Only Clean Cars Pass The Test

Thu 10th Feb 2022

The DVSA has warned that learner drivers could fail the driving test for not having a clean car following a controversial fail in Lancashire.

Driving examiners in Blackpool have been accused of ‘dirty tricks’ after failing a 17-year-old girl for her car not meeting Covid-safe cleanliness standards, over a small amount of pencil rubber shavings beneath the car seat.

It would appear that the DVSA’s own standards have been a little over-zealously enforced by the Blackpool examiners, with the driving organisation’s guidelines, which were introduced at the beginning of the pandemic saying that drivers must ‘remove any rubbish or unnecessary items from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats.’

But no mention of pencil rubber shavings, which are possibly an occupational hazard in an environment where an examiner will be marking the driving skills. 

Paul Turner, the father of the penalised learner had tried to appeal the failure, particularly as driving tests are hard to book due to the increased backlog of tests, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

“It was the instructor’s car and it was spotless apart from a few tiny bits of rubber from when the instructor had rubbed something out of his diary.

"The filings weren’t on the seat or anywhere where the examiner would be sitting. It wasn’t like there were crisp packets and empty tins everywhere, it’s ridiculous.

"They spent about 10 minutes trying to discuss it and sort it out, but got nowhere."

While some discretion should be allowed on the part of the examiner, the DVSA has refused to comment on this individual case, instead reminding learners of the rules. A spokesman said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect our customers and staff and stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Guidance has been issued that cars used on driving tests must be cleaned before the test to lessen the chance of infection.

“Driving tests will not go ahead if this has not been followed to ensure public safety.”