The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have confirmed that driving test availability at the Hornchurch Test Centre will be boosted by the recruitment of a further five examiners serving the area.
Julia Lopez MP had highlighted with the DVSA constituent concerns at the availability of tests locally, particularly from Hornchurch. In response to Julia’s enquiries, the Chief Executive of the DVSA has confirmed that the six examiners at Hornchurch will soon be joined by a further five examiners that will operate across a cluster of testing centres including Hornchurch. These additional examiners will be deployed across the cluster helping to cover staff absences and to respond to increases in demand.
This local recruitment forms part of the DVSA’s campaign to recruit 300 examiners across Great Britain. Now that pandemic restrictions have lifted there has been increased demand on practical driving tests and the DVSA have taken a range of measures to respond to this, including the recruitment of additional examiners and conducting out-of-hours testing. These measures have delivered an extra 813,000 car test appointments since April 2021 and the DVSA advise that they are creating over 35,000 extra car test slots each month.
In correspondence with Julia many constituents have raised concerns at driving tests being block booked and then resold online. The DVSA is working to prevent this by blocking the use of automated software to reserve slots and the BBC previously reported that the DVSA had closed around 5,000 suspicious booking accounts.
These accounts had been misusing a part of the booking system put in place to allow driving schools to book tests for multiple pupils. It is important that only real driving instructors are using the system and the DVSA have invested in making it harder for bots to access booking services via the introduction of Advanced Bot Protection which gives greater scrutiny of traffic on booking services.
You can view the DVSA’s response to Julia’s enquiries below.