Over the past 12 months, there has been a 73% decrease in the number of driving tests in the UK, new data has found.
With the driving school industry being closed for 205 days, the team at www.billplant.co.uk analysed key data surrounding learner drivers and driving tests.
According to the DVSA, there were 1,599,566 driving tests between April 2019 and March 2020. Between April and December 2020 (not including the start of 2021 due to the third lockdown), there were just 430,644 driving tests that took place; a decrease of 73% year-on-year.
The research also revealed that the DVSA carries out roughly 1.6m driving tests per year, which equates to an estimated 4,384 driving tests per day.
According to the DVSA, there are currently 420,000 car tests in backlog, with the average waiting time for a driving test found to be 17 weeks (more than four months).
Tom Hixon, head of instructor support at www.billplant.co.uk, said: “According to the ONS, there are roughly 700,000 teenagers who turned 17 in the past year – this takes the number of outstanding and missed driving tests, coupled with potential upcoming driving tests yet to be booked, to well over one million; closer to 1.5 million if you assume the majority who turned 17 will be keen to get behind the wheel.
“We’ve all heard it a million and one times now, but we really have been living through unprecedented times. Sadly, this does not make it any easier a challenge to reopen an entire industry that’s been closed for many months and play catch up with the backlog.
“The driving school industry is going to be working through the build-up for many months, if not into next year too. We are working as hard as ever to ensure our learners pass first time to do our part in getting through the backlog. Driving instructors are taking on more pupils than ever before, working longer days and doing everything they can to accommodate the increased demand. We, as a driving school, are also currently training many more driving instructors who will be joining this huge effort in the coming months.”