Research has found that the average learner driver will take 17 months to pass their driving test, due to a backlog caused by the pandemic. 

Car finance platform CarFinance 247 analysed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) wait-times for both theory and practical tests, along with finding average learning times, to reveal the new statistics.  

 Driving instructors have reported a three-month wait time already this year as an influx of youngsters  turn 17 and pick up their provisional licences. 

Learner drivers are also facing long waits for their practical tests, as the DVSA has revealed that the average wait time for a car driving test is 14 weeks, but some are facing up to six months’ waiting for their exam.

As with theory tests, two attempts is the average to pass – when learners will finally hold their full licence. 

Louis Rix, COO and co-founder of CarFinance 247, said: “Driving lesson and test wait-times have skyrocketed this year, yet another victim of the pandemic.

“As testing centres are stretched to their very limits, we’ve already seen instructors and examiners threatening strikes.  

“It’s important to note the detrimental impact this will be having on young people.

“Passing your driving test is a sign of freedom. I remember feeling so empowered once I was able to drive independently, and these severe delays to driving testing is resulting in a lack of freedom for learners – not to mention those who rely on driving to begin their working life. 

“The DVSA needs to be expanding, training, and employing more staff to ensure that this backlog clears up; if action isn’t taken, learner drivers are likely to be suffering from the delays well into 2023, if not further.

“The backlog has shown no sign of slowing so far, and every day more aspiring drivers are turning 17 and hoping to get behind the wheel.

“With no one to teach them, and no tests available, we could be restricting young people’s employment prospects and access to education, further compounding the pandemic’s negative impact on this generation.”