Learners are being encouraged to practise driving with a professional instructor when driving lessons restart in England and Wales today (12 April).
Following the easing of lockdown restrictions in England and Wales, car driving tests will restart on 22 April. Driving instructor testing and standards checks will also start again on 22 April.
Restarting lessons 10 days ahead of tests will give learners the chance to practice with a professional instructor before testing restarts.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has worked closely with ADI associations to encourage ADIs to talk to their candidates to make sure they are properly prepared for their test and to advise them to rearrange their test if they are not ready.
DVSA is urging learners to speak to their instructor to make sure they are still well-prepared and at test standard before taking their driving test.
DVSA Chief Executive Loveday Ryder (pictured below) said:
“Many learners are keen to take their test but it is vital they are properly prepared.
“Instructors have the ability to identify which pupils are not quite ready for test and need more support and advice. It’s important that we work together to ensure that learners have the right skills and knowledge before attempting a test.
“We have written to all candidates with a test booked to make sure they consider whether they have had enough practice with a professional driving instructor before turning up to take their test.”
The safety of customers and examiners is DVSA’s top priority and the agency will continue to follow government advice to stop the spread of coronavirus.
To help reduce the amount of time the candidate and examiner spend in the vehicle when the candidate has failed their test, examiners will continue to end car driving tests early if a candidate commits either a serious or dangerous fault, or a total of 16 driver faults.
The suspension of testing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to exceptionally high demand for driving tests and measures in place to protect DVSA’s customers and staff from COVID-19 have limited the number of available tests.
There are currently more than 420,000 candidates with tests booked as a result of the pandemic and the suspension of testing, and there will be high demand for tests for some time.
To help increase the number of available tests, DVSA is already:
- offering more tests outside normal working hours, including weekend and bank holidays.
- ensuring all DVSA staff who are qualified to perform driving tests are doing so, such as senior managers and policy staff.
- recruiting new driving examiners in England, Scotland and Wales