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What is causing the long driving test waiting times?


Yesterday (5 July) I attended the Transport Select Committee to talk about the work of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and what we are doing to recover the driving test service.

I explained to the committee that we missed out on doing about one million tests because of the pandemic. Since the COVID-19 restrictions ended we have made over a million additional driving tests available due to the measures we have taken. This means most people who had a test booked and could not take it during the pandemic will now have had the opportunity to take a driving test or have their test booked.

But driving test waiting times and the demand for tests are still a lot higher than pre-COVID-19. In this blog post I want to talk about what is causing the high level of demand and explain the effect this is having on driving test waiting times.

What is causing the long waiting times

The 3 main reasons why driving test waiting times are longer are:

  • an increase in forecast demand caused by a stronger than expected economy
  • sustained industrial action
  • low customer confidence in driving test availability, resulting in a change in customers’ booking behaviour

We are currently expecting waiting times to remain long throughout this year and into 2024.

To show how each of these reasons have affected car driving test waiting times, I’d like to explore each one in a bit more detail.

Increase in demand for driving lessons and tests

In 2022 we carried out 1.8m car driving tests, 6% more than pre-COVID-19 levels. This increase in throughput was believed to be due to the pent-up demand caused by the disruption to the service caused by the pandemic.

We forecasted that this increase in demand would reduce and return to normal levels. So far, in 2023 up to the end of May we have received around 800,000 new bookings for driving tests which showed that the increase in demand for tests has continued. This has potentially resulted in a 7% increase in demand for driving tests compared to before the pandemic.

The interim findings from the recent ‘Working as a driving instructor’ survey also indicate that you are still facing increased demand for lessons. This supports the fact that the demand to gain a car driving licence has increased.

Thank you, if you have already completed the survey. The interim results of responses between 1 and 19 June also show that:

  • on average you train 20 pupils at any given time
  • only 28% of you currently have any availability to take on new pupils, compared to 32% in October 22 (down 4%).
  • 63% of you currently have a waiting list, with just over a quarter of you stating that you have a waiting list of more than 10 learners

As well as increased demand, there have been other things that have affected our driver testing service, such as industrial action.

Impact of sustained industrial action

The recent national and regional industrial action that has affected driving tests going ahead has also impacted driving test waiting times.

Since the industrial action started in December 2022, there have been 48 days of action that directly affected driving tests. This resulted in around 25,000 driving tests being cancelled and rebooked due to industrial action. This meant that your pupils whose tests were affected had to wait longer to take their test. It also reduced the number of available test appointments, for new bookings leading to an increase in waiting times. To minimise the effect the action had on tests, we:

  • increased the number of examiners working in regions where strikes were taking place
  • offered tests over weekends and bank holidays
  • asked all DVSA warrant card holders to do driving tests

The planned industrial action in June was called off to enable further discussions to take place between the unions and the government.

Changes in customers’ booking behaviour

In the past, a learner would find an instructor and have a few lessons before starting to study for their theory test. This allows them to apply the driving theory knowledge they are learning to the practical skills they are using in their lessons. As many of us learn better through doing, rather than reading.

Today, many learners are studying and taking their theory test before they have ever sat behind the wheel of a car. This is concerning as it means that some learners may struggle to see the connection between the theory and their practical driving skills.

In the past, most learners would wait until their instructor told them they were ready before booking their test. This was usually 6 to 8 weeks before the date of their test.

Now, due to a lack of confidence in the availability of tests, many learners are booking straight after they have passed their theory test. In some cases, this may mean that they are booking their driving test before they have sat behind the wheel.

This results in many learners having to change the date of their test on multiple occasions as they are not ready. As a consequence, those who are test ready may find it more difficult to get one. This includes those who have recently failed a test and are ready to retake after a few lessons to hone their skills, or those who need to drive for their job, such as nurses and carers.

While business and individual booking behaviour stays this way, our ability to reduce driving test waiting times as quickly as we want will be impacted.  You can read my blog post about what we are doing about bots and the reselling of driving tests to find out what we are doing to tackle those reselling tests for a profit.

In our next blog post we’ll explain the things we can and cannot do to address the long driving test waiting times and the areas where we will need to carry out further research with you, your pupils and their parents, to better understand booking behaviour.

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  1. Comment by Bill Hancock posted on

    Increase the cost of a driving test by £20.
    Pay examiners a bit more.
    try and get each examiner to do one extra test per day
    the problem should be solved

    • Replies to Bill Hancock>

      Comment by Justine Clark posted on

      I agree. The amount of times I've heard, "A driving test is cheaper than a lesson so I'll just keep booking tests until I pass".

    • Replies to Bill Hancock>

      Comment by Sukhjit posted on

      I was reading this article. It seems as usual DVLA or the authorities do not know what is really going on. People have booked the tests in false names blocked the real people from finding the bookings and then they are selling those bookings for 200 pound each.
      I have met 4 people who have bought the dates in this way. That is the reason they keep changing the dates and also notice the names. Someone should do something about it

  2. Comment by Mark posted on

    Is it not time you employed some one who is able to deal with the problem below !

    The delays have led to some individuals and companies trying to profiteer off the situation using bots to snap up driving tests from the DVSA and sell them onto desperate learners for a much higher price.

    In some examples, learners were forking out £235 for a test slot, which is more than three times the cost of booking it from the DVSA directly.

    In a letter to Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, Mr Holden admitted that the DVSA had “no control” over middlemen profiteering from the sale of driving tests.

    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by Amina posted on

      I totally agree. Companies are profiting from this by using their robots to buy and sell all tests at a triple price. It
      The DVSA canceled my booking during COVID, and when it was open, my theory test ran out. So they said they could not let me do the practical test until I pass the theory test again, which is unfair because it was not my fault!!
      Also, it's been more than 5 months now looking for a test on a daily basis to no avail

      The DVSA made it difficult for us to search, by leaving all days in the calendar active so that we try every single day for 18 weeks which is time-consuming.

      The DVSA should make it clear and deactivate the unavailable days in the calendar for transparency, this way we can know when to book

      Given the long waiting list, the DVSA should extend the duration of the theory test to reflect the waiting list for the practical test. We are unable to find tests in 2 years meaning we need to pass the theory again and again!!

      Employ more examiners to reduce the waiting list

      If other countries don't have this issue, then we should not have it in the UK

      STOP other companies from buying tests to reselling them

  3. Comment by Peter Webster posted on

    Oh so now its the fault of the instructors and their pupils and not the fact the DVSA CAN'T keep examiners in test centres or the fact that it has taken nearly 2 years to get to this point, and not actually getting anything done about it.
    There's a name for passing blame to others and not taking responsibility, it's called GASLIGHTING.

  4. Comment by Pamela Walker posted on

    Pupils get cancellation apps - these apps automatically move their test date earlier - they are NOT test ready but, us as instructors either won’t take them as they are going to fail/creates alert on our account, or we haven’t the slot to take them so they either don’t turn up - no show/waste of test or go with School of Mum and Dad-putting the examiner at risk as they are not ready!
    If pupil doesn’t turn up for test, doesn’t cancel, they should be told they can’t rebook for xxxx weeks!

  5. Comment by P. Tait posted on

    There must be many examiners who have retired who could return after updating for a limited time to reduce the backlog.
    Are they being contacted to get this waiting list down?

    • Replies to P. Tait>

      Comment by Learner since 2019, learning on off 5yrs, 2 theory n 3 attempts posted on

      Hi, I'm a learner, after going through few of all comments, looks like the current problem of practically no test is never going to end atleast for next 5 to 7 years, I got a thought, can another ADI conduct tests for a learner ? And dvsa device some means to make this official,

  6. Comment by Vince posted on

    When will people listen us on the ground? Although the reasons above are valid they are not the main reason. The main reason that the waiting lists are so long is because of the blatant profeteering by not only third party companies but also ADIs who are buying these tests and selling them at what can only be discribed as rediculous prices, in some cases up to £350. The solution is easy but a little painful for some. Firstly cancel all booked driving tests and refund the money. Then a week later post all test online and only allow the person who booked the test to take the test. Stop all this switching around and buying multiple tests. Then, if the person who booked it needs to change, they go online cancel theirs and book another. Job done. I am being sent list of 20-30 tests weekly by one ADI who wants to re-sell them and he is not alone. Until this is stopped by individuals or companies nothing will change.

  7. Comment by Kalid Abdulai posted on

    Dear Loveday
    Many thanks for your email. The main issue is that some are using softwares Maybe DVSA IT department is not updated. second, There are some driving test centres dont have slots and some other test centres have too many slots for the following days or so. Send some examiners to busy test centres from those quite test centres. Provide them Hotel around £62 per night and food. these examiners will be able to see 8 candidates the following day. 24 days times 8 equal to 192 candidates are booked test. 192 times 50 examiner equal 9600 candidates per/m. You even dont need recruit new examiners. increase the payment for those wanting for example to travel to busy test centres.

  8. Comment by ian andrews posted on

    I am sure the reasons you have given for increased waiting times are all valid! However if clearly means that you are ignoring the simple and blatant fact that there is need for more driving examiners
    More are leaving the industry and you are struggling to recruit. Ask yourself why this happening.

    Bad pay and working conditions!!

  9. Comment by Lee Stott posted on

    If the DVSA developed it's own rebooking system for cancellations (like the testi App and others on the market) and offered it free within the booking system this would kill the demand for paid Apps.
    If it could be put into law that it was illegal to sell a test for more than the DVSA original price it would give you the tools to stop the selling of tests for profit.

  10. Comment by Duncan Peers posted on

    DVSA should book a test date for the learner to be taken six months after passing their theory test. No access for bots etc to DVSA calendar. Gives the learner 26 weeks to be test ready. Will help DVSA and ADI and hopefully rid the system of fraud.

  11. Comment by Joe Collins posted on

    The industry is fast becoming a laughing stock. The booking system is broken. The DVSA is useless .Also with the exclusion of Turn in the Road and Left reverse round the Corner and the VERY STUPID Drive over to the right and reverse two car lengths back and drive off again. You look like you have lost it. Whoever brought these in should be SACKED. These are two VERY important parts of learning to drive. When my students use the Sat Nav, they all say that it was easy and boring. I live in Ruislip Middlesex and since the ULEZ announcement the phone has virtually stopped ringing over the last few months. This a very worrying situation as kids probably cannot afford the price of newer cars just after passing their test and the high insurance costs. You should be on the back of this shouting it down as just another Tax to everyone affected. It's a further attack on motorists again and once it is rolled out to all major cities then it will affect even your jobs within your own industry. Overall I am totally frustrated and very angry after 21 years of teaching. I will be leaving when my licence expires in a few years. What a joke the DVSA have become.

  12. Comment by Leigh posted on

    Is it not in France theory has to be sat first before they get a lesson. I’m all for this as I think they’d have a better idea of what they are looking for instead of being told or rote learning off apps & not being able to identify what the signs or lane markings are for. There are those failing loads of theory tests as they don’t think they need to study/ read the Highway Code.
    Perhaps a rule of X amount of lessons with an instructor before being able to book a practical test would help stop those the week before a test calling round instructors to take them.

  13. Comment by Stephen Pearson posted on

    Perhaps if you increased examiners pay and made there contracts less rigid it would attract more new ones . So training up examiners and then them leaving before they start because of the contracts is a waste of public money and the dvsa time.

  14. Comment by Simon Stevenson posted on

    You've hit the nail on the head Loveday. I would presume not 1 single driving instructor in the country likes the position we are in at the moment. I'd hazard a guess that the vast majority of instructors have had to change the way they now supply lessons and gamble with when to advise their pupils to book a test. I would imagine if every teacher in schools had to teach their pupils how we are now having to teach ours, there would be a mass uproar. It is totally impractical, and I would imagine none of us instructors or pupils are content with how the process to teach them isn't working. Trying to expect a learner to start taking lessons, get them to test readiness, and then tell them to stop taking continual lessons because they simply cannot afford to keep taking them for the foreseeable six months is ludicrous. Then when they do begin lessons again on their run-up to test day, the confidence they had prior to ceasing lessons has gone, and the additional pressure of a potential six-month wait, if they fail, is just way too much pressure for anyone. This really is not what any instructor wants for their pupils and definitely not the way we like to run our businesses. I seriously hope this situation gets resolved sooner rather than later.

    • Replies to Simon Stevenson>

      Comment by Hamish Hill posted on

  15. Comment by Tim Neill posted on

    The DVSA are the main problem for the delay in availability for practical tests.
    The policy should be no bulk buying of test slots. One test per licence number, no more selling test slots to instructors or any third party.
    It’s that simple but the DVSA can’t grasp the idea
    They leave a lot to be desired

  16. Comment by Phil Jones posted on

    So still doing nothing about these bots and companies block booking tests

  17. Comment by Gillean Young posted on

    It’s frustrating to read the same comments from DVSA time and time again. It seems here that examiners are being apportioned some of the ‘blame’ due to strike action, which they’re absolutely entitled to do if pay and conditions are not suitable. Many instructor colleagues, at least here in Glasgow, are in support of the examiners and the excellent work that they do.

    Lastly, as has been suggested repeatedly by instructors across the UK - STOP allowing individuals to be able to book their own tests without ever having had one driving lesson. If tests were booked my instructors only at the appropriate time for learners - you would likely find that this would MASSIVELY impact driving test waiting times in a very positive way. But for some reason, the DVSA simply won’t entertain this idea.


  18. Comment by Dr Lee Dixon posted on

    But there is no mention of the groups of instructors who are practically
    running a 'side business' in buying tests and selling them at higher prices.

    This industry has slipped in to the category of being semi-corrupt and
    many new instructors are getting in to this role just for the money that can
    be made in a short amount of time.

    The examiners know it, as they tell is in confidence, and dedicated instructors know it.
    I am retiring at eh end of 2023 after 23 years, because it is now a tainted position.

  19. Comment by Ian Wightman posted on

    Thanks for the update!
    I find that a lack of driving tests in an area is also because people are willing to travel long distances to book a closer test date never having been to that area before!
    That impacts on that area and instructors looking to book tests for their own pupils!
    Consideration to blocking people on postcodes considerably outwith an area would be a good option to preventing this very common problem.

  20. Comment by Nick posted on

    I think you've hit it on the nail there Loveday, the ultimate issue with the lack of tests is that pupils are now booking tests before they start learning due to lost confidence. The re-selling of tests is an issue, but not one necessarily caused by apps.

    You don't need an app to book a test 4 months away to then sit on that test to then sell in 3 months time. Repeat this process and you have a steady weekly income. Many people rely on apps such as people who work such as nurses etc, i would advise against banning apps until you have an alternative solution that doesn't just favour those who sit at home all day by a computer refreshing the website.

  21. Comment by John parry posted on

    Hi,yes you have identified the problem, We now need a plan to bring back customers confidence in the booking system, maybe some examiners who have recently retired would help us a couple of days a week,

  22. Comment by Philip blight posted on

    I been an adi for 30years and never seen the waiting list as bad as it is now also the lessons are cut down to one a week on a lot of cases as the tests are so long so the this needs to sort out asap

  23. Comment by Walter hossack posted on

    To reduce waiting time for tests why not introduce radom drug testing once you have booked a test you would be subject to a radom drug test an if you failed it you would be subject to a ban and fine same as if your where drug dri ving I think you would find a lot would not book a test then for feere off being fined and banned and it would stop drug users from getting on the roads

  24. Comment by Peter Brooks, ADI 856467 posted on

    I think the analysis is generally correct, but the action being taken is wholly inadequate and one key reason has been left out altogether.
    One of the reasons not cited is 'wasted' tests. As an example, one of my students was unsuccessful on their first attempt due to driving over too much of the white circle of a mini roundabout, about 50-metres from Cheltenham test centre, at the end of his test when he'd only accumulated 2 other minor driving faults up to this point. Surely, something that 99% of drivers do every day (driving over the white circle of a mini roundabout) can't be classed as 'Serious' or 'Dangerous', although I respect the Highway Code makes it very clear vehicles must go round the marking unless they are too wide to do so. Either way, the same student managed to find a cancellation 2-weeks later and passed without any further tuition. Same driver, different day, different result wasting another precious test slot in my opinion.
    I could give many more similar examples.
    Please be assured, I don't want to reduce the high driving standard required in the UK Driving Test, just apply some common sense to 'technically serious' faults.

  25. Comment by Henry posted on

    The DVSA has made significant progress in reducing test waiting times, and I believe that they will continue to make further improvements in the future. I also believe that driving instructors need to be proactive in supporting the DVSA, rather than complaining and creating panic amongst their peers and students.

  26. Comment by Peter Gordon posted on

    A lot of instructors will not start a pupil until they have passed their theory test due to the long wait for a practical test. Currently 5/6 months in my area. Also a waiting time for theory tests.
    Once theory test is passed and pupil has started driving if their practical test isn’t for 5/6 months then they should be ready to pass even if they are only doing 1 lesson a week (depending on length of lesson) most lessons now being 90 to 120 mins long.

  27. Comment by Fergus MacRoth posted on

    I'm surprised the 'three main reasons' don't include that fact that there was suddenly 2-3 years' worth of candidates on the market for lessons and tests all at the same time once things restarted.

    It's got very little to do people booking tests when they aren't ready. It's a factor, to be sure, but it is not the main issue.

    But the bottom line is trying to get 2-3 years' worth of tests which weren't taken out of the way whilst servicing ones becoming required in the present.

  28. Comment by Gaynor posted on

    They need to stop businesses booking, leave it to the pupil and put in codes or something that only the pupil can access to be able to book-
    There are companies that employ people to sit online all day snatching up tests- it’s very unfair to the individual-
    Need to cancel all the tests that are bulk purchased. That would free some up.

  29. Comment by Neil tamblin posted on

    A couple of quick wins
    1. Increase the price of a test to £100
    2. Don't close the test centres
    3. You can only do a test within 25miles of where you live
    4. All tests must be taken in a dual controlled car

  30. Comment by Clive Copeland posted on

    I fail to see why passing the Theory Test before starting driving lessons is ‘concerning’.
    Being fully knowledgeable about the Highway Code and having a reasonable ability to spot and recognise hazards from the first driving lesson can only be an advantage to the pupil.
    There’s a reasonable argument to make it compulsory to pass the Theory Test before starting to drive.
    Make the Theory part of the School Curriculum and open it up to take from 16 years old, that way they can pass it before starting to drive.

  31. Comment by R A Drummond posted on

    You should only be able to book a test with a theory test pass number, this would stop the BOT from accumulating test bookings

  32. Comment by MR PAUL JACKSON posted on

    You Mention other things?

    But no mention of those that arrive for a practical test alone, place on L plates fail the test, remove L plates and drive off. Then repeat the process.
    Yes, in the cases with some foreign licence holders that seems to be acceptable on a one off basis. Do the records reveal this.
    However is this being reported to the authorises.

    Intensive driving courses seem to work on the basis of a pupil passing the theory test and applying for a practical test. Then booking a semi / intensive course. That is a perfectly reasonable way to manage and gain a driving licence.

  33. Comment by Martin Bailey posted on

    I think you may be underestimating the demand for driving tests due to so many people not being able to obtain a test unless they go onto the DVSA website at 6.30am before anyone else.
    A lot are still using the driving test cancellation apps that create massive disruption as they throw up tests that are too early, where pupils do tests in their own cars having been declined by their instructors.

  34. Comment by Gary Hall posted on

    The actual point that you have skilfully missed Loveday, is the following fact...

    Examiners are leaving the industry in droves. Why, it is pay related. Driving instructors are also becoming fed up with the ridiculous waiting times and consequently, like myself, are quitting the industry before it collapses completely.

    The ship 🚢 is sinking, I am swimming away!

  35. Comment by Martin Bailey posted on

    I think you may be underestimating the demand for driving tests due to so many people not being able to obtain a test unless they go onto the DVSA website at 6.30am before anyone else.
    A lot are still using the driving test cancellation apps that create massive disruption as they throw up tests that are too early, where pupils do tests in their own cars having been declined by their instructors.
    It feels a little like pushing water up a hill at the moment as driving test availability is either non existent or sporadic.

  36. Comment by Danny Gibson posted on

    I’m an ADI and I feel to sort this out, is to only let driving instructors book test, I feel this would help In a very big way

  37. Comment by Frank Lallo posted on

    No mention of the lack of examiners then and inability to recruit new ones!!

  38. Comment by Andrew posted on

    What a huge contradiction. You talk about people who have recently failed tests and will be ready to resit after a few lessons. While stopping those who have failed tests from booking new ones until 28 days have passed.

    If you agree most people that fail will be ready again after a few lessons, why make them wait so long to rebook? Especially when you know even after they rebook, they will have to wait months more till their test day arrives.

    Increasing the penalty of failing massively, and making many learners unable to perform on test day due to the incredible pressure they’re under.

  39. Comment by Alistair Gibson posted on

    Whilst I agree and understand a lot or the reasoning why the waiting times are so long i do say to my pupils once you have passed your theory book a test. This is because they will have a 6month wait from booking it to taking it. This is then plenty of time for the majority of my pupils to become test ready. It is also a manageable time scale for me & my pupils.

  40. Comment by Ronnie Lamont (ADI 423728) posted on

    Do not let pupils book their driving test until they are told by their Instructor that, they (the pupil) are READY to sit their test. The pupil should be signed off by their Instructor to say the he or she (the instructor) is at test standard. I personally will not let a pupil go for test unless they've reached MY standard.
    STOP people booking blocks of tests and selling them on at inflated prices.

  41. Comment by Paul Dawson posted on

    On my last 6 visits to Bradford Heaton test centre there has been one or two examiners working. The centre has 6 bays available None of these visits were on strike days. Most days last test is at 2.30. Most weekends it is closed and if open one examiner is working. Years ago summer tests went into the early evening and i had many clients going for tests on a sunday. Definately a shortage of examiners in Bradford.

  42. Comment by Matthew Robinson posted on

    Too many young people are being injured or worse after passing their test.If youngsters have to wait longer for tests this could be better for them to develop their driving skills and therefore reduce the number of accidents by spending more time with their instructor

  43. Comment by stephen OGGELSBY posted on

    should read .This results in many drivers wishing to change their test, but simply unable to do because there is no availability.

  44. Comment by Len posted on

    Some unscrupulous instructors are buying up test slots - even without pupils to fill them - but instead trading them (with other instructors) on 'Whatsapp' for a profit of between £60 - £100 per time; sometimes even higher test centre and urgency dependent.

    What I'd like to know is eg:-

    1)What are you doing about this unprofessional and sharp practice behaviour of these instructors?

    2) Would you be considering introducing sanction to their ability to practise as driving instructors eg a ban for a period and/or de-register?

    3) Inform HMRC of these unscrupulous instructors to ensure tax is being paid eg link payment card to HMRC automatically?

    I'm certain if the above actions are being considered (let it be known to instructors eg (3) HMRC the long waiting list for a test date will be significantly reduced; the same "faces" eg candidates and/or instructors at test centres will be history.

    As a driving instructor I'm dismayed and disappointed (mainly with DVSA) for the on-going long-waiting time, and a lack of success in tackling the unscrupulous behaviour of some instructors buying up and trading test slots for a quick profit on 'What'sapp' .

    Yours sincerely,

  45. Comment by Hajra Vantra posted on

    Hello Loveday,
    Thank you for your email with in depth explanation,
    I am one of the instructors who book Practical test for my clients as some lack communication skills or not having access to good Wifi connection,

    As your email suggests some learners are booking test before having done any practical driving,

    Reason being the test booking slots/times are only available every Monday Mornings, the dates where for between 11th and 15th December,

    Today being 6th July i have already check few times there is no slots,

    Some fridays it opens afternoon and they go within seconds,

    Another thing i would bring to your attention is an App called testi most pupils downloads and pay extra for premium to receive alerts ,

    So the alerts goes to one and all but only 1 candidate will be successful,

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who wishes to add or have comments to my concerns,


    Hajra Vantra

  46. Comment by Mr M Maung posted on

    The above statements are true nothing but the truth. Test booking dates are difficult to find. The book for the test even though the learners never sat behind the wheel yet. The learners started dedicating ADIs to go as quick as they can due to limited period of Theory test pass certificate to be expired. Previously, if they failed today, waiting period of 10 days or so to look for another test date within one month or two. If they carried out the Practice for another two months and they work on the faults that they committed, this should be sufficient to pass for another test within maximum waiting time of three months after failing the first test. Now if they fail today, there will be further 6 months or a year waiting period. At the end of the day their Theory pass certificate has become expired. Therefore the learners behavior has significantly changed. Some learners might failed the test due to pressure on the roads and they would like to come back after 3 weeks but there is no test available. In the past, when the learner contacted the DSA ( former name ) now DVSA after 10 days of the test failed then the customer service were able to book asap for choosing test centre. Now the learner cannot think about taking another test within 3 months.

  47. Comment by Adrian Jones posted on

    Stop letting people book a driving test just after passing a theory test. Bring in l legislation that requires a person to have had a minimum hours behind the wheel before been allowed to book a driving test. Monitor their driving hours, blank box for example for those who choose to learn independently and not with an instructor.

  48. Comment by Karen Weighall posted on

    talking to students and reading articles in the media, there seems to be two additional problems:
    people booking tests anywhere, to get onto the system and then using a cancellation app to book something closer to home. An example is a student who booked a test 80 miles away from their home. They then found that cancellation apps were charging £100 plus for a test date and ended up taking their own car, with very little professional tuition to that test, which they subsequently failed. This is just one example, but I have heard of others.

  49. Comment by Paul Mansell posted on

    Unfortunately previous promises of drops in waiting times have not been delivered and, from experience, this has resulted in little or no change to waiting times for tests since Covid times. I accept the reasons given above but consideration should be given to the lack of examiners either being recruited or have been taken on. These shortfalls are desperate and should be addressed very quickly as the lead times for tests will not get better if there are no examiners available. Reasons for lack of examiners? Quality of those interviewed and, most certainly, lack of incentive to apply in the first place. This is almost definitively down to poor pay and changing circumstances ie pension, overtime etc. At my local TC for example, prior to covid there were at least seven staff to take a test but more recently there are two or three maximum. Incidentally, the increase of staff to lessen the affect of industrial action did NOT happen at my local TC as it was manned only by those that chose not to strike and not from an out of district TC. Address this situation first, listen to the staff and get back on track would appear to be the consensus.

  50. Comment by A Muhaxheri posted on

    None of tge above reasons are the cause. It can very quickly come back to normal if DVSA disable the option for instructors to book many tests. At least temporarily. Also, if the booked test cannot be switched to another candidate. Very simple.

  51. Comment by David Bridge posted on

    Just make it so you can change the date, but NOT the test Center, this would stop people booking a test anywhere just to use a cancelation service.

  52. Comment by chris hancock posted on

    What about the debacle concerning LGV tests? In our local.area the situation has been terribly mismanaged, in particular the lack of Examiners with obvious resistance to providing more.
    Also, Covid has now expired as any credible excuse for anything

  53. Comment by J posted on

    Really ? No reference to an obvious lack of examiners ?

    Elephant in the room.

  54. Comment by Paul Noble posted on

    I need to make you aware that more people with mental health problems
    Are booking driving lessons and yes they are doing the theory test before taking lessons,and they are also booking the driving test before taking lessons and also booking a driving test
    a 100 miles away.

  55. Comment by Chris posted on

    The worst thing is that as instructors we are getting penalised or looked when our students fail a test. They are failing more now because they are under so much pressure knowing if they fail they have to wait at least 6 months for the next test. We are not failing the system is with pressure put on the student from DVSA. Why are we as instructors being looked at because our students fail. The DVSA need to start blaming themselves and stop trying pass the buck blaming instructor because they student was not ready for their test.

  56. Comment by Mark posted on

    More examiners are required and those examiners need to be valued properly, salaries must be increased beyond the pitiful level they are currently at.

  57. Comment by Paul Spalding posted on

    The reason so many students use the cancellation Apps to find a test is that you the DVSA offer no alternative. If you had your own cancellation App maybe the students would us it.
    This situation is an absolute nightmare for us ADI’s as we all have test ready students that can’t find a test for months. How would you suggest we handle this situation. We afterall are responsible for supplying you with candidates but you offer NO support.
    I further expect you to not even bother to reply!

  58. Comment by Kelvin crowl posted on

    I suggest you stop allowing private cars to test and it only be threw instructors and you allow the instructors to recommend if there pupils are ready ie through driving instructor email plus get examiners to be more consistent with what they pass or fail a pupil on as I had a pupil once stall on a roundabout took full control then on another roundabout was cut up by a van cutting across in front of her another missed hitting by mm and there would have been accident even examiner went whoa but failed her for stopping in a cycle box at traffic lights I was in back at time thought how unfair so no consistency with judgement, I also say allow video of test then let instructors watch when test finished but only if pupil failed at test centre so arguments can be raised or decision agreed

  59. Comment by Haydn Jenkins posted on

    I started as a driving instructor in 1991, I would generally say DVSA have the worst shambolic management now, than since 1991 when driving test were run by the Dpt Transport, its now 3 years since covid stop hiding behind behind, the currant lake of test is down to how there being released, on Monday 20 minutes latter theres nothing you're creating the panic, in the way you release the test dates, It just a shame I leave this industry in a far worse place than it was when I joined .

  60. Comment by Mukarram Jahanzaib posted on

    As a driving instructor for long time, I have a suggestion that only driving instructor should be allowed to book a test for the learners. And every instructor should be allowed to book only few test a month. If they keep on changing, these instructors shouldn’t be allowed to book a test for next 3 months. Carrot and stick for us.
    I know few of us will still do the same to book a test for a learner, when they are not ready. But most of us are not happy with the situation but this job is our bread and butter.

  61. Comment by David Billham posted on

    Don’t remember getting a question about practical driving test booked before even having a lesson. I have never had a learner in this situation. I wonder how many have. I wonder where the intelligence / information has come from to come to this conclusion?

  62. Comment by Michael S Askew posted on

    This is blaming everyone except the DVLA! You think it is acceptable to change our assessment criteria by setting triggers. Take the per centage pass rate. In Plymouth, it is 38% yet we are expected to achieve 55% or it hits the trigger. Surely we should be to 5 or 10% of the test centre average (multiple TC's could be worked around). I still fail to see how enforcing standards checks will improve road safety or make me a better instructor. Please feel free to explain.
    Why are examiners taking industrial action? Poor pay, poor conditions... I'm sure the DVLA can do something about this.
    What is being done to stop tests being booked all over the country by those who live hunderds (from those who asked me) of miles away?
    School of Mum and Dad- stop this, let the professionals do the job they are trained to do, not anyone who has held the licence 3 years.
    What responsibility has the DVSA taken? None, nothing, zilch, zero.

  63. Comment by Michael S Askew posted on

    It should read 5-10% below the TC average to hit a trigger.

  64. Comment by Stephen Royce posted on

    I have been teaching for over 42 years and never experianced this crazy situation in both Chelt & Glos test centres show no tests avaible to jan 2024 this doesn't help any of us

  65. Comment by David Isted posted on

    Thank you for your view of the problem. From my point of view as ADI based in Farnborough Hampshire I feel the following points should be made.

    1. We were promised additional driving examiner to reduce the waiting time of 5.5 months this has not happened.

    2.Driving Examiner are leaving the DVSA why.

    3. You don’t talk about a major problem in recruiting in the South east.

    4. The problem of waiting 5.5 months is the tip of the ice Burge. The problem is more like 7 plus months and getting worse.

    5. Looking at Europe have they got the same problem as we have in the UK.

    6. I do not believe that the DVSA are dealing with the problem and I can’t see any plan the DVSA has is going to make the situation any better.


  66. Comment by Kath Brown posted on

    The reason learners are taking their theory test so early is because they know how long they have to wait for a practical test. Subsequently, I do advise my learners to apply for their practical test as soon as they pass their theory test. Often, there are none available or they are in 6 months time. This leads to them having breaks from lessons causing problems for we instructors organising our diaries. Stopping those grabbing tests and selling them at a profit should be a priority.

  67. Comment by Michael Gambin posted on

    The real reason is the DVSA allowing companies to buy out all the tests, to sell them for a huge profit. On top of that, non-disability, hearing, and non-SEN clients are booking specialist test slots. The DVSA is solely responsible for the waiting times, and it needs to be addressed now. It’s not fair that the DVSA are allowing this to happen and is negligent.

  68. Comment by Christopher Barker posted on

    The bullying tactics by some of your managers didn’t help with the sickness situation leading to more cancellations and not allowing, when requesting retirees to return, examiners back to their “home” centres.
    I was refused due to some reason that I was too friendly with ADIs and my email address suggested I was still involved with ADIs.
    I’d had my email address since emails came about due to my son being in IT.

  69. Comment by Beccy Williams posted on

    Supply and demand. Increase driving test fee so that you can pay examiners better/more overtime.

  70. Comment by Josiah Carrier posted on

    The DVSA should and could state that although if you cancel test after cut off point you will lose your fee, off that slot gets taken in time by someone else, you will get your money back. Otherwise there is no incentive to cancel if beyond the cut off point. Encourage pupils who are beyond cut off point to cancel by giving refund if filled! Easy!

  71. Comment by David Smith posted on

    It is not unreasonable to expect a pupil to want to apply for a driving test immediately after passing the theory test. Given the fact that they may have to wait many many months before being able to sit their test.
    It was extremely unreasonable of the DVSA to force pupils to have to retake their theory test during the covid period, when through no fault of their own candidates had gone beyond the two year time scale unable to sit their driving test.

  72. Comment by Mark Burgess posted on

  73. Comment by Paul Watson posted on

    Simple fix, open up test available dates to book for ADI’s beyond the ridiculous cap of 24 weeks, if you want to cap it at 24 weeks then do so for the general public but allow access for later dates(upto 2 years in advance) for ADI’s, this would allow driving instructors the option to set realistic test dates with learner drivers

  74. Comment by Mark James posted on

    The solution to reducing the waiting list for driving tests is simple one. You should only be allowed to apply for a test once 'signed off as test ready' by a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor.

  75. Comment by Barry Mellor posted on

    What a misleading statement, completely missing the real reason for the backlog and muddling cause with symptoms! If 1 million students were unable to have a test during Covid, they will not go away and there will be a backlog of a million extra tests needed (maybe 2 million if pass rate is around 50%). If the DVSA maintains its claimed 6% increase in testing this amounts to about 100,000 more tests p.a. - and with a backlog of 1-2M tests we are looking at a 10-20 year problem! Blaming industrial action is interesting - as I understand it that was caused when DVSA invited examiners to do extra tests with no extra pay. The horrendous backlog has caused students to adopt extreme measures to try and get a test - NOT the other way round. The DVSA must do something soon to increase the number of tests drastically or the system will get worse.

  76. Comment by R posted on

    The system is also corrupt, how come people are being sold test through the backdoor for 230pounds?

  77. Comment by Darko Jovanovik posted on

    One problem is, anyone can book practical driving test anywhere in the country, even in furthest area they've never been. To register for an app that finds them practical test in their own area- where they live, pupil have to book one (anywhere) so to be exchangeable.
    That's taking any space anywhere ( instead of locals),
    It needs to be restricted in regions, or area ( 25 miles), where you live to book. It would stop the mess, and than recognise area in need to sort out.

  78. Comment by Catherine Supple Kinsella posted on

    Complete failure to mention that the government rules for training new driving instructors are at fault .2 year limit on passing Part 2 and Part 2 ADI tests is not enough when I am waiting up to 4months for a retake. This should be extended to 3 years. I’m continuing in current job to fund lessons and it’s impossible to have this restriction and fit in 6 test chances if they are required to pass.

  79. Comment by Simon Brady posted on

    You have made some very valid points about pupils booking behaviour , but the only way to reduce test wait times is to stop people from swopping tests !!! This would immediately put a stop to unscrupulous instructors swopping tests and reselling for profit . That would also put an end to the apps that sweep up tests . For the life in me I can’t understand why you continue to allow it . As an instructor I have never needed to swop a test between pupils .

  80. Comment by Martin Iddon posted on

    No it is poor planning by the DVSA after the pandemic they allowed pupils anywhere they get a test instead of insuring pupils to at their local test centre for ie only allowing them to use test centres with in their post code there would still been a que but the examiners would have been able to manage it better and clear the back log from the pandemic quicker.
    Instead of ie allowing pupils who live in London say taking a test day Colchester then failing due to lack of local knowledge then putting pressure on system again by having to rebooking causing even higher waiting list.

  81. Comment by Kevina Haycock posted on

    Price of driving test has not risen in a number of years, despite increase in inflation (by my calculations it should be approx £96 now). Increase test prices, pay examiners more = less strike action taken, less tests booked willy nilly & better staff retention? Maybe even an increase in examiners and test centres to meet demand? = Reduced congestion and pollution in our city centres. Have instructors only booking driving tests. Sunday tests should be stopped. They do no offer the same level of traffic flows as weekday tests and give candidates an unfair advantage.

  82. Comment by David. posted on

    So first off it was driving instructors fault hence the introduction of ‘triggers’. Now it’s the pupils fault for booking ‘too early’.
    No mention of 21% loss of examiners and 21% loss of instructors during Covid and that they have completely failed to recruit more examiners due to the pay not being great – oh and that’s why the examiners are on strike. Also no mention of the pass rate dropping despite us instructors ‘playing ball’ with the trigger system and presenting even better quality test candidate. So more taking test in their own car now because they cannot get an instructor or their instructor explains why they’re not test ready but they ‘go for it’ anyway, fail and thus the waiting list doesn’t shrink.
    All the time there’s ‘politics’ involved within the DVSA it’ll never serve the public the way it should.

  83. Comment by Diane Grace posted on

    We as Instructors are having to encourage our pupils to do their Theory asap to enable a test to be booked. I book tests for my pupils as soon as they have pass their theory on the basis that IF they are not ready - bearing in mind in the area where I work we are currently booking for December - then I can swap them with a pupil who is test ready. Another alternative is that we swap within our local Driving Instructor WhatsApp Group.
    I am forced to book as soon as the new week goes live at 6am on a Monday morning.
    If bots keep taking any available tests this is the ONLY WAY to successfully book a test.
    The bots are way ahead of the development of ways to combat them by DVSA

  84. Comment by Luis posted on

    Also keep in mind that foreign non-convertible licences will also add to your backlog, perhaps extending the validity of such licenses, perhaps if they have been fairly recently issued or explore if including more countries to convertibility would help ease the burden some.

  85. Comment by Stephen posted on

    I believe we have a bigger problem with instructors, and driving school franchise, block booking tests.
    I have personally experience of this.

    I know of driving instructors booking test for pupils, that are not ready, but using the test for other pupils,and charging extra for this service.

    I don't think instructors should be allowed book tests, it's giving them to much control, I had pupil who came to me from another instructor, and he was struggling to get a test date, but he contacted his previous instructor, and got a test within a week, the same instructor had taken this pupil for two previous failed tests.

    A lot of instructors are making more money on test day,than they can make in three days of lessons!

  86. Comment by David Phillips posted on

    Could you please tell me how many driving examiners where employed in 20017/2018 and how many are employed today 2021/2022
    You do not even touch on this area in your blog?

    D Phillips

  87. Comment by Yvonne Pacey posted on

    You need to employ more examiners you are getting the money in for the tests the waiting lists are ridiculous
    Stop using covid as an excuse

  88. Comment by Andrew Frost posted on

    Valid reasons, partially.
    But with SO many candidates failing to turn up for test is the big problem…. If, for no reason a candidate fails to attend, FTA. There should be time limit ban for 3 months.
    I’m trying to get my pupils tests every week without much luck.
    That’s why I’m quitting.

  89. Comment by Amer Fazeli -Nia posted on

    The learner should only be allowed to book a test when a driving instructor assessment is produced to say that the learner is ready to book the test. This can be easily done by an email and only then the learner can go and book a test ! This will make sure that the driving examiner, the public and the learner is going to be safe when the test is taken, further more it will stop people from booking the test before they are ready. I had learners who booked the test even before they new anything about the car or driving.

  90. Comment by Paul Williams posted on

    I can only repeat what Vince and many other ADIs have already said. Please stop the switching and multiple buying of tests. I am also being sent lists of test appointments from an ADI offering to re-sell them to me. I am happy to provide this information to the DVSA if they really wish to put a stop to it.
    I am sorry to say Loveday Ryder's comments do not address the problem we face at this moment.
    One million Covid-19 backlog being resolved is excellent but that is not today's problem.
    Industrial action is also not the main cause as lack of test availability has been the case long before the examiner's industrial action.
    Low customer confidence is unfortunately justified. The system is terrible. They are correct to have low confidence. I don't know an ADI who doesn't also have low confidence in the booking system so why should the learners be any different?
    Loveday Ryder seems to be blaming others. She sounds like a learner driver blaming the examiner when they have just failed their driving test. It's the examiners going on strike, it's the customer's low confidence, it's covid. No, it's not. It's your daft booking system!
    The only person that should book a driving test is the pupil. One pupil, one provisional license number, one test.

  91. Comment by James Galvin posted on

    Please put a stop to profiteering by not allowing by law to resell a booking to a 3rd party. This could be done by studend using instructor number. Or confirming they do not use a qualified instructor. Find away to stop the block bookers. We also need to help failed tester move up the booking ladder if they deserve too.

  92. Comment by STEVEN GARROD posted on

    I am currently teaching a learner who is German. She said that in Germany you can only book a test once a mock test with a driving school has been passed. I know they have to have a minimum number of lessons before booking a test, but that is a conversation for another day. I think it should be for the ADI to sign off a learner as test ready, similar to Germany. I think ADIs need to be in control of the situation and we need to stop worrying about upsetting DVSA's customers- especially as they are not too happy at the moment.

  93. Comment by Roderick Danvers posted on

    It’s an unfortunate situation for some students, that they had to go through that process of getting a driving test. A few weeks ago one of students had a test on a Saturday, and it’s a very busy test centre during the week but on that Saturday, they only had one examiner working on that day. Surely it would have made more sense if they had at least two are three more examiners on that Saturday, to help with the backlog of all those students waiting for a test.

  94. Comment by Jason posted on

    Hi l just wound if use could help me with my thory test l try to do it and l fait it 2 times l just look for someone to help me with it if use got anyone

  95. Comment by Mr Justin M Hamilton-Peach posted on

    Is this not a case of:
    Test centre closures.
    Not being able to recruit enough examiners to meet demand.
    Candidates not being test ready before a test. Ie higher pass rates
    Ensuring ADI train pupils to a satisfactory standard by offering one to one chats with test centre training team
    Stop anyone taking a test without a dual controlled ADI car

  96. Comment by Sarah posted on

    I think the best option is to reduce the test time. I think 40 minutes is quite long for a test. In the USA they only take a 15 minute test. At least if they can reduce it by 20 minutes, then more people can do their test and the back log will be covered soon.

  97. Comment by Sandy posted on

    This is the most pathetic excuse ever!!! For this people Covid is the reason for everything.... I have been waiting for almost 12 months and every time I check to try and book a test... it's a disgrace... nothing available... this is a way for people to have more classes and to have to renew licence and pay more... by the time you book the exam you have forgotten even how to walk... and then they say UK IS A VERY ADVANCED COUNTRY!!!! KEEP DREAMING!!!! THE government is a joke.. NOTHING WORKS PROPERLY!!!

  98. Comment by Ron posted on

    Just a point of interest, I wonder has the overall pass rate dropped since the beginning of industrial action?

    Every ADI will tell you of the huge inconsistencies between examiners, and sometimes the same examiner from one day to the next! Obviously we are all human (at the moment, AI coming) and even working within strict guidelines there will be huge variances in interpretation of 'Worthy'
    No ADI can honestly say to a pupil 'you are driving really well you will pass tomorrow no problem'
    One of my pupils was on the way back to Cambridge test centre, with a total of 2 minor faults, and coming down from a 50 limit entered a 30 limit at 35mph - this was and yes IS a serious error and the examiner failed him.
    (all the Cambridge ADI's will know the examiner that called it SERIOUS fail. But we all know of at least 2 other Examiners who would have marked it minor and passed the pupil).
    Conversely we all have been surprised when a pupil seems to have been passed, although when sitting in the back seat we had counted a number of serious faults. Inconsistency.
    Honestly none of us want to put a driver on the road who is going to be a danger to themselves or others. (it's after all in our interests to keep instructing them)
    However, if you consider my example the pupil was slowing down from 45mph ish when he passed into the 30mph zone, the road at that point is dual carriageway, other traffic also illegally was overtaking on the outside lane. He had only 2 other non related minor faults.
    Perhaps in similar situations an examiner should be able to, issue a serious fault but still pass the pupil. Or simply record it as minor.
    There are lots of good drivers being failed on technicalities and these guys are a fairly high% of those still looking for test dates and unnecessarily adding to your workload.
    We still have examiners who totally fail to put candidates at ease , adding to the pupils stress, prompting silly mistakes.

    Obviously its easy to pull the above comments to pieces but the point I'm trying to make is that in any given situation one examiner will fail, another pass. The first examiner totally by the book, the second will usually use his own discretion and assess a potentially 'serious' error against the drivers overall competency throughout the test, and if he has achieved less than say 5 minors he may well decide to pass. It's often the more experienced examiners who exercise their discretion in this manner.

  99. Comment by Ian posted on

    Make it compulsory to enter an ADI reference number, then the Instructor only gives the pupil this when they reach test standard. If they learn with parents/friend they can have a professional lesson to assess their test readiness to receive the reference number as proof.
    This will stop premature/panic buying.

  100. Comment by David. posted on

    As usual every excuse possible is being trotted out to divert attention away from their failings to identify the issues which are really causing the problem. They will blame Brexit next i am sure. Possibly the illegal immigrants on small boats crossing the channel ? But what do you expect when the Chief Executive has no experience in transport in any form previously !!! Rather than sending out meaningless surveys to ADI's so they can pat themselves on the back how about asking us for ideas ? I think most Driving Instructors have a far better understanding of the problem and have some very good ideas how to get a grip on it no matter how unpopular the ideas may be. Perhaps that is part of the problem ? The CE post is a political appointment and political appointees cant even consider doing something that may make them unpopular !!! So my humble and ask us ADI's what we would do. I have many ideas....Two at random. 1) Stop all block booking of tests. 2) Candidates can only book a test at their local test centre.

  101. Comment by Mr Grumpy posted on

    We are over 2 years on from the last lockdown and i have seen no i improvement in test availability in my area. In fact its getting worse. If a student of mine tries to book their test in my local town there is no availability at all. My town has an estimated 87,400 households by the end of 2023 and still growing due to the amount of housebuilding. The test centre is a converted public toilet with 3 examiners. You are lucky to have more than 1 in on any day. One examiner has for many months been conducting bus and lorry tests, another seems to be on sick leave whenever they feel like a break. There is no availability. A town 16 miles away with an estimated 49,200 households by the end of 2023 has a purpose built test centre with 5 full time examiners. 2 of the examiners used to work in my home town. There is availability although waiting times are 3 to 4 months. 97% of my tests are conducted in this town. So here is a could the waiting times at my local test centre be reduced ?

  102. Comment by Rabinder Panesar posted on

    Whilst i agree with this blog from the DVSA . I do believe that the main reason for the long wait is these " GROUPS SELLING TESTS" 33 years doing this job and this is so annoying when you know a pupil is test ready and just can't get a suitable date. The second reason is the pupils having done the theory test first and booked a test and then find it hard to reach the requirements and knowledge before the test date and the instructor refusing to put his livelyhood on the line and refusing use of car. That is another wasted test slot as it means they will find a greedy instructor just looking for pound notes and willing to risk his car for the day OR they will use " thier own car " . How many of these come there without insurance? The examiners dont ask for proof , just get them to sign a declaration and thats it . The rules have to change as the risk to public, other road users and the examiners, outweighs everything

  103. Comment by Frank posted on

    Thanks for this blog post.

    I don't think the solution to the crazy demand is DVSA's fault, or an easy fix as other suggest, but I do think the DVSA could take some steps to make the booking process more transparent.

    The current process of choosing a date, then checking if any are available is painful. A "find soonest test date" feature would make the experience 10x better. I understand I'll need to wait a while for a test, but the booking process is immediately fixable.

    If the DVSA went a step further and added their own auto-booking feature, this would stop all these cancellation-checker apps. This developer makes some good points:

  104. Comment by John Keith posted on

    How about this as an idea: each learner must study and pass their theory test, then have a set number of hours (10-20) of 'on-road' lessons with an ADI and have it signed off BEFORE they can book a test. ADI's sign-off for the Pass Plus scheme so it wouldn't be much different. Surely that would reduce the number of tests being book whilst, at the same time, laying the foundation for structured lessons as they work towards a test?

  105. Comment by TA posted on

    Can the DVA not increase the numbers of test centres available to do a practical test

  106. Comment by Steve posted on

    You have rebuilt long-standing test centre and it was meant to be a 2 story building and house 3 test centres . You have closed Sutton and Windle is going . You will have 19 examiners in such a small centre . The hill start to get out of the 8 bays is shockingly high and we are asked to part up the cars . Their is one doable toilet ( the only toilet ) for our use . 28 people per hour if other areas are getting centres like this , I ask who signed this off . Wonder about the pass rate. Only been open 2 weeks but I will not be booking any of my students in there . You were not thinking of candidates or your examiners when planning this monstrosity of a test centre . We were told the car park would be flattened out . Put yourself in an already nervous candidate , who has to start a test at such an angle . This is all about cutting costs . As for the industrial action , I have been an ADI for over 14years and in that time the test fee has not changed if it was increased to £70 the examiners could be given an extra £3 per test and it would be self financed . The examiners would be happy and the industrial action would stop and more tests would take place . It’s not rocket science . How you can run a Buisness by not increasing fees in 15 years plus is staggering . Love to hear your defence of all the points I have drawn your attention to .

  107. Comment by Paul Lee posted on

    Have one standby slot every hour so if a candidate doesn't turn up or has cancelled their test, the Standby candidate can quickly take the slot. This is like what they do at the airport.

  108. Comment by Atif mehmood posted on

    Really boys ,what happened with the daily mass scan performed by National Cyber Security Centre.
    Tell you what stop us that’s bots are taking test dates .The proposal you have given are generic to change browsers etc .
    The reality is this that just like NHS DVSA is a mega fraud and failure.
    If you want to reduce the test waiting time then hire 3rd party instructors like RAC OR AA who have years of experience and will do honest job and three or four canadites can be tested in a space of one hour.

    But the red tape and seriously stop giving lane excuses .Your job is secured as long as the delays are there and covid 19 is the escape goat.
    What do the MP’s know about booking delays or botnets ,tell them cow dung is causing delays and blame the delays on global warming and they will approve it as long as it is being sold in office.

    Please get honest and do your job .Also why to keep the website running Tuesday to Friday if the system is not available to serve as dates are released only on Monday,maybe you just want to look good and say wooh howw we are up and running.

  109. Comment by Annoyed mummy posted on

    My son failed his test today. And the error wasn’t dangerous. (No comments saying otherwise please. He’s a good driver. His instructor was shocked.) He was sobbing all afternoon because he now can’t get a date. All slots are booked up till 2024. He’s just had 20 lessons to prepare for today. Now what? It’s just not acceptable. I can’t afford to continue to pay £70 a lesson for another 6 months. I’m pretty sure if he took the test tomorrow he would pass. He was just unlucky. Now he will spend weeks clicking refresh on the website trying to get a cancellation. We live in a remote village. He needs to be able to drive to work. Sort it out!

  110. Comment by Gary Fossey posted on

    I undertook a university degree study submitted in June 2021 (i.e. over 2 years ago and when the average waiting time was 17 weeks compared to the current 24 weeks) into the feasibility of outsourcing driver testing alongside existing DVSA provision on, at least, a temporary basis as was done highly successfully in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) back in 2006 when average waiting times there were 28 weeks. My report included findings from in depth research into the actions taken in the RoI and included a Zoom interview with the RSA (RoI DVSA equivalent) Director responsible for driver testing.

    My forecast model (essentially supported by driving instructors and national associations who contributed and indicated 1.5-2 years, Sept 22-Mar 23) suggested it would take 1 year 5 months (i.e. until mid-August 2022) for DVSA to clear the backlog and reduce waiting times to within the 9 week average target based upon key variables of increasing daily tests to 7, fixed examiner recruitment including 300 from the first batch, deployment (e.g training and subsequent successful deployment), working patterns (e.g. part/full time) and retention together with whether the numbers of “private runners” and pass rates, especially taking into account the pressure many test candidates are putting themselves under considering excessive waiting times, will decline, remain constant or increase. Other potential issues identified included industrial action and adverse weather, especially unusual snow/ice.

    My report recommended the temporary outsourcing of driver testing alongside DVSA provision and gave recommendations, including findings from the RoI experience. I sent the report to Loveday Ryder who ignored the report and was confident that the backlog would be cleared and waiting times reduced within a year.

    The DVSA and Loveday Ryder obviously failed miserably to clear the backlog and reduce waiting times by mid-2022 or by the driver training industry's worst case expectation of March 2023 (waiting times have actually increased!!!). I find it bemusing to think that the driver training industry, somewhat unusually, over estimated the competence and ability of the DVSA and Loveday Ryder, who is now giving a vague guesstimate of "into 2024".

    I actually took a year out of driver training (May 22-May 23) to provide end of life care to my elderly parents and was quite frankly staggered to find the obscene waiting times on my return and an apparent lack of any action by the DVSA which would have any noticeable impact on waiting times. It appears to me that the number of "private runners" giving the test a go and their relatively high failure rates (backed up by published DVSA data showing noticeably lower pass rates at DTCs which are not "home" test centres and where many such candidates are resorting to) has remained the same as over a year ago (if they stop the apps it won't stop people checking the DVSA site and, from my direct 14 years personal experience of public sector IT, they'll be playing catch up with the apps), there has been significant industrial action and the DVSA were unable to add an extra test to the working day. I haven't updated my model to reflect the DVSA's failure in reducing the numbers of unprepared candidates attending for test wherever they can find one or the numbers of examiners (I think taking into account the evident, if only from the appearance of posters on the issue, increase in abuse from candidates who fail along with the obvious displeasure with pay and working conditions, if only from levels of industrial action, the net number of examiners won't be much, if any, higher than it was in 2021).

    This is a significant national issue, which is also contributing to the increased cost of living by way of candidates requiring more lessons so their knowledge and experience remains fresh) and there will be a hard fought General Election probably in just over a year with a 3 month lead up beforehand. Test waiting times should be an issue and I know my local MP, who is also a younger and ambitious Government Cabinet Minister, will be up against hard competition from the LibDems (she won the seat in 2015 from the LibDems, who recently won the neighbouring seat of Somerton and Frome, which was also LibDem until 2015 when the Tories took it). As and when I get the time, I'll be submitting some FoI requests, updating my model, requesting a meeting with my MP to propose that she pushes Chippenham as an outsourcing pilot site and involving the media (with which I've had notable success previously). Let's either make the DVSA reduce waiting times "into 2024" or make test waiting times a General Election issue as it is a major national disgrace. This will require a lot of physical support and action from individual instructors and pupils otherwise, I suspect, we'll still have 16 week plus waiting times into 2025 (especially since a recession, which could result in a significant reduction in demand if the 2008 financial crisis was anything to go by, is unlikely in the lead up to what will be a hotly contested General Election).

  111. Comment by Gary Fossey posted on

    I actually need to clarify my previous comment, for the worst! My report's finding that the backlog would be cleared and wating times would be reduced to 9 weeks by End October 2022 was based on an extra test per working day, 70 extra fixed term examiners (making the total number of examiners 1,745 and on a full time basis) PLUS 200 outsourced examiners working from 3rd party sites alongside DVSA provision. My findings were that without outsourcing and only with the other above detailed extra provisions (the extra test per working day hasn't come to pass and I don't know the current number of full time equivalent examiners or the impact of industrial action) it would take 3 years and 3 months (i.e. until end September 2024) to clear the backlog and reduce waiting times to an average 9 weeks. Rather spooky taking into account where we are today and what Loveday Ryder is saying (only "into" 2024, which end September 2024 indeed is!). Are my findings optimistic now without the additional test per working day and taking into account the question mark over the number of full time equivalent instructors and the impact of industrial action? As I said in my last post, I suspect, unless we as an industry can bring to bear political and media interest, we may well be waiting into 2025 for average waiting times to reduce to 9 weeks.

  112. Comment by Paul Mulligan posted on

    We're in exactly the same situation; failed test and no prospect of rescheduling. This system is utterly ridiculous and massively frustrating. Action is required now.