Driving Tests Booked Out Till 2023

Mon 6th Jun 2022

Learner drivers wanting to secure their driving licence face a long wait to get behind the wheel with a massive backlog of tests meaning that many will have to wait until next year to take their test.

The delays, which have been caused by the last two years of lockdowns and restrictions, mean that in some of the UK’s biggest cities, including London and Birmingham, there is not a single test available to book, right up until the limit of the booking window, which is in November.

A report in the Daily Telegraph highlights the issues facing learner drivers, with no slots in London available for at least 24 weeks according to the DVSA website. The shortage of slots has led to some unscrupulous driving instructors block booking huge swathes of test slots and then charging premium prices to drivers who are prepared to pay to get a driving test sooner. And according to the DVSA this is leading to unprepared drivers taking a test when they are too inexperienced. 

The DVSA have recently recruited 300 additional examiners to cope with the demand and have also extended the hours that a driving test can take place, but there is still a 14 week average wait for a test.

“The backlog does not appear to be improving [and] it’s incredibly difficult for young people to plan their future as learning to drive is incredibly important to the start of adult life,” said Edmund King, president of the AA.

“Unfortunately for young people that freedom, that rite of passage is being taken away from them.”

In response to the report in the Telegraph, the Chief Executive of the DVSA, Loveday Ryder, reiterated that the lack of slots was leading to higher fail rates.

He said: “We are doing all we can to provide as many tests as possible so we can get our services back to normal [and] I know learners will be keen to take their test now, but it is important that they are properly prepared for their test and don’t take it before they are ready.

“With more than half of candidates failing, and demand currently extremely high for tests, learners should only take their test when they are confident they can pass as this will help them to avoid a lengthy wait for a retest.

“And help us by not adding to the driving test waiting list.”