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Driving test backlog increase costs for learners

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Learner drivers across the UK are haemorrhaging money as the ongoing driving test backlog mounts, with some having to spend more than £623 on lessons that plug the wait for a test.

A survey by insurer Marmalade found that on average, due to the backlog, learners are buying eight extra lessons that they wouldn’t have previously needed.

At the 2021 average of £31.15 per lesson, that’s an added expense of £249.20 for UK learners across the board. Almost a third (32%) of learners estimate they’ll take an extra 10 to 19 lessons, which could cost between £311.50 and £591.85.

About one in 10 (8%) say they’ll need more than 20 lessons to continue learning as they wait for a test. This could cost upwards of £623.

About 450,000 driving tests were cancelled as a result of the Covid pandemic. This has led to massive delays for learner drivers attempting to get on the road, with many not able to book a test slot until 2022. A system backlog is causing long delays for those trying to book a theory test, as well as those waiting to sit the practical test.

Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade, said: “The pandemic has had an adverse impact on learner drivers, many of which are young people who have also been impacted far beyond this. Our latest research shows how the aftermath of the pandemic continues to disrupt finances for learners and their families.

“The compounding backlog means test-ready learners can’t secure a test slot and so need to continue with extra lessons, more insurance and in some cases a retake of an expired theory test.”