Driving Instructor Bemoans Faulty Booking System, Orchestrates 400-Mile Test Trips to Wales


The longstanding vehicular pedagogue, Graham Beisly, laments the current faulty booking system for driving tests as the most dismal he has encountered in his nearly 40-year career. Out of unequivocal necessity, he now orchestrates 400-mile roundtrip excursions from Reading to Cardigan, ensconced on the windswept west coast of Wales, for his pupils to be able to take their driver’s examinations.

Struggling to attain even a position on the overwhelming waiting list, some of Beisly’s students are left with no alternative but to embark on this lengthy trek. In Beisly’s expert perspective, the booking system is nearly infeasible for actual use and represents a historical nadir in his extensive years of instruction.

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The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) assures that efforts are being carried out to curtail this protracted waiting period for driving test appointments. Beisly’s daunting 39 years of infield experience bear testament that these circumstances are genuinely without precedents. He judges the surmounting situation as unmanageable with a phenomenal gravitas.

The arduous journeys to Cardigan’s quieter test centres represent an innovative solution for the 65-year-old instructor. This enables some of his Reading-based students to take practical tests there and circumvent the stagnating local waiting lists.

The DVSA attributes the lengthening waiting times to an upsurge in demand, civics-oriented strikes, and an influx of booking rearrangements due to the dearth of available slots. Previously, they proposed plans to tackle the burgeoning driving test backlog by increasing the rebooking time after test failures from 10 to 28 days.

Currently, it takes an average of 24 weeks to go from test booking to test implementation across the UK, reflecting a considerable jump from the six-week waiting period before the Covid pandemic. Beisly regards this extended waiting time as a potential catalyst for learners rushing into tests prematurely, motivated by the looming wait if rescheduling becomes necessary. Such instances further perpetuate the issues surrounding the system.

Beisly also raises concerns around businesses accumulating test slots in vast quantities, then profiteering from selling them onward at inflationary prices. Meanwhile, fellow instructor Louise Dale echoes him on the issue of students sitting tests prematurely, suggesting that many learners are squandering exam appointments due to inadequate preparedness.

Persisting despite the challenging circumstances, Beisly intends to continue conveying his students to test centres in west Wales until the arena improves. The DVSA assures that they are employing all possible measures to diminish waiting times, which notably includes the recruitment of nearly 500 new driving examiners. They maintain a firm commitment against the profiteering re-sale of driving tests, promising zero tolerance towards the exploitation of learners.