One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of learning to drive is taking the driving test once you’ve got the basics down – and this often isn’t helped by the massive wait time that often comes with taking a test.
But why is it that driving tests seem to be at such a backlog? Well, we’ve outlined some of the critical things you need to know about driving test wait times to help you find out more and prepare for your own big day.
Why Do Driving Tests Have Such Long Wait Times?
There are numerous different reasons that driving tests can have such long wait times, and keeping this in mind can help you plan when to book your own.
Some of the key factors at play here include:
COVID-19: One of the biggest impacts of recent driving test wait times has been the COVID-19 pandemic (and the ensuing backlog in driving tests that occurred). As a result of this, many driving test centers have been struggling to catch up.
Moreover, with assessors potentially going off work in isolation due to the pandemic, this further contributed to the already difficult situation due to social distancing.
Seasonal demand: The level of demand for driving tests can fluctuate significantly, with many learners focusing their tests around time off school (e.g. during the holidays). As such, demand may be lower during school times.
Demand: The biggest single influence on driving test wait times is the amount of demand for these services. Indeed, with more and more young people learning to drive compared to previous generations, the current facilities are often unable to cope – resulting in delays that leave people unable to book a test for several months.
Driving centers with more staff may have less difficulty in this regard, but these well-staffed locations often have more people looking to use their services at once.
Region: Not every area is the same, and some regions will have a much higher demand for driving tests (mainly highly residential areas compared to rural locations). As such, those within built-up areas may have to wait longer – although people from rural communities in turn may need to travel further for their test.
Remember: booking your driving test may not always be easy, notably due to the booking system which often means that available spaces are filled very quickly with lots of time in advance.
As such, a growing number of people are looking to book their practical driving test around the time they begin learning. However, this can place more pressure on the learning process; after all, if you aren’t ready in time, rescheduling may leave you waiting for a long time.
Regardless of whether you’re planning to take your driving test with your own vehicle or your driving instructor’s, it’s important to book your driving test plenty of time in advance. Indeed, the average driving test wait time is now around three months or longer – enough time for some people to learn to drive fully.
As such, it’s worth planning your driving tests in advance. This helps make sure that you’ll be prepared to take them when the time comes – but without having to worry about waiting months once you’re ready to go.
Luckily, as soon as you’ve passed your driving test, you’ll have far more freedom to explore the roads and really put your skills to the test. But, of course, this requires you to start out with a safe model of the car; so, when buying a second-hand first vehicle, always get a car history check done first to verify the purchase and make sure you’re staying safe.