Warning for learner drivers as test booking fraud is on the rise

african learner driver and instructor behind a car

Learner driver insurer, Veygo has issued a warning for motorists to be extra vigilant when booking a driving test, with scams potentially setting drivers back £100s in unnecessary test costs.

Amidst the DVSA test backlog, online bots are purchasing test slots and reselling these at a much higher price than the official fee. According to a recent investigation1, these tests are being resold for up to £400 – which is more than three times the official cost of £62 per test on a weekday, or £75 for a weekend or evening test in Britain.

According to the latest DVSA data on driving tests2 Veygo found that more than 1.68 million tests have been conducted across UK test centres in the last year (2022/23), which is roughly a 10% increase on previous year’s figures, potentially exposing thousands more to test fraud.

And learning to drive is already costly. With the average driving lesson now costing £35 per hour, and learner drivers needing around 45 hours of professional instruction to be test-ready3, the cost of learning to drive is currently sitting around £1,575 – before test fees.

 

James Armstrong, CEO of the learner driver insurance brand Veygo says: “These scammers are profiting from learners’ eagerness to get on the road and the DVSA test backlog, by attempting to resell these test slots. With over 1.68 million tests taken in Britain each year, these fraudsters are sadly pocketing hundreds of thousands of pounds in profits – and worse; not all these testslots advertised will even be real. Vigilance and education will help combat this. We need to make all learners aware that these scams are happening, and in some cases are unlikely to land them without a legitimate test date, resulting in duplicate payouts and wasted money.”

 

Veygo’s advice for avoiding online test scams:

 Veygo’s CEO James Armstrong warns: “To avoid falling victim to online scams, learners should only book a test directly through the official DVSA website. Ignore so-called deals and offers on social media platforms, as scammers are looking to capitalise on learners who are impatient and eager to pass soon.

“Although the DVSA test backlog might feel disheartening to have to wait longer than usual, the extra time is instead affording learners the chance to build road confidence through private practice. However when practising in a private vehicle, to avoid further unnecessary costs – such as fines for incorrect insurance – check out our guidance.”

 

 

References:

[1] – Guardian investigation: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/sep/03/an-absolute-mess-learner-drivers-forced-to-buy-tests-on-black-market-as-companies-block-book-slots

 

[2] DVSA pass rates data – https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/car-driving-test-data-by-test-centre

Breakdown of the number of tests conducted across UK test centres from April 2022 – May 2023: 1,688,955

Breakdown of the number of tests conducted across UK test centres from April 2021 – May 2022: 1,538,314

Difference is 150,641 = 9.79% increase.

 

[3] A 2023 study found cost of driving lessons now averaging at £35 per hour – data from PassMeFast.co.uk

The DVSA have reported that the average driver requires 45 hours of professional instruction alongside 22 hours of extra private practice without your instructor on average to pass.