How have the car theory tests been affected during lockdown in England

Its early November 2020 and it is the second lockdown the English people are going through. The government have declared that it is only a 4-week national lockdown but how much of an affect will this have on the car theory tests and the people that plan to take the test? If your car theory test is between the 5th November 2020 and the 1st December 2020 then unfortunately you will not be able to take it. The current guidance from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is that the DVSA will contact you to either arrange another theory test outside of the lockdown dates or refund the £23 paid. If your car theory test is in Scotland, then you are not affected, and you will be able to take the theory test. If you are taking a car theory test in Wales, then you can take the test from Monday 9th November 2020.

What if the theory test date I am offered does not suit me?

What we have noticed from the first lockdown is that car theory test candidates that have had their theory test cancelled due to covid-19 lockdown have been given the next available test date. This may sound all well and good but if your theory test was supposed to be on the 5th of November for example but was cancelled and as lockdown ends on the 2nd December then instead of being offered 2nd December you are more likely to be put at the end of the pile. Hence potentially being offered a car theory test that is months away (depending on the availability of your local test centre.) This is what happened during the 1st lockdown in March 2020 and as you can imagine, it completely outraged thousands of theory test candidates.

What about if I am an essential keyworker?

Under the first lockdown back in March 2020, essential keyworkers were allowed to take their car theory tests as they were considered a priority and were not affected by the national lockdown but for this current lockdown the government so far hasn’t given any specific information regarding essential keyworkers and thus we are assuming that all car theory test candidates will not be allowed to take their theory test until further notice.

Theory test expiring during lockdown?

When you pass the car theory test you have 2 years in which you will need to pass the car practical test otherwise the theory test will expire and you will need to pass the car theory test again if you plan to take the practical driving test. If your theory test expires during lockdown then unfortunately you will not receive an extension and you will need to pass the car theory test again. The DVSA are not giving extensions to the theory test and this has led to a larger demand of theory test dates being booked and a growth to the waiting list.

Is the lockdown likely to be extended?

This is a question that we can’t answer I’m afraid but there is always a chance that it might be extended for up to 3 months and that will cause havoc in the ‘learning to drive’ industry. Not only will all theory tests and driving tests be cancelled in that time, more and more people will find that their car theory tests have expired and the waiting list for both the theory tests and practical car tests are likely to be endless.