DVSA driving tests & bad weather

How we try and keep driving tests going – whatever the weather

Neil Wilson, 6 November 2015 — ADIs, Features, Motorcycle trainer, Vocational trainer


We understand that it’s frustrating for you and your pupil when we have to cancel driving tests because of bad weather; however, we only cancel if it’s absolutely essential.

Safety first

DVSA has a duty of care when conducting driving tests. When we consider whether or not to go ahead with testing, our main priority is to make sure that it’s safe to do so for the candidate, other road users along the route, and the examiner.

We also want to give all candidates an equal chance to be assessed fairly, to prove they are capable of continuing to learn without further supervision. Letting them take their test in adverse weather conditions may disadvantage them.

Keeping things moving

During the winter, driving examiners actively try to continue testing wherever possible. They’ll regularly go out and check the road conditions and will use those areas that are unaffected.

They’ll also regularly monitor local weather forecasts and use this information to make informed local decisions. This means that although early morning tests may be cancelled, there’s still a chance the afternoon appointments may go ahead.

Bad weather is snow joke!

As you know, snowy weather presents its own challenges, from being snowed in to facing ice or slush on the roads. During snowy spells, examiners have to consider issues such as visibility of road markings and general road conditions of the local area. Again, this comes back to our duty of care and making sure we give the candidate a fair assessment of their ability to drive.

They may also need to make some adjustments, for instance, offering to meet the candidate at a suitable location close to the test centre if the test centre car park is covered in snow.

Getting in touch, staying informed

There are many ways that you and your pupils can get in touch with DVSA and stay up to date about whether or not driving tests are going ahead.

This includes:

phoning the local test centre (at least 2 hours before the appointment)

sending a tweet to DVSA’s customer support Twitter account, @DVSA_HelpMe

sending a private message to DVSA’s customer support team on Facebook

If you’re familiar with and already using Twitter, you can search for updates about your local test centre by using their specific, individual hashtag. For example, #AnnieslandDTC is the hashtag for Glasgow Anniesland Driving Test Centre.

Customer support tweets2

DVSA’s customer support team are able to tweet updates within minutes of receiving them from the test centres, so you can be assured that the information is timely and accurate.

Don’t forget…

If we have to cancel your pupil's test because of the weather, they won't be able to claim for any out-of-pocket expenses. However, we'll re-book the appointment for them at no further cost.

Your pupil will usually get a new appointment date within 3 working days. This could take up to 7 days when the bad weather goes on for longer.

To stay up to date:

follow us on Twitter and Facebook

sign up to get email alerts

Tags: Bad weather, DVSA customer support, Practical driving test

Steve Gill

Approved Driving Instructor 

Echo One Driver Training 

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