Driving school

Huge backlog means learners have to wait a year to take driving tests

Learner drivers have to wait until 2023 to book their driving test, a new study has found. The problem is blamed on a Covid-related backlog and test center closures.

Drivers in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol are suffering the most, with slots unavailable until at least November – and many are likely to wait until next year to take their test, according to a Telegraph survey. And depending on when drivers took their theory test, some could wait even longer as the two-year limit could have expired by then.

Loveday Ryder, chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), said: “We are doing everything we can to provide as much testing as possible so that we can get our services back to normal. I know learners will be keen to take their test now, but it is important that they are well prepared for their test and that they do not take it until they are ready.

“With more than half of candidates failing and the current demand for tests being extremely high, learners should only take their test when they are confident they can pass it. This will help them avoid a long wait for a new test and will help us by not adding to the driving test waiting list.”

Several MPs have criticized the DVSA recently, reports the Daily Star. In February, Liberal Democrat MP Helen Morgan said the closure of DVSA testing centers during the pandemic – many of which have yet to reopen – was a “hammer blow”.

The North Shropshire MP said: “In my constituency there is a huge reliance on the private car. Given the huge backlog, many young people are deprived of their independence and find themselves isolated at home. both socially and for work and educational opportunities.

“In light of this situation, the DVSA’s recent decision to close the Whitchurch Driving Test Center is a hammer blow to people who only want to improve their quality of life.”

For more stories of where you live, visit InYourArea