DVSA update: Limiting the number of times a test can be swapped online

Since the waiting times for driving test have been high, we’ve seen a rise in the use of automated bots being used on the driving test booking service. This can result in the reselling of appointments, often at inflated prices. We published a blog about the work we were doing to tackle this from DVSA CEO, Loveday Ryder back in June 2023.

Since this, we’ve continued to work behind the scenes to find ways to disrupt the systems used to access the test bookings. We will be publishing a blog post in the future to explain more about this work. One thing we have been looking to do is make it more difficult for people to misuse the booking system.

Changes to swaps online

We know that the majority of approved driving instructors (ADIs) swap tests responsibly to ensure that their learners are only put forward for their test when they are ready.

However, we can see from our data that some businesses are swapping tests at a very high rate and outside normal levels (based on feedback from our recent booking behaviour ADI survey).

To ensure a level playing field for all customers, from today (25 April), we will start to limit the number of times a driving licence number can be used to swap a practical car test online. This will just be for car tests and will not affect motorcycle, theory or vocational tests.

Once a driving licence number has reached this limit for the number of swaps, it can only be swapped again by calling our customer service centre. A message will appear on the booking system if the limit is reached.

We know that from the recent ADI booking behaviour survey that 98% of ADIs who responded told us that they swap 5 or fewer tests a month. So we know that adding a limit will not affect the majority of ADIs who do swap tests.

Setting the limit

Confirming what the limit is set at would allow those people who are misusing the system to work around this change, so we are not sharing this information. We will keep the limit under review and may change it depending on the effects we see from it being introduced.


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