‘Detrimental impact’: Learner motorists could face 2024 wait to get their driving licence

Driving test failed after 'lights blocked' by works vehicle

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New data has found that the average learner driver will take 17 months to pass their driving test, due to a backlog caused by the coronavirus, with some potentially even waiting until 2024. Driving instructors have reported a three-month wait time this year as an influx of young people turn 17 and pick up their provisional licences.

Thousands of young drivers were prevented from taking their tests over the past year and a half as a result of delays and social distancing fears.

It is estimated that the average student should take around four months to learn to drive in practical lessons, according to the DVSA.

This is based on 45 hours of lessons and 20 hours of practising, which makes up two and a half hours each week.

There have also been massive delays for people trying to take their theory tests while learning to drive.


Experts at CarFinance 247 analysed wait-times for all of Britain’s theory test centres, finding that while some report wait times of up to 18 weeks, the average wait time for a theory test is just over five weeks. 

On average, learners pass their theory test within two attempts.

Students could end up taking nearly three months to pass just their theory, and then finally be able to book their practical.

Louis Rix, COO and co-founder of CarFinance 247, warned that drastic action must take place to ensure learner drivers can move through the process faster.

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He said: “Driving lesson and test wait-times have skyrocketed this year, yet another victim of the pandemic.

“As testing centres are stretched to their very limits, we’ve already seen instructors and examiners threatening strikes. 

“It’s important to note the detrimental impact this will be having on young people. Passing your driving test is a sign of freedom.

“I remember feeling so empowered once I was able to drive independently, and these severe delays to driving testing is resulting in a lack of freedom for learners – not to mention those who rely on driving to begin their working life.

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