Halfords has been given the green light to offer practical driving tests in a bid to provide more local test centres for learner drivers.
Driving tests will be available form the Wellingborough branch in Northamptonshire from 5 February 2013, with other branches expected to offer the service in the coming months.
All tests will be conducted by Driving Standards Agency (DSA) examiners, who will have a DSA-branded area set aside in store to meet with test candidates. Around 1,500 tests are expected to be conducted every year at Wellingborough.
The service is intended to make it easier for learner drivers to get to a local test centre, with students from Wellingborough previously having to travel around 10 miles to get to the nearest centre in Kettering.
The tests will also be available at braches across the UK, including Bearsden, Cathcart, Altrincham, Hemel Hampstead and Market Harborough, within the next six months.
Halfords Commercial Director, Paul McClenaghan said: “Halfords is already a destination for motorists, who come to us for a range of automotive products and fitting services, so why not driving tests as well?
“We look forward to welcoming many learner drivers to our stores where we hope they will enjoy a successful start to their motoring journey.”
Learner drivers will book and pay for the test through the DSA and Halfords won't be charging for the service. Instead, the firm says that it is using the scheme to foster relationships with a new generation of drivers.
Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: “We are very pleased to be working with Halfords to provide a more local service for test driving candidates.
“This is a great example of working with private sector partners to provide an important local service that is convenient as well as being cost effective.”