UK’s learner drivers will lose almost £10k daily until driving tests restart later this month
Official figures reveal that learner drivers across the UK lost a total of £826,551 in just 90 days through expired theory test certificates as driving tests in the UK were postponed from March 23 2020, as the country announced its lockdown in response to COVID-19.
Data obtained from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) by car insurance provider, Marmalade showed 35,937 theory test certificates at a cost of £23 each expired between 23 March – 20 June 2020 – the DVSA’s proposed date for practical tests to resume.
With test centres closed and no extension to the expiration dates of certificates, learners faced a loss as each month approached.
Based on data from that 90 day period, 399 certificates expired daily which is an average loss of £9,177 per day to learner drivers across the country. With a date now set for practical test to resume (22 July), that’s an extra 32 days which has been added to the pause in tests.
Estimates from this data show the 32 day extension equates to an additional average loss of £293,664 for learner drivers. In total, during the whole pause in tests from March 23 – July 22, using DVSA data and estimates based on averages by Marmalade, the whole loss equates to £1,120,215.
Commenting on the data and what this means for learner drivers, CEO of Marmalade, Crispin Moger said:
“I don’t doubt that there will have been many learner drivers that were planning to take their test during this period and now will have lost out due to the lockdown. Learners whose certificates have expired will need to take the test and pass it again before they can take their practical driving test adding yet more time to their wait.
“For some this is just another roadblock to gaining freedom and will be a hindrance to many where a driving test pass was at the centre of their plans. That’s why we have launched a petition to ask the Government to extend these certificates by three months to allow learners the chance to qualify as drivers as soon as it’s possible, something which will also ease waiting times and pressure on theory test centres once they reopen.”
During the lockdown period where practical tests were paused, DVSA data shows May was the biggest month for learner driver losses with £296,102 in theory tests alone all lost due to certificates expiring.
Find out more information and see the full dataset here.