Are driving tests cancelled in lockdown? Latest update on DVSA practical and theory tests and lessons as England enters second lockdown
Why the DVSA has put tests and lessons on hold and when they will restart
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that all driver training and testing in England is to be suspended due to new Covid restrictions.
The body, which is responsible for overseeing all driving lessons and tests, announced on Monday that it was putting all instruction and testing on hold from this week.
Why have driving tests and lessons been cancelled?
The DVSA said it had made the move based on the Government’s decision to implement a four-week national lockdown in England.
The lockdown will place severe restrictions on people’s movements in a bid to bring the rising infection rate under control. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that there was no alternative to imposing strict new limits on people’s movements, which bans travel for all non-essential purposes.
When does the suspension start and when will lessons and tests resume?
The DVSA has said that all lessons and tests will stop on Thursday, November 5 - the same day as the England-wide lockdown comes into force.
It has said that the suspension will be lifted on Wednesday, December 2, allowing for training and testing to resume.
What should affected learners do?
At the moment the DVSA has not issued any advice for those affected by the latest suspension. However, it has said it will contact affected learners with further guidance “as soon as possible”.
During the previous lockdown, learners with a test date already booked were initially told their test would be automatically rescheduled. However the DVSA later changed its position and asked all learner to rebook their test. This led to the online booking service being overwhelmed and taken offline multiple times as the agency struggled to cope with the volume of applications.
Responding to the announcement, Tom Hixon, head of instructor support at Bill Plant Driving School said it was likely to create another bottleneck of demand into the New Year.
He commented: “We, as I’m sure many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of English learner drivers, are naturally disappointed to hear from the DVSA that driving lessons and driving tests will be suspended.
“We ask that all learner drivers stay in touch with their instructors throughout the upcoming national lockdown, and we can only apologise for the inconvenience and disruption. But of course, it’s important that we all follow the latest government guidelines so that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 once again.
“Thousands of driving instructors within England now find themselves unable to work as of Thursday for the duration of the national lockdown, and we will be working closely with our franchisees to support them.
“The industry is still playing catch up from high demand after the last lockdown was lifted, this again will create requests for driving lessons from December 2 and the New Year. ”