One of Britain’s largest driving schools is looking to recruit 400 new instructors as the backlog of tests continues, more than a year after lessons ended by the pandemic.
The RED driving school said it has a crash course for those looking to enter the industry with the aim of helping the thousands of waiting learners pass their tests.
It comes as some wait up to 24 weeks for a driving test in parts of the country with 2,000 new 17-year-olds starting each day.
Despite thousands more looking to hit the road, the number of practical driving exams held in Britain from April to June 2021 was 26% lower than in the same period in 2019, statistics show produced by the DVSA.
One of UK’s largest driving schools looking to recruit 400 new instructors due to backlog
Separate research of Veygo by Admiral also found that three in five driving instructors offered no reservation availability for at least six weeks, with wait times of up to six months.
In an effort to speed up the process, the DVSA is calling on retired examiners and those qualified to test, but who do not do so as part of their day-to-day work, to return to tackle the backlog.
Additionally, testing is being run on weekends and holidays in an attempt to speed up wait times, and elsewhere there is a campaign underway to employ 300 additional examiners.
The DVSA is also taking steps to shorten testing, with unions hoping this will increase examiners’ workload to eight tests per day to further increase supply.
The Ministry of Transport announced that a record number of theory tests on cars had been carried out between April and June 2021.
However, despite high test levels, hands-on driving tests and driving lessons are still in high demand – and likely will remain so.
This is partly due to the number of new 17-year-olds wanting to learn to drive, but also to the number of people avoiding public transport because of the pandemic.
The costs also add up with This is Money which previously reported that a female driver said she took 55 additional lessons due to the pandemic.
Ian McIntosh, Managing Director of RED Driving School, said: “We advise all learners to do the following: plan ahead and discuss their options with an instructor.
“Knowing when you can take your test early and working from that date is critical so that you can design the program to your advantage. To prepare. Do not panic.
“Take two hours of class per week and make sure the entire program has been covered. Many parents reflect on their own 10-hour passing experience. It’s not like that anymore. You have to be patient with yourself.
“If you fail your test, don’t be too discouraged – the backlog will not be there forever, and once you pass your test, it will be worth it.”
Thousands of 17-year-old learner drivers enter market every day, new data reveals
Does where you live affect your chances of getting tested?
The area you live in can have an effect on how quickly you can get a lesson, according to data from Veygo.
He revealed that aspiring drivers pay an average of £ 1,364 to learn to drive in the UK at £ 31 a lesson.
However, that goes up to £ 1,760 if you live in Edinburgh, where prices jump to £ 40 for a one-hour lesson.
At the other end of the scale, courses cost an average of just £ 26 in Nottingham for a total of £ 1,144.
Availability may also depend on where you live, with driving instructors in Sheffield, Brighton, Liverpool and Edinburgh having the least availability.
All providers surveyed in the city were also full for at least six weeks, with some schools in Manchester and Nottingham predicting waiting lists to be full until March next year.
However, classes were available in Birmingham after just two weeks, while there was a wait of up to three weeks for those in London.
David Roberts, Senior Product Manager at Veygo, said: “More than five months after testing and lessons resumed, learner drivers across the country still face frustrating expectations for driving lessons, some schools do. ‘being unavailable for the remainder of this year.
“With such long wait times to book lessons, it could take a lot longer for learner drivers to pass their exam. On top of that, many learners will be on the lookout for driving test cancellations to speed up their test date, so they have less control over the date they receive.
“Many driving schools already have long waiting lists, so it will likely take months to clear the backlog after so many lessons and tests have been canceled in the past year during the pandemic.
“Learners who want to practice more behind the wheel while waiting for a lesson to become available may consider purchasing learner driver insurance and training with friends or family.
“If approached correctly, practicing with a friend or family member is a sure way to gain valuable road experience and could give learners the experience and confidence they need to be successful on the road. first time. ”
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.