We want to update you on the measures we’ve introduced so far to help learner drivers from being exploited by people and companies selling them driving tests at an inflated price and on the impact, they are having on learners and our service.
I also want to update you on our plans to update the terms and conditions for using the book and manage your pupil’s tests service and the ADI code of conduct.
What our insight is telling us
Over the last few months, we’ve been asking learners in our ‘unable to attend a car practical test’ survey if they have used any non-DVSA apps for their driving test booking. More than 1 in 4 learners said they had – 26.6% to be exact.
41.8% of you also told us in our ADI demand survey carried out in January that your candidates' tests were also being moved by unofficial companies.
It’s clear that this is a real issue, and we have already made steps to address it.
What we have done
Since we put in place measures to crack down on unofficial companies using our book and manage your pupils test service, we have seen a decrease in the number of learners who failed to attend their driving test.
Between June 2022 and August 2022, the number of learners who did not turn up for their test fell from 6,598 to 4,625. This is lowest it's been since September 2021. This meant that an extra 1973 tests went ahead.
We’ve carried out a number of measures to protect learners and the driving test service to reduce the number of wasted tests.
- In late 2021 we introduced Advanced Bot Protection (ABP) for all booking services. The ABP has successfully reduced bot traffic to the booking sites. Our market surveillance suggests some companies are ceasing to operate since DVSA introduced more robust controls.
- On 1 June, we:
- stopped accepting new automatic online registrations to use the service. New applications must be made by email, giving DVSA the opportunity to check them thoroughly
- stopped accepting any new registrations from companies that do not have an ADI associated with the business
- suspended around 4,500 registrations that were not linked to driving instructors
- removed around 7,500 dormant businesses or where the registration process was not fully completed
- reduced the number of times a driving test appointment can be changed from 10 to the pre-pandemic limit of 6
- On 30 June, we launched our text message reminder service for candidates to remind them of the details of their test 10 days and 6 days before.
- On 18 July, we launched our ‘Ready to Pass?’ campaign which has reached over 500,000 people and have directly encouraged learners to not use third party apps and use the official driving test booking service
- We’ll continually monitor bot traffic on our service and regularly review the effectiveness of the ABP. We also frequently meet with the ABPs software provider to see what updates are available to us to introduce help us to strengthen our protection, as bots adapt to get around controls
We will continue to work tirelessly to crack down on people and companies that are exploiting learner drivers.
Updating terms and conditions
Before we can update the terms and conditions for using the book and manage your pupil’s test service, we need to carry out a review to see how businesses are swapping tests.
At the moment the 2 ways of doing this are:
- online via the book and manage your pupils test service
- via emailing or phoning the customer services team
To help us to gather your feedback we plan to include questions in next ADI demand survey to find out how you are using the service to swap driving tests.
We need this insight to help us better understand how the service is being used so that we can set controls to monitor the service and identify any businesses or individuals who are selling driving tests at a profit. We are also keen to make sure we are providing you with the service you need and are asking for feedback on ways we could improve the service.
We’ll update you again in the coming weeks to let you know when the survey is live.
We’ll also be running a separate survey for businesses who are using our services to book and swap large amounts of tests. To find out how more information about how they use the service now and also get their views on ways we could improve it.
This survey will go live at the same time as the ADI demand survey.
How you can help us now
On average we are receiving 7200 number of calls per month. This has doubled since the pre-pandemic average of 3500. We now carry out over 4000 swaps per month via the customer service centre up from 560 per month (pre-pandemic).
The number of test swaps carried out via the book and manage your pupil;s tests service has also increase from 3,200 swaps per month (pre-pandemic) to over 17,000 per month.
Due to the high volume of calls we are receiving, if you have access to the book and manage your pupil’s tests service and have booked tests via the service you can also swap tests using the service.
Using our online business service only takes a matter of minutes to:
- book car, motorcycle and other types of driving tests for your pupils
- change, swap or cancel appointments you have booked
- confirm your pupil’s details before the test
- manage your availability for car driving test
If you want to register for the 'book and manage your pupils test booking' service you'll need to contact DVSA.
For all other swaps you can call our dedicated ADI priority telephone number on 0300 200 1122 (press the 2-digit fast track code) from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm to fast track your call.