At the time of writing, you cannot take your driving test in England due to the national lockdown.
The government aims to gradually lift restrictions in the first half of 2021. You can read an up-to-date list of what you can and cannot do on the government’s website.
As a learner driver, what does this mean for your driving test? When can you take your driving test again?
Let’s take a closer look at the government guidelines.
When Can I Take My Driving Test? – Lockdown and Covid Restrictions
At the time of writing, the government plans for driving tests are:
- Driving lessons will restart no earlier than 12 April 2021.
- Theory tests will also restart no earlier than 12 April 2021.
- Car driving tests will restart no earlier than 22 April 2021.
The government stresses that all of these dates are subject to change.
It’s important to remember that the government’s operating on a “data, not dates” policy. Any dates they quote for lifting restrictions are subject to change. If covid cases rise again, the government may delay their plans. But at the same time, if enough people get vaccinations, and if case numbers appear stable, they just might lift restrictions earlier.
The rules are different in Scotland and Wales. Neither country has yet specified any potential dates for lifting restrictions.
For the most up-to-date information on driving tests and covid across the UK, bookmark this page on the government’s website.
Emergency Driving Tests
If driving is part of your job, and if responding to “threats to life” is part of your job, then you may be able to get an emergency driving test. These tests are for “critical workers” in England and Wales. To get one, you’ll need to meet a strict criteria.
As well as driving to respond to “threats to life” as part of your job, you must work for:
- The NHS, or in the wider health or social care sector.
- The emergency services.
- A local council.
Also, you cannot apply for one of these tests yourself. You’ll have to talk to your employer, who can then apply on your behalf.
Head here for more information on emergency driving tests.
What Will Happen to Driving Tests After Lockdown?
The government are prioritising tests for professional drivers. For example, based on the government’s current plans, you’ll be able to take a bus driving test and a lorry driving test a few weeks earlier than a standard car driving test.
On this page on the government’s website, there’s a table outlining when the government plans to lift restrictions on tests and training for various different vehicles.
This suggests that, for all sorts of driving tests, professional drivers will get priority when booking. So unless you drive as part of your job, and unless you’re a key-worker, you’ll probably be at the back of the queue once you’re able to finally book your driving test.
Also remember that there’ll be thousands of learner drivers in the same position as you, all waiting to take their driving test. We’ve been in and out of lockdown for so long that there’s bound to be a huge backlog.
So even if the government keeps to their word and they lift restrictions in April, you probably shouldn’t expect to get a test anytime soon. It could be many months yet before you can take your test.
What To Do While You Wait For Your Test
Did you already have a test booked before the government imposed lockdown?
Even if you feel ready for your test, it’s unlikely that you’ll have had much chance to practice driving over the past few months. You might be a little rustier behind the wheel than you realise.
So if you have to wait months for your driving test, use it as a chance to get more driving lessons. This is an opportunity to really build up your confidence and competence on the road. If you felt ready for your test before lockdown, you’ll really feel ready by the time you can take your test!
Head here for the latest guidance on driving lessons across the UK.
You could also get more practice outside of your driving lessons. For this, you’ll need learner driver insurance. At Go Girl, we specialise in giving learners like you the insurance you need at an affordable price. Get in touch for a free online quote in minutes.