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I can’t book a driving test in 2023 – what can I do?

If you’re a learner driver looking to book your test soon, you might find that there aren’t any slots available for weeks or even months to come. So what can you do if you’re driving test ready but have to wait to book a test? In this article, we explore everything you can do to keep your skills sharp and hopefully book your test quickly.

Keep your skills fresh by practising with family and friends

Learner driver in the car with older woman

Waiting for a driving test slot can be frustrating, but there are things you can do to keep your skills fresh. If you can afford it, keep up with your driving lessons. A good way of supplementing this is to practise with your friends or family – as long as they are eligible to supervise a learner driver, they can sit with you while you practise.

Just make sure you take out learner driver insurance – although your driving instructor sorts this out for you when they’re teaching you, you will need to take out cover when you’re learning with family and friends. Our cover starts from just 65p a day.

Consider buying your own car

If you’re struggling to find a driving instructor who can start teaching you how to drive, it might be a good idea to buy your own car (if you can afford it) and practise with your friends and family.

Buying your own car will allow you to take the test in that specific vehicle. This is ideal if you’ve spent a long time learning in it – each car is different so it might take you a while to get used to the driving instructor’s car if you do go back to learning in it.

Take a look at our list of the best cars for 17-year-olds for those just starting to learn how to drive.

Take the time to familiarise yourself with the Highway Code

Person studying at a desk with beverage

Even if you’ve already passed your theory test, it’s a good idea to keep your knowledge fresh. The Highway Code is readily available for free online, and there are a number of apps and online resources you can use to quiz yourself on the rules of the road.

Book your theory test strategically

Your theory test is only valid for two years, so it might be a good idea to try and hold off on taking it until you’re confident that you can pass your driving test within a year or two. Be warned that there is also a long waiting list for theory tests, though the backlog isn’t as bad as it is for driving tests.

Make sure you only book your test when you’re definitely ready

With the driving test backlog set to affect learner drivers for at least the next year, it’s a good idea to only book your tests when you know you’re definitely ready and are confident you’ll pass first time. The DVSA are also advising that you make sure you’re ready to pass your test before you book it and are offering tips on how to know when you’re test ready.

Consider taking your test at a different test centre

Two young people in a car

Driving test wait times differ depending on the test centre you choose. You might find that you’re able to book a driving test at another nearby centre – just make sure you have some time to familiarise yourself with the routes in that area before your test. Find out which driving test centres have the shortest waiting times in our blog.

Booking an intensive course could work well – if you can

If you desperately need to pass your driving test before a certain date, doing an intensive course might be a good option as the instructor will also usually book your driving tests and include this in the price of the course.

It’s likely that there will be a backlog for an intensive course, so if you’re considering taking one, it’s a good idea to start researching them soon. Take a look at our blog on tips and tricks to beat long driving lesson wait times if you’re struggling to book lessons.

Watch YouTube videos from driving instructors while you wait

Person lying on sofa looking at phone

There are a number of driving instructors who post YouTube videos regularly, such as Conquer Driving. Watching their videos can help give you tips on how to drive safely so you’re test-ready when you need to be.

Prepare for the ‘show me, tell me’ questions of your practical

The ‘show me, tell me’ questions are often overlooked, so it’s a good idea to prepare for them while you have the time.

If you have access to a car and a willing family member, you could even do a couple of practice tests specifically for the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

Practise with hazard perception tests

If you don’t have access to a car, hazard perception tests could be your next best option. Hazard perception tests help you look well ahead and improve your reaction skills on the road.

Why can’t I book my driving test?

You probably can’t book your driving test because of the backlog caused by the global pandemic. During lockdown, learners weren’t allowed to learn to drive unless they were a key worker. This has caused a massive backlog in the number of learner drivers waiting to take their driving test – and not enough examinors or driving instructors to keep up with demand.

Learner driver insurance from just 65p a day

Good luck on your learner driver journey! If you do decide to practise with family and friends, make sure you get a learner driver insurance quote from us by calling us on 0800 369 8590 or booking a callback.

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