Driving instructors

Letter from the Director General of the DVSA to driving school instructors on the future request for driving exams

Dear Colleague,

I am really delighted that driving lessons and testing have now resumed in England, Scotland and Wales.

On Friday May 28, we sent you a joint message with the Strategic Partnership of National Associations of Driving School Instructors (NASP) to remind you of the importance for you and your students of wearing face coverings during your lessons. We also encourage you and your students to take rapid lateral flow tests on a regular basis.

It’s really important. It helps protect the NHS, your friends and family, the driver training industry and our driving test service.

I know many of you are now busy teaching and preparing your students for their upcoming exams and driving safely on your own once they pass their exam.

Hope the recently published tips on Top 10 Reasons for Driving Test Failures and Understanding Driving Test Results is helpful and helps you support and prepare your students.

Now that pilot testing has restarted, the hard work to reduce the backlog as quickly and safely as possible begins. I want to keep you posted on how we plan to proceed and explain how we will keep you posted.

Understanding the future demand for driving tests

We know how many theory and driving tests are booked. And we are seeing a sharp increase in the number of people purchasing our learning materials.

We exchange regularly with the Strategic Partnership of National Associations of Driving School Instructors (NASP). They told us that many of you are seeing an increase in calls from prospective students requesting lessons. And the Department of Transportation (DfT) recently published its travel behavior, attitudes and the social impact of COVID-19 research. This shows that in addition to those who already wanted to drive, many other people now feel uncomfortable traveling on public transport.

We have conducted extensive modeling of future demand. But we want to have a more complete picture of the future demand for driving tests.

To help you and us plan and forecast demand for the future, we want to learn more about the demand for courses you are facing. We have launched a survey to get your key perspective on this and will share the results with you as soon as possible.

The survey also covers:

  • how you currently keep up to date with driver education news
  • what communication methods will work best for you in the future
  • how useful you and your students have found our recently published tips.

The survey is completely anonymous. We will only use what you tell us to help us plan and improve our communication.

To give your opinion and express yourself, please complete the survey before 11:59 pm on June 25, 2021. It takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Keep our security measures under review

We are constantly reviewing our safety measures, taking expert advice from relevant public health organizations, the Health and Safety Executive and the latest government guidelines.

While COVID-19 remains and to align with the advice and expert advice we have received, we must ask for your continued support with:

  • do not accompany your students during their driving exams
  • restrict access to waiting rooms in testing centers where we cannot safely open them
  • you and your students continue to wear face covers during lessons, theory tests and driving tests

We will let you know when it is safe to consider changing these measures. We will also notify you and your students if there are any changes to our services as a result of changes in restrictions in response to new variants of COVID-19. And we will reassure you if our services are not affected.

Increase the number of appointments for driving exams

From Monday June 14, 2021, our driving examiners will resume performing 7 tests per day in England, Scotland and Wales. This change will allow us to increase the capacity on the national network from 15,000 to 20,000 tests on average per month.

We are also reintroducing the short notice cancellation fee starting Thursday, June 17th. This will help reduce the number of learner drivers who will not take their driving test and free up the test space for another candidate.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting our comprehensive plan to reduce wait times for driving tests and sharing it with you and your students. I will keep you posted as soon as possible.

Keep you posted

The road ahead is a challenge for all of us. But by working together we can help reduce the backlog, help your industry turn around and help people stay safe on UK roads.

I will write to you again when we can share our strategy for reducing driver test wait times and how you can get involved and give us your feedback.

I also invite you to keep up to date with NASP website and seek advice from a NASP national member association if you have any questions, questions or concerns.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Hope you, your family and friends stay safe and healthy.

Yours faithfully,

Ryder Love Day
General manager
Driver and Vehicle Standardization Agency