Changes are coming for learner drivers, as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) attempts to crack down on wasted test slots. Having faced backlash over recent years due to slow processing times, the DVSA is taking matters into its own hands with the changes set to affect learner drivers.
As of summer 2023, learners who fail their driving tests will have to wait 28 days before being able to retake the test, rather than the previous 10-day gap required between a failed test and a retake. The DVSA seem to be under the impression that learners who are not ready are repeatedly booking test slots only to fail, taking a slot away from a competent learner ready to pass. They aim to ensure that learners are only booking tests when they feel confident in their driving skills and give those who fail more time to prepare for retests.
Not only will the summer see the 28-day waiting period come into force, but will also require 10 days’ notice for those wishing to cancel booked tests, up from the previous 3 days. Those who give less than 10 days’ notice will lose their test fee as a result, essentially paying for a single test twice over. On the plus side, this change in rules is likely to make it easier for those booking test slots to snap up any last-minute cancellations.
According to data from a public consultation in 2022 and early 2023, over 50% of learner drivers are failing their tests. Even more concerningly, 1 in 8 examiners are having to physically intervene during tests due to safety issues. It’s easy to see why 37% of driving test examiners are backing the new change, even if 42% of learners say it is unlikely to change their behaviour anyway when it comes to booking and preparing for their driving tests.
While the DVSA’s decision has been met with mixed opinions, the new rules are designed to help them lessen pressure and queues for tests, ease the backlog for learner drivers, and make our roads safer places for all.
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