Driving tests will resume ‘no earlier’ than 12 April as instructors demand March start

Driving test rules to change from December 2017

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The agency confirmed plans for driving tests and lessons will remain in line with the Giverbnemt’s roadmap to end the lockdown restrictions meaning learners will need to wait for an extra couple of months. No further details have been announced on when tests will resume in Wales and Scotland with the DVSA admitting they would only reveal this “when we can”.

In a statement on Twitter, the DVSA said: “In line with the government’s roadmap announcement, driving and theory tests will resume no earlier than 12 April in England.

“We’ll provide more information about when driving and riding lessons and other test types including vocational and motorcycle tests can resume as soon as we can, but this has not yet been confirmed.

“We’re also working with the Welsh and Scottish government on resuming testing and lessons and will provide more information on this when we can.”

However, learner drivers were quick to attack the proposals with some claiming they have had tests on hold for months.

One road user said they had a test on hold since May 2020 with another adding they could not change their November 2020 exam for a later date.

Driving instructors have also questioned the proposals as they added students needed to take lessons before 12 April before they could take tests.

One instructor said they needed at least a week before 12 April to get students up to speed.

Another said the news was “misleading and unfair” as he claimed lessons should start at the end of March.

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Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School said he would have liked to see lessons and tests “resume sooner”.

He said: “At RED, we welcome the government’s roadmap out of lockdown and the green light for practical and theory tests to go ahead from April 12th in England.

“The driving instruction industry has previously been left in the dark without crucial updates, so we’re pleased to have received some clarity regarding the easing of the current lockdown restrictions.

“Having operated in a Covid-secure way since the end of England’s first lockdown last July, we would have hoped for lessons and tests to resume sooner, especially given the huge bottleneck that has accumulated as a result of the pandemic.”

Mr McIntosh has also claimed lessons should be allowed to resume earlier to ensure students were prepared for tests.

He warned resuming lessons before tests should be the “absolute priority” as learners have not driven a lot at all since the beginning of January.

He added: “We are eager to get our instructors back on the roads and to support the next generation of drivers to become road-ready, however we empathise with the government and understand the reasons behind such a vigilant approach to the restart of our industry.

“The absolute priority should be to restart driving lessons before practical testing.

“Most learner drivers won’t have sat behind the wheel of a car since the beginning of January, so it’s vital they are given the opportunity to prepare fairly in advance.

“Anyone with a test which has been rebooked for April 12th should be allowed to resume lessons a week beforehand.”

Under current rules, learner drivers are only allowed to practice driving as part of travel to work, education or for essential journeys.

The DVSA said a journey solely for driver learning proposes is not considered essential.

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