Learner Drivers are expected to wait nearly half a year for their test. | Smith Bowyer Clarke

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Learner Drivers are expected to wait nearly half a year for their test.

Test Centres are still trying to catch up with the back log that has occurred as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Three years later, learner drivers are still being forced to wait weeks, if not months to sit their tests.

The DVSA are aware of the issue and are doing their best to trying to cut waiting times, however data has recently showed that average waiting times are now more than double what they were in 2020. Despite the DVSA increasing testing hours and bringing invigilators out of retirement, so far it has failed to reduce the back log. The DVSA’s latest attempt has been to encourage people not to take the test until they’re completely ready, by extending the period between when they can rebook the exam after failing one.

Route-Led, a new app that plots driving test routes for every test centre across the country, have suggested that the DVSA would better reduce the back log by encouraging learners to choose test centres with shorter waiting lists to alleviate the pressure on those with longer delays.

In March 2023, a freedom of information request to the DVSA for average waiting time was requested. The results of this showed that Wales had the shortest average waiting time of 4 weeks, and Scotland had the longest wait time of almost 4 months. England averaged just over three and a half months. In terms of the specific test centres, Bradford (Thornbury), Bolton (Manchester), Hamilton, Hendon (London) and Glasgow (Shieldhall) had the longest average delays of nearly six months at the end of March this year.

You can see a full list of the average wait times here: https://www.route-led.com/Index.aspx?Page=DVSA_Test_Centre_Waiting_Times

Route-Led’s analysis of the data revealed that learners can significantly reduce their delay period between booking and sitting a test by travelling further to take the exam. Learners should consider this option as the wait time can, in some cases, reduce by half.

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