The Independent has stated that it will include closing down test centre’s, part privatizing the practical examination and increasing the age limit for license renewal (up to 80 to reduce admin costs) as well as higher fees for motoring services.
The ministers main target in the report is to improve the driving test pass rate by ensuring that learners aren’t booking tests in haste out of a fear of the waiting list being too long and in turn failing; at a current wait of two months due to a shortage of examiners the hope is to reduce this back down to 6 weeks and in turn improve the pass rate from being just under 50%.
So how are they proposing to combat this? Well by introducing more flexible driving test slots so that weekends and evening options are available as well as student’s having their photos taken as soon as they pass to speed up the license processing element.
On the flip side, there is noise to suggest that in order to cut costs and create more land for housing driving test centre’s could be closed down and the DVSA and DVLA centres merged resulting a loss of jobs and the private sector would be asked to step in for the shortfall of examiners and test centres. Another suggestions to generate increased revenue in the sector despite having cut it earlier in the year would be to increase the cost of privatized license plates.
The ever nearing prospect or driverless cars has also opened up room for discussion on a new driving test which would focus on following a sat-nav rather than actually driving a vehicle.
The report which is due out on the 80th anniversary of the driving test is set to form the basis of the DVLA and DVSA’s strategy next year. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on the proposed changes!