If you’re a learner driver waiting to book your driving test, you might have found comfort in the fact that everyone is in the same boat, waiting in a never-ending queue to finally book their test. But comfort and funny memes can only get you so far before reality sets in and you’re checking your number in the queue again. Well, thankfully at Adrian Flux, we’ve been given a tip by one of our contacts – read more about it here.
First, what has happened to driving tests?
Following the outbreak of coronavirus, driving tests were postponed during the lockdown. As approximately 4,000 people across the UK sit their test each day, this has caused a massive backlog in the number of people now wanting to book their test. From 21st August, the DVSA started to allow learner drivers to book their driving test online again.
However, these spaces were limited to the next six weeks, meaning that there simply weren’t enough slots for the number of people wanting to book their test. Learners were waiting in a virtual queue for hours until they could book their test, with some being assigned numbers in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. And sadly even when some people made it to the front of the queue, the system would malfunction and the page would time out, meaning they’d have to start the process all over again.
Bypassing the driving test queue
We recently got a cheeky tip from a spokesperson at Caroline’s Driving School in King’s Lynn about a way learners can bypass the driving test queue. She explained that “Learners should try to book through their instructors.” She noted that her driving school had “managed to book tests for most of our learners through our business booking system”, which meant that they didn’t have to go through the same frustrating process of waiting in the queue.
Unfortunately, this might not be the case for all driving schools, but it’s worth a try to avoid having to wait in the queue yourself.
We spoke to a spokesperson from Intelligent Instructor, Lynne Barrie, Chairman of ADINJC, who explained that while accredited driving instructors (ADIs) “can book through the government gateway system” and therefore “not sit in the public queue”, they can “ONLY do it when the system is open to the public”. This means that when the public’s booking system is down, ADIs cannot access their own booking system.
Lynne also noted that “access is only to those ADIs who are already registered on the gateway”. She explained that the DVSA is currently “not accepting new [ADI] applications to register”, so bypassing driving test queues could be more difficult than was first thought.
Further to this, she warned that ADIs have recently been removed from the system for trying to book tests out of these guideline hours. So, if you do choose to contact your ADI about this, make sure you’re doing this when the booking system is open to the public too.
What happens if I can’t book my test through my ADI or driving school?
According to the government website, once the DVSA re-opens the online booking system on Monday 14th September 2020, a number of new protocols will be in place to help increase the number of test slots available. This includes:
- Making tests available 18 weeks in advance instead of six, from mid-September to the end of January 2021.
- Increasing the number of car driving tests from five a day to six.
These new protocols should make it easier for you to book your test through the DVSA website should you need to.
Things to remember before you book
If you’re trying to book a test, make sure that you’re test-ready when you book it as you might have to sit the test at short notice. Do this by having driving lessons at different times of the day, in various weather conditions, and on a wide range of roads. This will help ensure that you’re able to pass your test first time so you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of booking another test.
Getting in some extra driving lessons while you’re waiting to book your test is a great way to keep your skills fresh. And if you’d like to save a bit of money and practise with family members instead, we offer learner driver insurance from 75p a day. Just call us on 0330 123 1232 for more information.