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Driving Tests

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 59020, tabled on 19 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help support learner drivers who have passed their theory tests and have been unable to book a practical test before the expiry of their theory test certificate.

Answered on

22 October 2021

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has a number of measures in place to increase the availability of practical driving tests. These include offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends).

The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. To support this campaign, the agency is exploring options to temporarily employ experienced driving assessors from other road safety organisations to become driving examiners.

Returning to seven tests a day per examiner in June allowed the DVSA to increase capacity across the national network by an average of 15,000 to 20,000 tests per month. The aim was to increase testing capacity as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

The DVSA has also published and promoted the top 10 reasons for failing the driving test, giving tips to candidates and instructors on how to avoid these faults. The DVSA is asking instructors to encourage their pupils to rearrange their test for a later date if they regularly make these mistakes during their lessons or private practice. The DVSA is also encouraging learners to practise driving on a variety of roads and in different conditions, so they are better prepared for their test. Helping learners to be fully prepared will give them a better chance of passing, meaning they could potentially avoid their theory test expiring.

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