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Learner drivers forced to buy tests on black market as companies block-book slots

Still Waters

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Britain’s system of allocating driving tests is in disarray in many parts of the country as learner drivers are forced to travel hundreds of miles for their tests or pay unofficial brokers up to £400 to avoid the queues, reveals an Observer investigation.

The number of drivers waiting to take their practical tests climbed above 500,000 this year, rising from 147,716 in January 2020 to 538,702 in August.

Brokers are exploiting the frantic hunt for tests by using software applications known as bots to book available slots on the government website the moment they become available – which they then sell at a hefty profit.

Driving instructors are calling for a ban on excessive profits from the reselling of tests. They say low-paid workers who need their driving licences are being unfairly penalised.


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