Crash: Driving Test System Breaks Under Pressure

Wed 26th Aug 2020

The DVSAs online system for booking a driving test has been criticised after hundreds of thousands of drivers were left queuing for up to six hours to book one of the few available slots.

The system returned to action today after high levels of demand saw the website taken down after crashing last Friday. With 35,675 tests remaining for the next six weeks, learner drivers rushed to snap them up, with 215,000 in the queue at the height of demand at lunchtime.

Those who haven’t secured one of the original slots will now have to wait until Tuesday 1st September to queue online once again, with many taking to social media to vent their frustration at the system.

Demand for driving test slots rose to substantial levels after a major backlog was created by the cancellation of all tests for four months due to the pandemic. Those learning to drive now face a crisis of having to pay extra to keep their driving skills up to scratch, at a time when lessons are already oversubscribed, while joining the half a million drivers hoping to snap up one of the test spots.

Speaking to the Mail Online, Sarah Rees, managing director of the AA Driving School said: “We know the DVSA has been working hard to fix issues with the booking site but for those who have already experienced cancelled tests due to lockdown, this is yet another bump in the road on their journey to getting a licence.

“Demand for lessons has been high since lockdown relaxed and instructors could get back on the road. We know many people are trying to get their licence as a way to avoid public transport or to increase their employment prospects.“Unless issues with booking a test are resolved quickly the backlog of learners desperate to get their licence is only going to increase.”