Sunday, June 26, 2022

TEST TIMES Driving tests were selling for a whopping £200 as learners were forced to wait MONTHS for a massive backlog to pass

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UNOFFICIAL queue sites are selling driving tests for a whopping £200 as learners are forced to wait MONTHS in a massive backlog.

Learner drivers pay more than double the usual practical test fee to skip huge lines across the country.

Online operators are buying driving tests in bulk to resell them for a profit – and learners craving a license are willing to spend their money for an earlier appointment.

Some websites use automated software to book mass tests, others find rejections from learners in their field, according to the BBC.

One shady company even encouraged driving instructors to sell tests for a profit.

The overwhelming backlog is a result of the pandemic, when learner drivers were unable to take tests.

Now cities like London, Birmingham and Cardiff are so busy that bookings are delayed by up to six months.

A 19-year-old Poppy Evans is furious after her test has been canceled 11 times in 18 months, although she feels ready to pass it.

The pandemic delay also means thousands of theory tests expired before learners could complete their hands-on practice, costing budding drivers millions.

But although learners are considering the 2023 test dates, the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency has urged applicants to only book tests on its official website.

The standard charge for a weekday test is £62 or £75 for an evening, weekend or bank holiday when booked through the DVSA.

An enthusiastic learner claimed she paid £210 for a canceled test through her instructor in London.

The 23-year-old said: “It was very busy. My driving instructor called me and said, ‘Quick, there’s a cancellation, do you want that?’

“The day we booked my test, it all happened within a three or four minute phone call.”

An unofficial operator like this one claimed to use “AI-powered software” to snag free trial slots once they became available on the DVSA website.

It was claimed that the software constantly updates the agency’s booking website and uses virtual private networks (VPNs) to hide their computer’s identity and avoid being banned.

Sneaky social media users have also tried to make a quick buck with the appalling wait times.

Posts on Facebook Marketplace and some Facebook groups that offer a variety of tests for sale.

One post described his scam as a “short-term driving test business” that “can guarantee test bookings within three weeks.”

The advert even said licensed driving instructors could “earn in excess of £400-600 a week” by reselling tests to students.

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