According to DrivingScout, a leading company that enables learner drivers to get earlier driving tests, students are spending almost £200 on extra lessons while waiting for their test date to come around – down to a lack of availability at test centres throughout the UK.
This is causing candidates to feel additional pressure to pass first time, or know that their next failure will not only cost them a new test, but hours of new lessons to keep up their skill until the date arrives – and with instructors in London charging as much as £35 per lesson – this can get expensive quickly.
According to the DVSA, the average waiting time across the UK is 10 weeks. However, the government does not offer any services – unlike their counterparts at UK Visa’s and Immigration – to get an earlier test date for a fixed fee. The archaic rule where a candidate must wait ten clear working days between failures (Sunday’s and Bank Holidays are not considered working days) is showing its age: virtually no test center has a waiting list less than 2 weeks.
The official way to get an earlier driving test is to check the government website several times a day to grab appointments that have been cancelled last minute by other would-be test takers. Once found, the candidate needs to ensure their instructor is available and able to take them to the test and use their car. On average, DrivingScout says it takes 3 cancellations before you get one that meets both the candidates and instructors preferences. If you find 1 cancellation a week, then that’s another 3 weeks of lessons that are needlessly being taken, costing towards £100.
The alternative is to defer the stress of searching to a third party that finds driving test cancellations to search on your behalf. In return, they’ll search on your behalf and notify (and book) cancellations for you. DrivingScout finds 100s of cancellations per day throughout the UK – and at less than half the cost of an average lesson, it’s seriously worth considering.