There is a huge backlog of learner drivers waiting to take their driving test in Gloucester, latest figures reveal.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) booking system has been inundated with people trying to book their driving tests ever since it reopened after lockdown in April last year.
It is estimated that around 520,000 people are currently waiting to take their driving test in Britain.
Despite the introduction of additional tests and measures to ease the backlog, learner drivers are still having to wait months to sit their practical exam.
New Highway Code rules 2022
According to the website Driving Test Cancellations 4 All, which checks the DVSA website thousands of times a day for tests, learner drivers are having to wait weeks to book a driving test across the UK.
The latest figures reveal the waiting time in Gloucester is 16 weeks.
Findings from learner driver insurance company Marmalade say that they don’t expect it to improve until January 2024.
A spokesperson for Marmalade said: “With the 2020/21 lockdowns causing carnage to the driving test booking system, we have seen a backlog rumbling on throughout the last 12 months.”
They added: “With the demand for driving tests set to far outweigh the number of slots available at the start of this year, the driving test backlog will reach its peak in May when there’ll be more than half a million (520,581) learners wanting to book a test.”
Latest rules introduced for learner drivers by the DVSA
Learner drivers who fail their driving test will now have to wait 28 days to retake it, rather than the previous 10 days.
It has been extended to make learners ‘think twice’ before rushing to retake their test without being prepared.
It is hoped that this will help to ease the backlog of people waiting for a test as it will ensure people who are prepared will be able to get a slot.
Last month the DVSA suggested in consultations that the notice period for losing a fee when cancelling a test is extended from three to 10 days.
Mark Winn, chief driving examiner for 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.”