For many learner drivers, the prolonged wait for a driving test has become a cause for concern. There is a growing interest in understanding driving test waiting times and the efforts taken to alleviate this issue. This information aims to provide clarity on driving test waiting times, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the issue.

In recent weeks, all eligible DVSA managers and administrative staff have been redeployed to the frontline to conduct driving tests on a full-time basis. This measure, scheduled to continue until the end of March 2024, will result in approximately 150,000 additional driving test slots, effectively reducing the waiting times for eager learners.

As of October 16, 2023, the national average waiting time for a car driving test stands at 18.8 weeks. However, it’s essential to clarify that this figure does not signify an identical waiting period for every learner driver across the nation. In addition to the national average, each driving test centre has its own unique waiting time. The reported figure indicates the duration until at least 10% of weekly appointments remain available for booking.

The booking window for driving tests spans 24 weeks, with one week’s worth of tests being added every week. Additional tests are also integrated as they become available. For instance, if a driving examiner is slated to transfer to another test centre in 4 weeks, their appointments are included in the schedule.

As of October 16, 2023, the statistics reveal:

  • 36 test centres with waiting times of up to 9 weeks (14.8% of all test centres).
  • 103 test centres with waiting times ranging from 10 to 23 weeks (42.4% of all test centres).
  • 104 test centres with a waiting time of 24 weeks (42.8% of all test centres).

As of the end of September 2023, there were 566,245 driving tests scheduled within the next 24 weeks. Since November 2022, the Department for Transport has been publishing this figure every month, providing valuable insights into transport activity.

It’s important to emphasise that an increase in the number of forward bookings doesn’t necessarily indicate longer waiting times. Instead, it signifies an expansion in testing capacity. The top priority is reducing waiting times while upholding road safety standards.

To enhance test availability, several initiatives have been implemented, including conducting tests during non-standard hours, repurchasing annual leave from examiners, and encouraging retired examiners to return to work. These measures, combined with ongoing examiner recruitment, have led to the addition of over 40,000 car test slots on a monthly average since April 2021.

As the DVSA continues to recruit more examiners and deploys eligible staff full-time, the capacity to provide tests increases. Consequently, a higher number of “forward bookings” reflects this expanded capacity, and it’s anticipated that this will be reflected in the number of tests conducted in the coming months.

APass4U remains committed to ensuring that learner drivers receive timely and safe driving tests, prioritising their success above all else.