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21/07/2022 - Manchester

Revealed: the huge backlog of driving tests in Greater Manchester that could take until 2024 to clear

Staggeringly, more than 130,000 budding motorists will be trying to claim tests slots across the city-region this year and next, researchers have found.

Greater Manchester has the second-longest driving test backlog of any area in the UK – and it could take until New Year’s Day 2024 to clear.

The shocking statistic was uncovered by learner driver insurers Marmalade which sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and used national statistics data to analyse the situation in test centres across the country. The research suggests that more than 130,000 young people could be seeking test slots in Greater Manchester in 2022-23. To gauge the size of the driving test backlog Marmalade sent FOI requests to the DVSA and combined those with Office for National Statistics (ONS

Marmalade’s analysis suggests a whopping 136,982 learners will battle for test slots across 2022-23 in Greater Manchester.

 And it has suggested it make take until 1 January 2024 to clear the city-region’s backlog

A campaign has also been launched to recruit another 300 examiners and a consultation has been set up on how the driving test could be improved.

The DVSA also suggested learners struggling to book at their preferred test centre should look if there are free slots at others reasonably nearby.

It also suggested that recently the number of learners failing to pass has gone up, meaning there are more tests to be booked.

DVSA chief executive, Loveday Ryder, said: “We are doing all we can to provide as many tests as possible so we can get our services back to normal.