UPDATE: Driving tests are provisionally in phase 2, so might be able to resume from April 12th.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has greatly disrupted driving lessons and tests across the UK. Initially suspended during the first lockdown back in March, driving tests were again suspended during November’s lockdown. Right now, they are once more on hold because of the latest lockdown restrictions. So, when can we expect driving tests to resume?
Are driving tests suspended in all four home nations?
According to the gov.uk website, all types of driving tests are suspended in England because of the ongoing national lockdown.
Previously, tests were ongoing in all but tier 4 areas. But following the entire country going into lockdown, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) stopped all kinds of testing, including practical and theory tests.
Driving tests are also on hold in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are both in lockdown, as well as Wales which is in coronavirus alert level 4.
When will driving tests resume?
The DVSA said that the suspension on tests would remain in place until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
England will review its rules on 15 February, while Scotland and Northern Ireland will review theirs on 2 February and 18 February respectively.
Wales will review its lockdown measures on 29 January. All indications, however, are that lockdown is likely to continue for another three weeks.
Practically, the earliest that we can expect driving tests to resume across the UK is late February or early March. But we’ll have to wait and see.
In England, Scotland and Wales, the DVSA has said that it will be contacting those affected to give further guidelines on what to do.
Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) has created replacement test slots for drivers whose appointments had to be cancelled because of lockdown. The new slots have been created in February, March and April.
If you’ve been affected, the DVA will contact you so that you can rebook. However, bookings for new tests remain closed.
What about driving lessons?
As is the case with driving tests, driving lessons are on hold across the country.
They are likely to remain suspended until lockdown measures are lifted.
New coronavirus rules for driving tests
To keep everyone safe during driving tests and reduce the spread of the virus, the DVSA has introduced new rules that you should observe when driving tests finally resume. The rules are as follows:
- Wear a face covering when you take a test unless you have a good reason not to (e.g. an illness or impairment).
- Do not arrive for your test more than five minutes early.
- Ensure that the inside of your car is clean before the test. This means putting away any unnecessary items and wiping interior surfaces and controls.
- The car you use for the test must have at least one window open on each side throughout the test for proper ventilation.
Additionally, the DVSA has said that you should not attend your test if:
- You or someone you live with has Covid-19 symptoms
- You’ve received information from the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus
- You’re self-isolating because you have only recently entered the UK
What you can do in the meantime
If you are feeling some frustration because you’ll have to wait longer to pass your test and get your licence, we understand. Unfortunately, it’s a situation that is out of anyone’s control right now.
However, there are a few things you can do in the meantime as you wait for driving tests to resume.
For example, now might be the perfect time to start shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes using car insurance comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket and Confused.com. This could increase your odds of getting the best possible deal for your needs.
Finally, don’t forget to keep checking the gov.uk website for updates about when driving lessons and tests will resume.
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