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What can learner drivers do now tests are postponed?

What learner drivers can do now tests are postponed

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The DVSA has recently released a statement postponing learner driver theory and practical tests. This is following the government’s social-distancing guidelines in light of the coronavirus outbreak. But what should and can you do as a learner driver now that tests are on hold? Find out all this and more here.

What are the DVSA’s new guidelines?

The DVSA has:

  • Suspended theory tests up to and including 20th April 2020
  • Suspended driving tests for up to three months

This applies to all learner drivers except critical workers in the following sectors:

  • health and social care
  • education and childcare
  • key public services
  • local and national government
  • food and other necessary goods
  • public safety and national security
  • transport
  • utilities, communication and financial services

If this applies to you, the government advice is that you should email the DVSA to ask for an emergency theory or driving test. Please note that you will need to provide some form of identification, such as a work ID badge with a photo.

I’m not a critical worker – what do I need to do?

The process you need to follow will depend on which type of test you booked.

Theory test

You should have received an email notifying you that your theory test has been cancelled. You will also receive a refund, though please note that this could take a few weeks to clear.

You’ll have to manually book another theory test for any date and time after the 20th April 2020.

My theory test is already booked in for after the 20th April – do I need to do anything?

No, you won’t need to do anything. You can still change or cancel your test if you would prefer a refund for now.

Practical test

About two weeks before your original test date, you’ll receive an email from DVSA to tell you your test has been rebooked. The email will let you know the new time and date for your test, which is likely to be approximately three months after your original test date.

Can I cancel my practical test?

Yes, get in touch with the DVSA via email to cancel your test. To get this sorted in a timely manner, please include your full name and two of the following bits of information in your email:

  • your driving licence number
  • your theory test pass certificate number
  • your driving test booking reference

Your refund will then be processed. Please note that this could take a few weeks to clear.

My driving instructor booked my practical test for me. What happens now?

Your driving instructor will receive an email about two weeks before your original scheduled test with a new date and time for it. It’d be best to get in touch with them for more information close to your original test date.

My theory test certificate is due to expire before I’ll be able to take my practical. What can I do?

Unfortunately, your theory test certificate can’t be extended in any circumstances. You’ll have to book and pay for another theory test, which you’ll have to pass before you can book your driving test.

I want to book a driving test. Can I?

If you haven’t already booked one, you won’t be able to do so for now. Stay up to date on the changing situation by using this page for the latest information.

Once everything is back up and running, learners who’ve had their test postponed will have priority over anyone wanting to book a test. That means you might have to wait for a test longer than usual.

What should I do about my learner driver car insurance? Do I need it?

If you still want to use your learner driver licence to keep your skills fresh while popping to the shops or park (where restrictions allow), you’ll still need a valid learner driver insurance policy. If you need to extend or renew your policy, we offer cheap provisional licence insurance for under 85p a day. With short-term cover for learner drivers available, you can get cover just for the days, weeks or months you need.

Give Sterling a call on 0344 381 9990 if you’re an existing customer, or 0344 381 9990 if you want to take out a policy with us.

Can’t I just be added as a named driver to my parents’ insurance?

If you’re intending to drive their car while you can’t have lessons, yes. However, if you end up getting into an accident or damaging their vehicle, they could lose their no claims bonus. It’s usually recommended that you instead take out a learner-driver-specific policy in your own name.

What’s more, if you need to insure your own vehicle, you should make sure you insure it in your own name with you as the main user. If you have a policy in your parent’s name with them as the main user when this is not the case, this is known as ‘fronting’, which is a serious offence.

What can I do while I wait?

There are plenty of ways you can keep your skills fresh. Consider the following to make the best of the coronavirus situation.

Revise for your theory test

The best thing you can do to keep skills fresh is to revise for your theory and practical tests

Now that you have more time before your test, you can revise some more. Brush up on the Highway Code, traffic signs and driving skills. Once you’re feeling prepared, the government recommends this practice theory test for cars. There are also a number of hazard perception resources you can try on your computer or on a phone app.

Make good use of your daily exercise outside to walk your driving test area

Familiarising yourself with the test area where you’ll take your test will help you anticipate any hazards that might arise while you’re doing your practical. While you walk around, take note of any difficult junctions, busy roundabouts, or bus lane times of operation, plus any other aspects of driving that you struggle with when you have lessons.

You can also perform the eyesight test while you’re walking. Just focus on a car approximately 20 metres away and try to read its number plate.

Please note that walking should be done safely, keeping a distance of 2m from other pedestrians. If your test is taking place in a congested town or you’re miles away from the test area, we would not advise that you try this.

Prepare for the ‘show me, tell me’ questions of your practical

Now’s a great time to focus on the often-overlooked ‘show me, tell me’ questions of the practical test. You can find the full list of questions here.

If you have a car in the garage, you could even go through the questions, using the vehicle for help. We wouldn’t advise you actually sound the horn, though! Bonus points for roping a household member into your practise and getting them to ask you the questions.

Watch videos on manoeuvres

Sometimes, understanding how best to perform a manoeuvre is easier if you watch someone else talk you through each step. There are plenty of resources available online to help you perform exercises like parallel and bay parking or safely pull up on the right.

Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with other learner drivers? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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