We all know that booking a practical or theory test is a patience-shredding exercise at the moment. With waiting lists up to four months (and beyond) caused by the pandemic, trying to snare a booking quickly is proving nigh on impossible.

It’s leading some Scottish learners to try and find a theory test away from their local area. For example, some are traveling over 100 miles from Aberdeen to Inverness to secure a quicker booking.

Others though are going way further.

1,000-mile round trip

Take Kate Copland from Aberdeen who was so sick and tired of not being able to secure a theory test slot until October that she expanded her search. She soon discovered though that it wasn’t much better in the rest of Scotland.

In the end, Kate’s search went UK-wide, and she managed to secure a theory test almost immediately – so long as she was prepared to go down to London.

Not hesitating, Kate booked and then made a whopping 1,000-mile round trip to London, and passed her test.

Thankfully, she was able to make the test part of a trip to her employer’s London office who she currently works for remotely from Scotland.

“I am so lucky to have had the chance to go down to London to take it, otherwise I don’t think I’d be passing my test within the year. I’ve no idea when I’ll be able to get my practical test done but I’ll be booking it as soon as I can.”

• Kate Copland speaking to The Press and Journal newspaper.

The long wait

Kate’s struggles to find a booking in Scotland will be familiar story to many Scottish leaners.

While testing resumed last month, the Scots are facing even longer waits than their English counterparts – according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), you’ll need to wait 16 weeks on average for a theory test in Scotland compared to the UK average of 14.

It’s an issue that is understandably stressing many learners as Moira Craib, a driving instructor based in Aberdeen, reveals: “It is a soul-destroying wait for people who are ready to take their tests now,” she says.

“I’ve got one person who has been with me since last year who hasn’t managed to take their theory test – there are far more cancellations popping up for practicals.”

The DVSA says that “we can only increase the number of tests when physical distancing restrictions are eased by the Scottish Government.”

Get ready for your test

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