Trainee lorry drivers lost £200k in 2020 due to suspended driving tests

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Trainee LGV drivers have lost almost £200,000 during 2020 as a result of their theory test certificates expiring during the lockdown periods.

Data obtained through multiple Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) by insurance provider, Marmalade showed 4,868 LGV theory test certificates obtained through two tests with a combined cost of £37 each expired over the UK’s two national lockdowns in 2020, amounting to a loss of £180,116 for learners.

Assuming all drivers pay to retake the test, a cost of £76 for the expired certificate and a new test - means this set of lockdown learners would have spent a whopping £360,232 on theory tests in total. If just half retake the test, the cost is still a huge £270,174.

Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade, said: “I don’t doubt that there will have been many learners that would have planned to take their test during the time periods affected by the multiple UK lockdowns and will now have lost through no fault of their own. Learners whose certificates have expired will need to take the test and pass it again before they can take their practical test adding yet more time to their wait, adding to the backlog we are already expected to see in 2021.

“For some this is just another roadblock. We have previously launched a petition to ask the Government to extend these certificates by three months to allow learners the chance to qualify as soon as it’s possible, something which will also ease waiting times and pressure on theory test centres once they reopen. Northern Ireland has announced an extension, while the UK government has said they will not be extending the period, something which will have certainly come as a blow to learners.”

With test centres now closed and no extension to the expiration dates of certificates announced by the UK government, learners now face the same problem as they did in 2020. 

Over the 149 days of delays in 2020, an average of 33 certificates expired each day. Using this average figure, over the next six-week lockdown if it ends mid-February, it is estimated that 1,386 certificates will expire, equating to an overall loss of £51,282.

In 2020, May was the biggest month for losses, with £59,089 in theory tests alone all lost due to certificates expiring.

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