This is how many learner drivers are waiting for driving test slots in different areas of Lancashire

New research shows 80,000 learners will battle for 36,000 test slots in Lancashire this year as demand for practical driving test slots across the UK far exceeds the DVSA’s ability for testing, despite the new measures it’s put in place. 

The data gathered through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and existing Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures by learner driver insurance brokers, Marmalade, found that monthly demand for tests in 2024 nationally exceeds the monthly capacity for testing by almost a fifth (19.5%). 

Marmalade found that on average, the UK can conduct 163,998 tests per month by analysing the most recent data of all tests conducted in 2023 but new FOI data reveals an average monthly gross demand of 195,982 learners looking for a test slot, based on demand last year - more than what can be conducted. 

UK-wide, Marmalade estimates more than 3.7 million learners will compete for test slots in 2024, 82% more than what can be accommodated, and looking proportionally across the areas, the North West is responsible for 12.58% of the backlog. 

This means that in the North West two learners will battle for every one available driving test slot in 2024 with 467061 learners battling for 254742 tests.

Chris Lawson, Head of Insurer Relations for car insurance at Marmalade, said: “Learner drivers up and down the UK are being impacted by this backlog and a fundamental disparity between the capacity for testing and this high demand. Until testing capacity can increase, we don’t believe that the backlog will ever end, it will only get worse and learners will continue to face a lottery when it comes to securing a test. 

“This backlog and the pent-up demand opens up learners to a risk of exploitation as third parties take advantage of that desperation, which we’ve seen in recent months.”

Thechief executive of DVSA, Loveday Ryder said:  “We are taking all the measures we can to reduce driving test waiting times. The work we've been doing to date, along with our examiner recruitment, is already creating over 40,000 extra tests every month. We strongly urge learners only to book their driving test when they are ready to pass.”

Marmalade have also crunched the numbers specifically for Lancashire so take a look below at which areas of the county are expected to have the most amount of people waiting for driving tests this year:

The full research, data, methodology and instructor case study can be found here.

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