Driving lessons and tests to restart in England from 4 July, says transport secretary

25 June 2020, 19:12

Learner drivers will be free to get behind the wheel again from 4 July
Learner drivers will be free to get behind the wheel again from 4 July. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Driving lessons and tests will resume in England from 4 July, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

Learner drivers will be able to get behind the wheel again after the government gave lessons the green light on Thursday, so long as they are conducted in a Covid-secure way.

Theory tests will restart in England from Saturday 4 July but social distancing measures will be put in place in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Driving tests have been given the go-ahead from Wednesday 22 July onwards, giving learners time to have refresher lessons prior to taking their final test.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will begin the phased resumption after the government eased its guidance as part of Step Three of its plan to restart the country.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests are still suspended in Scotland and Wales, in line with guidance from the devolved administrations.

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Upon making the announcement, Mr Shapps said: "Driving lessons and tests are vital in helping people get to work and visit loved ones and provide the skills for a lifetime of safe driving.

"As the country recovers from Covid-19 we can now open up our services to help get the country moving again and I am very pleased to announce the restart of driving tests and lessons in a Covid-secure way."

DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn said: "It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government's advice.

"I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and theory tests in England from 4 July and car practical tests will restart from 22 July.

"Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic."

Meanwhile, from 13 July motorcycle and vocational tests will restart in England.

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New candidates wishing to take their tests will be able to book a slot once the DVSA has carried out those reserved for critical workers and anyone whose test was suspended due to the pandemic.

People who had their test put on hold will have the opportunity to choose a new time and date.

The DVSA will announce when the system opens to book tests "in due course" and will contact "anyone who has a scheduled test to let them know what will happen next."

"Learners should talk to their instructors and arrange refresher lessons so they can practice the skills they need to prepare for their test," a spokesperson for the DVSA said.

Safety measures will be put in place to protect learners and examiners from Covid-19 and information on how to implement these measures will be published in due course.

Driving tests were suspended on 20 March, prior to lockdown, while theory tests were suspended on 19 March.