DVSA: Limiting the number of times a test can be swapped online

Portrait of man sitting outside with laptop.

Since the waiting times for driving test have been high, DVSA has seen a rise in the use of automated bots being used on the driving test booking service. This can result in the reselling of appointments, often at inflated prices. DVSA published a blog about the work it was doing to tackle this from DVSA CEO, Loveday Ryder back in June 2023.

Since this, DVSA continued to work behind the scenes to find ways to disrupt the systems used to access the test bookings. It will be publishing a blog post in the future to explain more about this work. One thing it has been looking to do is make it more difficult for people to misuse the booking system.

Changes to swaps online

The agency knows that the majority of approved driving instructors (ADIs) swap tests responsibly to ensure that their learners are only put forward for their test when they are ready.

However, DVSA can see from the data that some businesses are swapping tests at a very high rate and outside normal levels (based on feedback from our recent booking behaviour ADI survey).

To ensure a level playing field for all customers, from today (25 April), DVSA will start to limit the number of times a driving licence number can be used to swap a practical car test online. This will just be for car tests and will not affect motorcycle, theory or vocational tests.

Once a driving licence number has reached this limit for the number of swaps, it can only be swapped again by calling our customer service centre. A message will appear on the booking system if the limit is reached.

DVSA know that from the recent ADI booking behaviour survey that 98% of ADIs who responded told the agency that they swap 5 or fewer tests a month. So adding a limit will not affect the majority of ADIs who do swap tests.

Setting the limit

Confirming what the limit is set at would allow those people who are misusing the system to work around this change, so we are not sharing this information.

DVSA will keep the limit under review and may change it depending on the effects DVSA see from it being introduced.

3 thoughts on “DVSA: Limiting the number of times a test can be swapped online”

  1. Why is it that some driving instructors are able to bank driving test? This shouldn’t be allowed

  2. Whilst they found adi’s swap fewer than 5 tests per month, this is not the same licence number. Limiting the changes per licence may not make a difference


    That is nuts! it will affect clients who try to bring their test forward when they are fully trained. the DVSA can identify business’s who abuse the system and ban them by identifying the IP address. I believe that this is another way to delay clients taking tests.

    If the standard of training was higher resulting in more first time passes, the waiting list would dramatically reduce thus solving this problem cause by an organisation that is inefficient and top heavy in management. What has happened to the work displaced by all hands to the pump (tests) to solve the wait.? does that confirm that their work was so insignificant you can step away from it for 3 months at a time??

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