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Inverness is the third quickest place to sit practical driving test, study shows


By Alasdair Fraser

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Driving test
Driving test

Inverness has one of the UK’s shortest waiting times to sit a practical driving test, research has shown.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the used car seller Heycar revealed that the Highland capital ranked joint compared to other towns and cities across the country.

The study results, announced to coincide with the return of practical driving tests today, showed that Carlisle in the north of England, with four weeks, was the quickest place to sit the test.

Galashiels in the Borders came second with an average five-week wait, while Inverness – with it’s driving test centre at Seafield Road in the Longman industrial estate – was among the shortest on six weeks.

The city tied with English towns Kendal, Boston, Chichester and Croydon for speed.

Those times compared favourably with many locations across the UK, not least the worst-recorded in West Yorkshire town of Halifax, where the wait is 18 weeks.

Learner drivers in the Welsh towns of Newtown and Merthyr Tydfil have to wait 15 weeks, according to the official UK Government Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) figures. In Halifax,

The pandemic has sent the average delay surging from nine weeks last year to nearly 14 weeks in 2021.

The study showed that learner drivers in Elgin and Dundee waited, on average, seven weeks.

Dan Powell, senior editor at Heycar, said: “Our latest research provides the most accurate snapshot of the impact of the coronavirus on driving tests so far.

“As many motorists look forward to the joys of hitting the open road this summer, certain learner drivers will be going nowhere.

“While those lucky enough to live in Carlisle enjoy the shortest wait in the UK of just four weeks, it’s a very different story elsewhere, including Halifax where residents face the longest waits of eighteen weeks.

“The DVSA say they are putting in place measures to increase the number of tests, including offering overtime and encouraging qualified examiners to return.

“At Heycar we hope to see a swift end to this lottery based on location.”


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