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Coronavirus: Driving tests to restart next month

learner driver

Driving tests and lessons for cars, motorcycles and heavy vehicles will start next month in England, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced.

Tests will take place with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Car driving tests will restart in England from July 22, which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests are still suspended in Scotland and Wales, in line with guidance from the devolved administrations. There are different dates for Northern Ireland

DVSA will make further announcements on the resumption of testing, training and lessons, including publishing information on how services will be restarted safely, shortly.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Driving lessons and tests are vital in helping people get to work and visit loved ones, and provide the skills for a lifetime of safe driving.

“As the country recovers from COVID-19 we can now open-up our services to help get the country moving again and I am very pleased to announce the restart of driving tests and lessons in a COVID-secure way.”

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, added: “It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice.

“We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors, but I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and tests in England.

Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.”

When driving lessons and tests will restart

When services restart depends on what vehicle you’re learning to drive or ride.

Car

Driving lessons: Saturday 4 July 2020

Theory tests: Saturday 4 July 2020

Driving tests: Wednesday 22 July 2020

Motorcycle and moped

Motorcycle and moped compulsory basic training (CBT): Saturday 4 July 2020

Motorcycle direct access scheme (DAS) training: Saturday 4 July 2020

Theory tests: Saturday 4 July 2020

Motorcycle and moped module 1 and module 2 tests: Monday 13 July 2020

Lorry, bus and coach

Driver training: Saturday 4 July 2020

Theory tests: Saturday 4 July 2020

Driving tests: Monday 13 July 2020

Car and trailer

Driver training: Saturday 4 July 2020

Driving tests: Monday 13 July 2020

Tractor and specialist vehicle

Driver training: Saturday 4 July 2020

Driving tests: Monday 6 July 2020

Approved driving instructor (ADI)

Driving instructor training: Saturday 4 July 2020

ADI part 1 test (theory): Saturday 4 July 2020

ADI part 2 test (driving ability): Wednesday 22 July 2020

ADI part 3 test (instructional ability): To be confirmed

ADI standards check: To be confirmed

Motorcycle trainer

DVSA enhanced rider scheme trainer theory test: Saturday 4 July 2020

Welcoming the Government announcement, Peter Brabin, head of training at Bill Plant Driving School, said: “We want to confirm that all health and safety measures will be put in place where possible to keep both driving instructors and pupils safe throughout their upcoming lessons, and we are regularly updating our team on the guidance offered by the Government.”

Ian McIntosh, CEO of Red Driving School added: “Pre Covid, 4,000 driving tests were held per day, so it is easy to imagine the huge backlog which has now built up.

“The Government is telling people to avoid public transport – in fact, the use of a private car is now being encouraged, so this news will be welcomed by thousands of learner drivers up and down the country.

“We will of course only commence teaching using Red instructors who choose to resume and will make allowances for those who feel the need to continue to self-isolate. This means that, despite the easing of lockdown, all instructors and customers can decide for themselves whether or not to participate in driving lessons.

“The ‘new reality’ of driving lessons will see all Red instructors following industry best practice on PPE requirements.

“They will be instructed to prepare the car and wipe down the steering wheel and other controls before every lesson. Instructors will also be trained in how to reduce viral contamination and ensure best practice for operating a safe driving lesson, and all of our customers will be asked to declare that they are symptom free before they step inside the car. 

“Covid-19 is likely to be with us for a long time. We all need to get used to new ways of working and travelling, and restarting driving lessons is the first order of the day.”

In the latest digital edition of Fleet News, manufacturers outline their post-Covid-19 recovery plans and the need for incentives. 

Click here for safety and risk management best practice and procurement insight

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