The AA Driving School has ‘warmly welcomed’ the announcement of 150,000 additional driving test slots to try to tackle the driving test backlog following a concerted campaign by the driving school.

In an email* today (27/09/232), the DVSA set out plans to make around 150,000 additional tests available over the next 6 months by deploying DVSA staff in other jobs.

The email said: “We are doing this by deploying more trained staff to carry out driving tests full time up to 31 March 2024.

“Most people who are trained to do a driving test are driving examiners. However some staff who are trained have moved on to other roles in the agency, including as local driving test managers, operational managers and policy experts. Until now some of these individuals have been testing in addition to their usual job.

“We are now asking them to do driving tests full-time, which will mean they are unable to do their usual roles. We will do all we can to limit the effect this has on the other services we offer.”

The new slots will start to be available from Monday, October 2nd, with more added every fortnight until additional test slots are available up to March 31s 2024.

The AA Driving School has been campaigning for concerted action to tackle the test backlog, which has forced learners up and down the country to wait more than 5 months to secure a driving test slot. Its latest data** on the backlog shows learners faced waiting times above the pre-pandemic average of 6 weeks at 80% of driving test centres (260 total).

Camilla Benitz, AA Driving School Managing Director, said: “We have been calling for concerted action to target the backlog since 2021 and recently wrote to the Minister on this issue. We warmly welcome this step to reduce the waiting time to book a test. Now we hope DVSA can capitalise on this forward momentum in tackling the backlog and consider what other measures might be necessary to continue to push the waiting time back to the 6 weeks most people faced before the pandemic.

“Many people need their driving licence for work or education; long waits to get a  test slot are a barrier few can afford at the moment.”