How to beat long Driving Test Waiting Times
Hoping to beat long driving test waiting times? Need a UK Driving Licence fast? Intensive Courses Can Help!
Most people learning to drive are unaware of the potentially long driving test waiting times for their practical driving test at many of the UK’s DVSA test centres. If a full UK licence is needed quickly – such as, for instance, because of work commitments – these waiting times can cause problems.
Current driving test waiting times (current as of December 2023)
Waiting times at most test centres are over 6 months plus. There are no test dates on the governments DVSA booking system due to their ongoing backlog caused by covid and their strikes in late 2022 onwards. The dates we are finding are 6 months plus.
How to find available driving test dates
We include the DVSA practical test fee booking with all of our courses
If you are finding it difficult to book a practical driving test on the DVSA’s booking system in your area, simply click on the button below and then purchase our practical test booking service at £179.00 * , and our team will do the hard work for you and will book the next available cancellation date for you that appears on the Government’s booking system.
* Not suitable if you already have a practical test booked.
Intensive Courses | Intensive Driving Courses
Offering intensive driving courses over 3 to 11 days and semi-intensive courses over longer periods in locations across the UK, we can help you get your licence fast and without the potential problems of driving test waiting times.
How much is a driving test?
For cars, the driving test costs £62 and the theory test costs £23.
Why can’t I book a driving test at my local driving test centre?
At most driving test centres practical driving tests are released by the DVSA every Monday, for 5 months in advance, and are generally taken within a few minutes of being released, which leaves nothing on the DVSA system for the rest of that week. With a bit of luck you should be able to get a cancellation date at your local driving test centre, however, cancellation dates are still coming up months down the road.
Remember to call us on 020 7205 2251 as we may be able to help you get a driving test much quicker for your intensive driving course than those showing on the Government DVSA’s website.
When you book one of our courses, simply tell us when you want your course to commence. Our team will then endeavour to book your practical driving test at a test centre within your desired postcode area for the end of your selected course (bearing in mind that driving test waiting times are longer at some centres than others).
Working on your diary, our team will book both your theory test and your practical test for you. Assuming you have passed your theory test, we will book the practical test for the last day of your course (if the theory test has not been passed, we will book the practical test as soon as the theory test is passed).
While driving test waiting times cannot be reduced with certainty, there are some ways of increasing the likelihood of reducing waiting times, potentially by several weeks. Here is a brief explanation of the ideal approach to getting your test organised and available options for reducing waiting times.
Locations | Driving Test Waiting Times
Areas with higher population densities, on the other hand, tend to have much longer driving test waiting times. London test centres, for instance, have waiting times of 12 weeks and longer.
Although more driving examiners are employed by the DVSA in high population areas, test centres’ capacity for the number of tests to be conducted on any given day is limited due to centre sizes.
Staggered driving test times can permit an increase in the number of tests conducted per day. Allowing test candidates to arrive & park within centres’ limited parking areas while other candidates are out on their tests, this method employs a ‘time window’ approach. Arriving no more than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled test appointment eliminates the potential of clashing with other candidates returning from their driving test.
Time of Year | Driving Test Waiting Times
As driving tests are invariably carried out during daylight hours only, driving test waiting times also depend on the time of year. In Winter, for instance, fewer tests are conducted due to fewer daylight hours. This, of course, increases waiting times.
Test bookings also tend to increase just before/during college holidays, which again affects driving test waiting times.
Cancellations | Driving Test Waiting Times
During the winter months, the DVSA also often cancels tests due to frost/ice on roads, snow and sometimes bad fog.
If the DVSA cancels your test, you will automatically be booked into your chosen test centre’s next available slot. This may, however, increase your driving test waiting times by several weeks.
As afternoon tests are far more likely to proceed than early morning appointments during the winter, we recommend opting for a test time later in the day during this time of year.
Planning Your Test | Driving Test Waiting Times
When taking lessons with an instructor, your driving instructor will know the driving test waiting times within your area.
After your first few driving lessons, discuss the following factors with your instructor:
Waiting times for tests
The most appropriate course of lessons for you
When you should consider booking your practical test to circumvent waiting times
Please remember that you must take and pass your theory test before you may book your practical test.
Visitors to the UK and UK residents with international driving permits and driving experience typically require very few lessons to reach driving test standard.
If this scenario applies to you, you must first take & pass your theory test. As soon as you have passed your theory test, you can book your practical test.
Your international driving permits give you 12 months of driving entitlement. It is therefore important to pass your practical UK driving test before these 12 months expire. You can find all DVSA test centres’ current driving test waiting times here.
Earlier Test Dates | Driving Test Waiting Times
To get a test at an earlier date, you must first book the soonest available driving test appointment. As soon as this appointment is booked, you may check for driving test cancellations and take the new slot. This can often help to reduce driving test waiting times by several weeks.
Occasionally, earlier test appointments also become available due to additional driving examiners being brought in to help reduce waiting times.
There are two ways of finding earlier test appointments:
Online – Driving tests may be moved to later dates, cancelled or candidates may take earlier dates if available. Test slots are taken quickly, so if you are looking for an earlier test date, we recommend checking the DVSA Website frequently.
By Phone – Alternatively, you can also contact the DVSA and find earlier test appointments by phone (0300 200 1122). This automated speech recognition service is also the number used for booking tests. Listen to available options and enable the correct service, which is available 7 days/week from 6 AM through to midnight. Please note that you must have your theory test certificate and practical test booking reference numbers at hand when making the call.
Current Driving Test Waiting Times
For a regularly updated list of all test centres’ current driving test waiting times, please visit the DVSA Website.
Intensive Driving Courses
Are you ready to get on the road? Book one of our Intensive Driving Courses today and our highly qualified, experienced instructors will have you up to test standard and passing your test in no time at all!
Last updated: 01/12/2023