A new booking system for theory tests was launched today, July 19th, for England Scotland and Wales.
Why is there a new theory test booking service?
Earlier in the year, the DVSA announced a new partnership with Reed, who have taken over the contract for running theory tests in much of Scotland and the north of England. This means there are now two providers for the UK, Reed and Pearson Vue.
It’s important to know that the theory test itself is exactly the same wherever you take it and whichever provider you fall under, and no changes that have been made today affect the test itself.
As this contract comes into force, some changes have been made to theory test locations across the affected regions. Some test centres have been added and some have been taken away, but there will be more test centres in total once the changes have been completed. You can find your nearest theory test centre by clicking here.
Due to the fact there are now two companies providing the day-to-day administration of the theory tests, the DVSA have had to move the booking system back over to the gov.uk website, and with that has meant a new booking service.
What’s the booking system like?
Much like the old one, actually.
One big difference is the addition of the virtual queue system.
If you’ve tried booking a practical driving test since the first lockdown you’ll be familiar with this screen. This is how the DVSA were managing the queue for driving tests when everybody rushed to book a test when the system reopened last year. The virtual queue stops the website from being overrun with eager pupils, avoiding server crashes and downtime.
But now it seems the dreaded queue will be seen by thousands more people every day trying to book theory tests.
The long queues could be early teething issues for the new service, or could be the product of thousands of people flocking to book a theory test for the new dates that have been released today.
So if you’re looking to book a theory test our advice is to either try to book at a quiet time like first thing in the morning, or make sure you’re somewhere you can keep a tab open for a while in the background.
Once you get through the queue you’ll be prompted to choose a preferred date for your test.
And then you’re taken to the familiar ‘Candidate login screen’ where you need to enter your name, driving licence number and date of birth.
Got it, so what do these changes mean for me?
This news will not affect most people. If you’re still yet to book your theory test, you will use the new system and hopefully have no problems with it. New test dates are opening up all the time and you’ll now be able to book beyond the 6th of September.
Should you need to contact somebody regarding your existing theory test booking, the DVSA should inform you of who to contact going forward, considering there are now two companies managing the service rather than one.
If you’ve already got your theory test booked and need to change your booking, there is some extra important information.
Practical test locations will be unaffected by these changes.
I have my theory test booked, can I get free theory training?
If you’ve got practical driving lessons booked in with us, you can get free theory training using Theory Test Pro.
Once you’re all booked in, we’ll give you login details to Theory Test Pro, where you’ll be able to practice from a huge bank of multiple choice questions and hazard perception videos.
People who use Theory Test Pro are twice as likely to pass their theory test, and you can use it from the comfort of your own home using a PC or Mac, or on the go with the mobile app.
Dave Foster MA, Dip.DI (or Driving School Dave) is the most qualified driving school owner in the country, after completing his Master’s Degree in Driver Training Education in 2011 at Middlesex University. He also holds a diploma in Driving Instruction and is a Cert Ed. qualified teacher. Dave is the founder and Managing Director of 1st 4 Driving Ltd, and also looks after over 15 driving schools across the country on a consultancy basis.