Learner drivers could face a longer wait for their license

Driving instructors will warn Transport Secretary Chris Grayling that waiting times for a driving test could take more than 20 weeks.

Learner driver changes
© Hypermiling

Instructors want changes to the driving test proposed for next year to be postponed until waiting times have come down from 18-20 weeks in many parts of the country.

Bodies representing more than 20,000 driving instructors nationwide fear a “nightmare scenario” of people rushing to take the test before the new changes come into force.

Lynne Barrie, chair of the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council, said:”We fear a huge surge in people wanting to take the old test and this would send waiting times sky high.

They want the changes delayed until waiting times for car practical tests are below 7.4 weeks – the target figure set by the driver and vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and falling to six weeks for next year.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Any plans for changes to the driving test will take account of the impact it is likely to have on waiting times.”

Changes to the current procedure

Under the proposed changes new manoeuvres will be added to the test to prepare drivers for ‘real-life’ scenarios to reduce road accidents.

Drivers will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav during the ‘independent driving’ part, which will be increased from 10 to 20 minutes.

The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres will be replaced with more real-life situations, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay.

You can find more information here on the proposed changes and the possible delays they could cause.