Help! My driving test has been cancelled because of Covid-19
Some of us just can’t wait to learn to drive! As soon as we turn 17, we’re out there taking lessons, desperate for the day that we can drive and have our own car. Others are more laid back about it, and eventually get round to it. Still others are really not that interested, but then decide they do need to learn for work or other practical reasons.
So whatever your reason and motivation for learning to drive, you’d had lessons, your test was booked, and then along came Covid-19 and the lockdown.
So what do you do now?!
Let’s take a look at the various situations you may be in and what you should do next.
I was due to take my theory test but it got cancelled
At the beginning of lockdown, all theory tests were cancelled until 20th April. This has now been extended to 8th May.
You should already have received an email by now explaining that your test has been cancelled. You will also get a refund of your test fee if you haven’t already done so.
You can book a new test date as long as it is after 8th May. But be aware that it is always possible that we may still be in lockdown at the time of your rebooked date, in which case your test would be cancelled again. So you may be better to hang on for now until you know more about what is happening regarding lockdown.
Make good use of the delay by continuing to study and learn your theory, so that when the time does come to take your theory test, you are as well prepared as you can be.
You may also be aware that some aspects of the driving theory test were due to change on April 14th. At the moment you need to read a case study and answer five questions about it, to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of road rules. But the plan is to replace the case study with a video clip, followed by three questions. However, these changes have been postponed because of Coronavirus, so your rebooked theory test will be exactly the same format as you were expecting it to be.
I had my practical driving test booked but it got cancelled
All practical driving tests were suspended from Friday 20 March for up to three months. If your driving test was booked within this time frame, you will get an email to tell you the new date your test has been rebooked. The email should arrive around 2 weeks before your original test date, and your new test date is likely to be around 3 months after your original date.
Also be aware that your driving theory test is only valid for two years. So if for any reason your new practical test date is longer than two years from when you took your theory test, you will need to book and pay to take another theory test before being able to take your practical test.
You cannot currently book a new driving test. Once the booking system re-opens, priority will be given to those who had their tests cancelled, so you may need to wait a little longer than usual.
The only exception to this is that if you are a key worker, and it is essential that you are able to drive in order to fulfil your work responsibilities, emergency tests are available.
You can apply for an emergency test if you work in:
- health and social care
- education and childcare
- key public services
- local and national government
- food and other necessary goods
- public safety and national security
- utilities, communication and financial services.
If you apply for an emergency driving test you need to be completely ready to take your test, as you may be allocated a test at very short notice. Find out more about how to apply for an emergency driving test on the Gov UK site here.
I still have my practical test booked for the end of June. Am I allowed to get out and practise driving?
Sadly no. Driving lessons are suspended, and during lockdown there are only specific reasons why anyone is allowed to drive. Practising for a driving test with a family member is not one of these allowable reasons.
You may only currently drive for:
- Medical or care reasons
- Travelling to work, when you cannot work from home
- Shopping for basic necessities.
It is important that we all respect these limitations to help each other through this crisis. Also, if you are stopped by the police and don’t have a valid reason for driving, you may even be fined.
If, under the circumstances, you would now prefer to take your driving test later you can cancel your test and get a full refund now. You cannot do this online: instead you need to email the DVSA on firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include your full name and 2 of the following pieces of information:
- your driving licence number
- your theory test pass certificate number
- your driving test booking reference
As we said above, you will not then be able to book a new driving test until restrictions are lifted.
These are strange and exceptional times for all of us, and it is unfortunate if lockdown has interfered with your plans to learn to drive. We hope that the above information helps to make it clear where you stand and, where necessary, to make the best decisions about the way forward from here.
Check back here soon for more motoring and lifestyle tips from Logbook Loans.