Learner drivers lost more than £1 million as a result of the lockdown. This is according to a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
The figure is based on the number of expired theory test certificates during the pause in driving tests. The FOI shows that 35,937 theory test certificates expired between 23 March and 20 June – the proposed date for practical tests to resume. A certificate costs a non-refundable £23.
Based on the data from the 90-day period, 399 certificates expired daily. This is an average loss of £9,177 per day.
Car driving tests will resume in England on Wednesday 22 July. This 32-day extension equates to an additional average loss of £293,664. Using DVSA data, Marmalade car insurance estimates a loss of £1,120,215 for learner drivers.
Commenting on the data and what this means for learner drivers, CEO of Marmalade, Crispin Moger said:
“I don’t doubt that there will have been many learner drivers that were planning to take their test during this period and now will have lost out due to the lockdown. Learners whose certificates have expired will need to take the test and pass it again before they can take their practical driving test adding yet more time to their wait.
“For some this is just another roadblock to gaining freedom and will be a hindrance to many where a driving test pass was at the centre of their plans.
“That’s why we have launched a petition to ask the Government to extend these certificates by three months to allow learners the chance to qualify as drivers as soon as it’s possible, something which will also ease waiting times and pressure on theory test centres once they reopen.”
At the time of writing, around 600 people have signed the petition calling for a three-month extension of the theory test certificate once practical driving tests resume. You can sign the petition here.
Theory tests restarted in England on 4 July, with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests are still suspended in Scotland and Wales. There are also different dates for Northern Ireland.