How Long Do You Need to Wait for Your Driving Test in the UK?
October 17, 2023
Learning to drive is a rewarding milestone for many people in the UK, promising the freedom to navigate the roads at their will. One monumental part of this journey is the driving test, which every budding driver anxiously awaits. A common question among those learning to drive is, ‘how long do they typically have to wait for this test?’ The answer, however, isn’t straightforward and depends on several factors.
Scheduling the Test
After you have completed your driving lessons and feel confident enough to take a test, you can choose a date and time that suits you best through the DVLA’s online portal. However, the availability of driving tests can be influenced by the chosen testing centre’s schedule, local demand, and the time of year. In general, most learners have to wait between two to six weeks for a driving test.
Delays Due to High Demand
Demand for driving tests fluctuates, affecting the waiting times. The summer is typically busy, as many learners aim to pass their test during this time, hoping for better weather and lighter traffic. Similarly, waiting times tend to be longer after periods when the centres were closed—for example, the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic led to a substantial backlog.
Practical Test Slots
Practical driving tests are generally conducted from Monday to Friday, during regular working hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm). Some test centres offer weekend and evening tests, albeit at a higher fee, and these slots are often booked quickly due to their convenience. Once a test slot becomes available, it’s advisable to book it without delay, as they tend to get filled rapidly, especially during peak periods.
Addressing the Backlog
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has implemented several measures in recent years to address these delays. These include hiring extra examiners, offering additional overtime to existing staff, and conducting tests outside regular hours. Despite these measures, the current average waiting time, in most cases, is about eight weeks.
Rebooking the Driving Test
In case you fail your test, the DVSA has a mandatory waiting period of ten working days before you can retake the exam. This period is intended to give candidates the opportunity to take extra lessons and address issues flagged in their previous test.
What Are Driving Test Cancellation Services?
Driving test cancellation services, such as Find Me A Driving Test, help you get your driving test rescheduled. They are especially useful if you’re in a hurry to take the exam, as they can often get you an appointment within days of requesting it. They will find driving test cancellations in your area and arrange for you to take the test on a date and time that suits you.
While the official response to ‘how long is the waiting time for a driving test in the UK?’ is often quoted as a few weeks, the actual time varies based on several factors, including your location, time of year, and local demand. The key to minimising waiting time lies in efficient planning, early booking, mastering your skills swiftly, and adapting to the fluctuating conditions. The journey may seem long, but with patience and perseverance, obtaining that driving license will certainly feel worth the wait.