Driving tests hit by record cold weather
Exceptionally cold and snowy weather affected much of the country last December, leading to widespread travel disruption and causing thousands of driving tests to be cancelled. Between 23 November and 23 December, over 64,000 practical car tests were lost due to the bad weather.
December 2010 was the coldest December across the UK in records stretching back 100 years and one of the coldest months ever recorded, according to the Met Offi ce.
DSA doesn’t conduct driving tests in adverse weather conditions, for example when the roads are snowy or icy, for the safety of both the person taking the test and the examiner.
“Safety is always our top priority,” says Ashley Bateman, DSA’s assistant chief driving examiner. “We make every effort to ensure that tests can go ahead, for example by re-designing test routes to avoid the worst affected roads, but unfortunately in some cases cancellations are unavoidable. When this does happen, another appointment will be re- booked automatically at no extra cost.”
If there is snow or ice in the local area and candidates are worried their test might be cancelled, they should only call the test centre on the day of their test. If they call the day before, the test centre won’t be able to tell them whether their test is going ahead as that decision is only made on the day. Examiners also regularly reassess conditions
throughout the day, so even if tests have been cancelled in the morning, testing may be able to resume later on.
The unusually high number of cancellations due to the recent bad weather means that waiting times in some parts of the country are likely to rise.
“Inevitably, the cancellations will have an impact on waiting times in some areas, but we’re doing all we can to minimise disruption,” says Ashley. “We’re recruiting more examiners, and have also been offering more out of hours tests to help keep waiting times down.”
Click to view: Driving tests in bad weather: what you need to do.
More information on how driving tests can be affected by bad weather is available on Directgov.