No Return In Sight For Learner Drivers And Tests

Wed 10th Jun 2020


Learner drivers across the UK are being left in limbo after the DVSA extended the suspension of driving lessons and tests during the coronavirus pandemic.

With no assurances on the safety of either drivers or instructors under Covid-19 lockdown, the chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Gareth Llewellyn, has written an open letter to the industry warning that normal service will resume only when the Government allows it. Instructors had been hopeful of a July 6th return to work, but that is not confirmed following the latest advisory.

“Teams across DVSA have been working extremely hard over the past few months to make sure we're in the best possible position to restart our services as soon as it's safe to do so,” Llewellyn said in his letter.

“Our priority is to make sure that you, your pupils and our staff stay safe.”

The DVSA is said to be reviewing what PPE driving examiners will need to wear and what safety precautions they must take including cleaning the steering wheel after each lesson.

The lack of lessons for driving instructors is crippling for many, who are self employed and will have to claim a government grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

With the government encouraging people to return to work where possible, but to try and avoid public transport, access to a car may be the safest route to work. Something pointed out by Sarah Rees, managing director of AA Driving School. She said: “We know not being able to provide lessons is causing considerable difficulties for the tens of thousands of driving instructors and is frustrating for those learners who have had their test cancelled.

'In a world where we are not all able to pile onto public transport, being able to drive is a lifeline many wish they had. 

“Hopefully it will not be much longer before instructors are able to provide their vital service to enable people to get about independently.”