Planning to take your driving test soon? You’re going to want to read this first…
Turning 17 in the UK means your first taste of freedom — that exciting (and often terrifying) first driving lesson with your parents, or if you’re lucky enough to miss out on your parents’ nervous gasping and shouting, a proper driving instructor.
Learning to drive is an absolute rite of passage in the UK, especially if you live outside of London where the public transport links usually leave a lot to be desired. That first friend who can drive (and has access to a car) becomes the most popular kid in school. Maccies trip at lunch anyone?
If you were hoping your driving test would be a breeze, however, you might be more than a little disappointed. From clicking like crazy through the hazard perception part of your theory test to having to master parallel parking, passing your driving test in the UK can take time and patience. And it’s about to take a whole lot more time too.
It’s been announced that there’ll be some changes to the test booking system to improve availability of tests across England, Wales and Scotland, but if you don’t stick to the new strict system, you could be waiting a while to take your test.
What are the changes to driving tests?
As we said, the changes will be less about the tests themselves and more about the system for booking. The hope is that with a few tweaks to the process, it should open up a lot more availability to get more people taking their tests in the future.
The biggest impact will be on those who don’t pass their test the first time around (a good percentage of you, we imagine). The new rules will mean that if you fail your test, you’ll have to wait 28 days to book your next test rather than the current 10 days.
That means if you fail again, it could be months and months before you’re finally a fully fledged driver.
Another rule that’ll be brought in will be around the cancellation period for driving tests. We all get sick or need to rearrange, however, the new policy will mean that you need to give 10 days’ notice instead of the current three days. While this will obviously mean that test centres will have longer to fill the cancelled slots, meaning other people can take their test, it does mean that you might struggle if you can’t take your test closer to the time.
All this will also mean that you’re far less likely to book your test until you’re completely ready for it, which has got to be a good thing, right? Think about it — if you failed badly the first time and only have another two weeks to prepare, would you really do much better the second time around?
The last change will ruin the “I’ve passed!” obligatory pose holding their certificate for all future drivers as test centres will no longer be giving out paper copies of the certificate. Instead, you’ll be sent a digital copy of both your theory test and your practical test certificates.
This is probably a win for the environment though (if you don’t think too much about all the new drivers on the road…)
When will these changes come in?
These changes to driving test booking policy are due to come in sometime in the summer, so if you’ve already got your tests booked in for the next couple of months, then you can relax. Well, as much as you can relax with a driving test on the horizon.
It’s also good news if you’re looking to book your test in the next few months, as hopefully waiting times will be improving as the new measures come into place.
If you want to make sure you don’t have to wait another 28 days to book your retake, then make sure you get all the help you can with 25% off Driving Test Success and you can even save up to £175 on your lessons with PassMeFast.