Driving tests back to pre-pandemic levels

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has reported that the number of practical tests have returned to pre-Covid numbers.

Comparing practical tests in January to March 2022 with the same months in 2020, it found that a total of 425,900 practical car tests were conducted – and increase of 14%. Out of those tests, the pass rate was 47.1%, up 1.2%.

Tests were heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, as various restrictions were in place during the first three months of the year.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “While it’s good to see the number of practical car driving tests now back to pre-pandemic levels, we still have a backlog of learners who are no doubt eager to pass their tests and get on the road unsupervised for the very first time.

“Unfortunately though, an Freedom of Information request made by the RAC to DVSA reveals the average waiting time in March this year was around 14 weeks – or just over three months – which is too long, especially for those who need a car to get to work.

“While we know the DVSA has measures in place to increase the number of practical tests, we really need to see numbers increase beyond pre-pandemic levels in order to bring down overall waiting times.”