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Driving tests re-start in England

Written by: Emma Lunn
Car driving tests have restarted in England but they won’t restart in Wales until 17 August and there’s no date for tests in Scotland as yet.

Driving tests have restarted in England – but only for drivers who had their test cancelled due to coronavirus.

If you had a test booked that was cancelled due to lockdown you should look out for an email from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) asking you to go online and choose your preferred date and time for a test.

It might take several weeks for you to get your email, depending on when your test was originally scheduled.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Compare the Market, said: “The restarting of driving tests today will be welcome news to those who have had to bear the frustration of delaying their tests due to the pandemic.

“For many, passing a driving test is about more than just getting around town, as cars are essential to secure and maintain some jobs. Our research found that over half (56%) of young people actively trying to pass their test during the pandemic said that not being able to progress with their test would negatively impact their chances of securing employment.

“However, a number of drivers, whether they have passed or not, are worried about their recent lack of practice. One in three drivers are nervous about the driving ability of their fellow road users after a period of absence off the road. It is essential that people feel confident in their own abilities before properly returning to the road.”

Changes to driving tests

The coronavirus means there are several changes to driving tests.

Firstly, drivers will be expected to wear a face covering unless there is a good reason why they can’t.

You shouldn’t arrive for your test more than five minutes before your appointment time. The driving test centre waiting room will be closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the toilets will be available on request.

Drivers who make a serious mistake mid-test will be told immediately that they have failed and will be directed back to the test centre.

Normally drivers are only told if they have passed or failed at the end of the test. The early end to failed tests aims to minimise the amount of time drivers spend in the vehicle with the examiner.

Booking a new driving test

Driving tests are currently only being carried out for people who had their original test cancelled because of coronavirus.

You can’t currently book a new driving test if you did not have one booked before lockdown.

Tests won’t take place in areas where a local lockdown is in place.

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