The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is posting job adverts for new driving examiners left, right and centre to tackle the huge backlog of practical driving tests created by the pandemic.

With job postings in England, Wales and Scotland, it’s another sign the agency is committed to getting you tested asap once restrictions are lifted.

And it needs to be as research has shown the number of driving tests taken last year were down by 50% compared to 2019: Between July and September 2020, only 188,520 driving tests were taken in Great Britain.

That represents a 53.8% drop compared to the same period in the previous year.

The result? Tens of thousands of learner drivers queuing to book a practical driving test once restrictions are dropped.

Get ready

However, the DVSA does sound a note of caution, even if it can meet such huge demand.

The agency is asking for help from driving instructors, saying that it’s vital that students are test-ready as, once suspensions are lifted, tests could be provided at short notice and any retests could be delayed to deal with the backlog.

“On average, fewer than 50% of learners pass their driving test and there could be long waiting times for a retest,” states the DVSA. “Your pupils should take their test only when they are confident they can pass.”

Making moves

While the DVSA gets busy sourcing new examiners, it has already stated what other measures it is taking to make sure you can get a test sooner rather than much, much later.

These include:

  • Offering more tests outside of normal working hours, including at weekends and on bank holidays
  • Ensuring all DVSA staff who are qualified to perform driving tests are able to, such as senior managers and policy staff.

Even with these measures in place though, the DVSA states: “Driving tests will continue to be in high demand as a result of the pandemic and the suspension of testing.

“It will take time to get our services back to normal. We thank you and your pupils for your understanding, support and patience.”

As ever, time will tell just how long you will need to wait once the lockdown is over before booking a test doesn’t become a gruelling exercise in patience. We’ll keep you updated.

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