).
    On numerous occasions you have asked for our (ADI's) feedback, has any of our suggestions / comments / feedback actually been taken any further?

    • Replies to Steve Pearce>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Steve, we're certainly not blaming ADIs, but these are ways which we can work together on the issue. We do listen to ADIs, indeed we meet with the ADI groups frequently and have worked with them on these plans.

  46. Comment by Kathy posted on

    As an adi I feel it would be useful to have a copy of the booklet available at theory test centres. Then we can look professional and know what our pupils are talking about.

    Also if there are areas in the country with less of a waiting list, can you not temporarily move some examiners to the areas with the worst waiting times? I seem to remember some years ago when we had a bad winter that examiners were brought in from other areas. It’s not just your “16 week waiting list” there are many frustrated pupils who can’t even get a test.

    • Replies to Kathy>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Kathy, examiners are often moved between test centres to deal with local shortfalls.

  47. Comment by david lowe posted on

    I've recently been on the receiving end of a shocking/libellous review on google as I would not entertain an existing pupil who booked his own test without my agreement. I informed him (as you advise) he would not be ready in time and I was not prepared/available to take him.
    Get real DVSA this is my livelihood.

  48. Comment by Gurdev Bhanot posted on

    I agree that there is some good work going into resolving the "no show" and test booking bots that alot of candidates are using lately.

    I also believe that the DVSA examining system is out of date and needs a complete rethink.

    Something in the lines of the Australian driving test system. That seems to produce very safe and competent drivers. The candidate will need a lengthy learning phase (partly with an ADI and maybe also "school of mum & dad) and a couple of driving tests by the authorities in order to prove that they are fully safe to drive independently. This allows for training during different seasons of the year. In the UK, a candidate can learn in summer and pass their test in summer! No learning has been done during winter season, but somehow this candidate is seen "safe & competent" to drive in the winter season!

    Also, a candidate should be required to have to book their driving test through an ADI or Driving School. This will ensure that the candidate (whether been taught by an ADI or "school of mum & dad)" has had the relevant training and mock tests to prove that he/she is safe to drive independently.

    So much is yet to be changed within the DVSA and by the DVSA. We are so "out of date". Have a look at the aviation training system - documented approved learning program - minimum flying hours - tests in different weather conditions...

    Driving a vehicle on the UK highways is also dangerous just like flying in the skies or piloting a sea boat or driving a train. All these transport sectors have periodic refresh tests or learning. Maybe DVSA could have, along side driving licence renewal every 10 years, have a 2 hour refresher lesson with an ADI. This will address any bad habits picked up over time and make the driver aware of new laws or any changes.

    Lots to do yet, no time to waste as our roads are getting busier than ever every day that we lose acting on appropriate change not just quick fixes.

    • Replies to Gurdev Bhanot>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Gurdev, something DVSA are in control of, such as the booking system, which is having its security improved as we speak, but the licencing and training regime would need a change in the law, which DVSA is not in control of.

  49. Comment by Graham carroll posted on

    Your efforts are appreciated but until test waiting times reduce considerably, things won't change.
    Take someone booking a doctors appt 4 weeks ahead 50%will be cancelled, if they book a doctors appt tomorrow unlikely many will be cancelled. The longer the waiting the more you'll get cancellations. It's pretty obvious to me. So please put all your efforts into waiting times, and the cancellations will take care of themselves

    • Replies to Graham carroll>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Graham, our priority is bringing down waiting times, hence offering overtime, employing more examiners, and working at weekends and public holidays, but if we can tackle some of the other issues, such as cancellations, we can ensure every test counts.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Graham carroll posted on

        Thank you for your reply, my point was, you will automatically reduce cancellations if waiting tined are reduced, it is not 2 issues it is only 1.
        Cancellations apps (big problem) would dissappear if we had, for example a 10 day waiting time. In Any situation in life that requires an appt, the longer that appt, the more cancellations occur.

  50. Comment by Erieshibe posted on

    The Examiners sometimes act as if they have a failure target, else, how would an examiner fail a pupil for not focusing on the reverse mirror when reversing against oncoming traffic ie on the opposite lane.
    It would be more useful and number of retests reduced of examiners are trained not to fail pupil, who by all assessment are good drivers, using minor mistakes. Rather, DVSA could create allowance for such minor mistakes to be explained rather than viewed as serious driving errors.

    • Replies to Erieshibe>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi, to be clear; examiners do not have a failure target. The current system of fault, serious fault and dangerous fault does exactly this, which allows some faults, but serious or dangerous faults will mean a fail.

  51. Comment by Les Hopkinson posted on

    Some great ideas from the DVSA.

    In my opinion, the public needs educated more on the importance of learning a skill for life rather than just 'passing the test' as we all keep talking about however, you don't see much information out in the public domain. The only time this has happened recently is the recent changes to the Highway Code but this was in the media on TV and even the people reporting on it were getting it wrong causing so much confusion. DVSA need to be more prominent in the media and the public domain.

    Learning to drive needs to be seen more as an educational route to passing a driving test and safe driving for life.. A lot of our 17 year old learners are being told about learning to drive from their parents/grandparents and receiving out of date information from a generation who weren't taught 'safe driving for life' but were taught to pass the test. The DSVA should put out a structured learning programme that all learners must work through which would be used by ADI's creating a more consistent structure across the industry. Of course there would need to be a change in the law but this is something the DVSA Could push for.

    • Replies to Les Hopkinson>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Thanks Les, we've have a full plan of communications activities planned as we recover from the pandemic. With various road safety messages planned around the theme of "a lifetime of safe driving". We agree - our message is that candidates should always learn to drive on all roads, not just those for their local test centre. Many of this will appear in the national media in the coming year or so.

  52. Comment by Darren Green posted on

    I feel the theory test is unnecessarily prohibitive in its repeat full price charging for those who struggle to pass it within the first few attempts.
    There appears to be little cost to the DVLA for learner drivers to take the test yet learners are paying the full price every time.
    Shouldn't consideration be given to a reduced test cost for those having to take the test 3 times or more ?
    Also what is the rationale for having to repeat both modules when one has been passed successfully?

    • Replies to Darren Green>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Darren, the test fee pays for the booking system, the test centres and the staff, as well as paying for DVSA to set and update the tests. Each test must be paid for. Thanks