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Learner drivers waiting for an average of 14 weeks for a driving test

By Mathilda Bartholomew | March 22, 2024

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New data has revealed 45% of test centres are facing delays similar to or worse than pre-pandemic times

Learner drivers waiting for an average of 14 weeks for a driving test

Learning to drive? Well, get ready to wait! On average, learners across the UK are waiting 14 weeks to book their driving test, which is still longer than before the pandemic hit.

The AA Driving School dug into the data from a Freedom of Information request and found that 45% of test centres are facing delays similar to or worse than pre-pandemic times. 245 centres have waits of over six weeks, while nearly 37% are making learners wait a whopping five months or more. The AA considers these delays 'unacceptably high.'

The DVSA launched a six-month program to add 150,000 tests by March 2024, which has helped somewhat. The average wait dropped from 18.7 to 14.5 weeks, but there's still a waitlist. Last year, 151 centres had 24-week waits, but that's down to 91 centres (28%) in January.

Though, some centres are seeing big improvements. Places like Bury St. Edmunds, Exeter, and Ipswich slashed wait times by up to 23 weeks since October. But others, like Taunton and Peterhead, saw wait times shoot up by as much as 23 weeks.

Camilla Benitz, the Managing Director of AA Driving School, said: “[It’s] unacceptable that we are now almost two years post-pandemic restrictions and learner drivers and instructors are still suffering the consequences. 

“For many people being able to drive is not a luxury – it is a necessity to get them to work, education and facilitate their social life.”

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