Dozens of theory test centres set to move in major DVSA shake-up

Dozens of driving theory test centres will be relocated later this year after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced a significant change to the way tests are managed.

From September, a new company is being brought in to manage the provision of the tests across much of the country, with the changes set to affect large parts of the UK, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Yorkshire, the east, north east and north west of England, the East Midlands and London.

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Until now the day-to-day administration of the theory test has been run by a single company - Pearson Vue. However the DVSA has now split the contract for the service between Pearson Vue and a second company - Reed in Partnership - with the changes taking effect from September 2021.

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The change splits test delivery into three geographical regions, with Reed in Partnership taking over responsibility for two of these, leaving Person Vue to run operations in Wales, the West Midlands, and the south west and south east of England.

The DVSA says that learners' experience at the centres should not change much (Photo: DVSA)

The companies will each be responsible for the day-to-day management of test centres, including staff and computer hardware, the online booking system and customer service. The DVSA says that the changes will not affect most users’ experience of sitting the theory test.

However it has confirmed that many test centres are likely to be relocated as a result of the change in management company. There are currently more than 160 theory test centres around the country.

In a statement, the DVSA said: “The changes will not affect the typical candidate experience or the content of the test (but it may look and feel slightly different).

“Because the contract to operate the theory test centres has been awarded to more than one company the location of many theory test centres will change.”

Further details of which centres will be affected will be announced closer to the time.

Practical driving tests and test centres are not affected by the changes.