Driving test changes: plan for 28-day wait before learners can re-book tests

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency seeks to discourage learner drivers from booking their test before they’re ready

Learner drivers on Motorway

Learner drivers may have to wait longer to re-book their practical driving test after failing if new measures are introduced. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is proposing a series of changes to the test, some of which aim to discourage learners from booking their test before they’re ready.

In the last five years, 53 per cent of learner drivers failed their first practical driving test. The current rules require them to wait 10 days before re-booking, but the DVSA is proposing extending this period to 28 days.

Another change would be extending the notice period within which a cancelled test results in a lost fee from three days to 10 days. This, the agency says, will encourage learners who need more practice before their test to give more notice before cancelling and create more late-notice slots for learners who are ready.

The DVSA is also looking at increasing the flexibility of the test by allowing the eyesight assessment to be carried out in different lighting conditions or by reading from a tablet. This will allow more tests to be conducted on darker winter days, as well as address the fact that 61 per cent of new drivers say they do not feel confident driving in the dark and 35 per cent of road accidents involving young drivers occur at night.

The proposed driving test changes are subject to a public consultation, which is running until 11:59pm on 8 March 2022.

Mark Winn, chief driving examiner at the DVSA, said: “With nearly half of all learners still failing their first car driving test, it is clear we need to do more to make sure learner drivers only take their test when they are fully prepared.

“These measures will help make sure learners who are test-ready can find appointments and give those who fail more time to get additional practice. Changing the eyesight test will help more tests go ahead in the darker winter days.”

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