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From the DVSA:

Friday 26th Apr 2024

I received this in an email from the DVSA yesterday, which outlines what they are doing to reduce waiting times for tests.

gov uk

Limiting the number of times a test can be swapped online

Since the waiting times for driving tests have been high, we’ve seen a rise in the use of automated bots being used on the driving test booking service. This can result in the reselling of appointments, often at inflated prices. We published a blog about the work we were doing to tackle this from DVSA CEO, Loveday Ryder back in June 2023.

Since this we’ve continued work behind the scenes to find way to disrupt the systems used to access the test bookings. We will be publishing a blog post in the future to explain more about this work. One thing we have been looking in to doing is making it more difficult for people to misuse the booking system.

Changes to swaps online

We know that the majority of approved driving instructors (ADIs) swap tests responsibly to ensure that their learners are only put forward for their test when they are ready. However, we can see from our data that some businesses are swapping tests at a very high rate and outside normal parameters (based on feedback from our recent booking behaviour ADI survey). To ensure a level playing field for all customers we will, from today (25 April), start to limit the number of times a driving licence number can be used to swap a practical car test online. This will just be for car tests and will not affect motorcycle, theory or vocational tests. Once a driving licence number has reached this limit for the number of swaps, it can only be swapped again by calling our customer service centre. A message will appear on the booking system if the limit is reached.

Setting the limit

Confirming what the limit is set at would allow those people who are misusing the system to work around this change, so we are not planning on confirming what it is set at. We will keep the limit under review and may change it depending on the effects we see from it being introduced.