How the DVLA is aiming to improve the driving test
Your driving test can be the most nerve-wracking thing that you’ll ever do. You’ve spent time (and money!) taking lesson after lesson to improve your skills, you’ve passed your theory test and now all that stands between you and the road is the dreaded practical test. Worryingly, only 21% of driving tests result in a first time pass. The DVLA knows that this statistic doesn’t exactly fill learner drivers with confidence and is working to improve the practical test. So, what exactly are they planning?
Lower the driving test fee
Under the new driving test, learner drivers would pay a deposit to take their test, which they will get back if they pass. The DVLA hopes this will assist in ensuring that learner drivers are ready to take their practical test, less likely to be involved in an accident in the months after the test. They hope that it will also encourage learners to get in contact with them, take their test when they are ready and confident that they will pass.
The Transport Secretary has said that the Government wishes to make learning to drive more affordable. A change in test procedures would mean that drivers get money back if they pass first time, giving them an incentive to become more prepared before they take it.
A spokesperson for the RAC said that the proposed changes would encourage learners to get the driving experience that they need before they go in for their test. He added it will mean drivers pass their test with good marks, rather than just scraping a pass or failing and having to pay to do it all again.
Improving the safety of the roads
The DVLA want to improve the safety of roads overall. They’re proposing to have more test times available, such as evenings and weekends. They also hope to be able to offer tests from a range of venues. The Government will also review services provided by outside sources and may even change the providers of some of them.
A learner based experience
The transport minister said that these radical new proposals make sure that the DVLA and other motoring agencies put their users at the heart of everything that they do. They aim to modernise customer services provided by the DVLA and improve road safety, particularly for younger drivers.
The DVLA invited the public to share their views on the driving test changes and this consultation closed at the beginning of January. It’s expected that if the review into procedures was successful and the test is to be changed, that the public will be told of it in the upcoming months.
Currently, the driving test fee is £62, £75 if you wish to take it in the evening or at a weekend; though some test centres do not currently offer this. You can book your driving test online at the DVLA website or contact them, but you’ll need to have to hand your driving licence number, found on your photocard.