Driving Test Cancellations—Everything You Need To Know

So, you're taking that final step towards getting on the road and getting that brand new licence. Congratulations! The only thing in your way now is finishing your driving course and nabbing that perfect practical test date.

Unfortunately, most learner drivers are unaware of the long driving test waiting times they can be subjected to. If you're looking to get your licence fast, these waiting times can be problematic. So, how exactly do you speed up the process? The answer, quite simply, lies in driving test cancellations. If you're looking to get passed as soon as possible, make sure to read on.

We'll show you how you can reduce your waiting time using driving test cancellations and how PassMeFast can take the problem out of your hands entirely.


Driving test waiting times

Clock hands zoomed in

As we've previously discussed on our blog, when you try to book your own practical test, you have to deal with long driving test waiting times. Why? There are plenty of reasons, including a shortage of examiners at understaffed test centres, unable to cope with the huge number of learner drivers looking to pass their test.

In recent months, anticipation of the new driving test changes has driven up wait times even further. All of this means that learners can now expect to wait months for a practical. There's also something of a postcode lottery for learners, as waiting times can increase or decrease depending on the area in which you live. Busy urban areas tend to have more test centres, but these also tend to be rather oversubscribed due to the sheer volume of candidates.

As you can imagine, this is usually the opposite of what can be expected at rural test centres. The Isle of Mull test centre in rural Scotland, for example, was the venue for only 17 tests in 2016/17. For learners who don't mind taking their time and having a test date months down the line, waiting times aren't much of an issue. However, not everyone is okay with living life in the slow lane. Some people have an immediate need to drive—you may need to drive for a new job, for example. Other learners are simply too eager to drive to spend months waiting around.

Luckily, there is a solution: driving test cancellations.

Driving test cancellations

In most parts of life, cancellations aren't generally a positive thing. In the world of driving tests, however, cancellations can be a godsend. It's important to note, though, that we're not talking about tests that the DVSA cancel themselves here. If an examiner is unavailable for a test—due to adverse weather (see more in: will my driving test go ahead in the snow?), industrial action, or ill health—then that test simply won't take place. End of.

In fact, this is a major factor behind longer waiting times—especially since, as official figures reveal, there were almost 100,000 DVSA-cancelled tests in 2017/18. If your test is cancelled on short notice, then you might be able to get compensation for a late driving test cancellation.

However, when an individual student cancels their test—for reasons such as a family emergency, medical concerns or even test day nerves—then their appointment will become free for another student to take. That means that their loss could be your gain. These sorts of cancellations can enable some learner drivers to nab an earlier test, avoiding those dreaded waiting times.

But how exactly do you find these earlier driving tests? We'll show you how.


Booking a driving test

Planner book with a pen and clock

The date you book your test for depends entirely on what kind of driving course or lesson you're completing. If you're with an independent ADI, you'll have to consult with them to see when you should book your driving test for. You have to take into account the number of lessons you've done so far, how many more you'll need and what your learning curve is like.

If you're doing a course with a driving school, often enough they'll offer to book your practical test for you—taking it out of your hands entirely.

If the booking of your practical test is completely down to you — all you have to do is head to gov.uk to book your test—just like you did for your theory test. Before you can get your hands on an early test date however, you will have to book the soonest date you can find. Often enough, this test date will be months away. Essentially, it acts as a placeholder until you can find a test cancellation which will move your practical test date closer.

What you need to book your driving test:

  • Your provisional licence number
  • Your theory test pass number
  • A credit/debit card to pay for the test

To get things started, you have to provide your provisional licence and theory pass number. Once you've done so, you can choose the date of your driving test. Be aware that this doesn't mean your chosen date will be available. If you can't get the test date you want, you'll have to choose another date. You will then have to pick a test centre to take your practical at—usually one closest to where you live. Not sure which centre to choose? Find your nearest test centre here.

Once you've found the earliest test date possible, you'll have to provide personal details and contact information. Then you'll confirm everything and pay for your test. As we've said, this test acts as a placeholder until you can find an earlier test date.

Looking for cancellations

After you've booked your test, you can simply head back to gov.uk to change the date and time of your test—you even have the option to find test cancellations. This service can be used online between 6am and 11:40pm. Try to check as frequently as you can for cancellations as they're always snatched up quickly.

Simply search, refresh and try again until you find something. The more time you have to look for a test, the better your chances will be—cancellations sometimes crop up very early in the morning or very late in the evening. You just have to be quick and snappy—these cancellations can move your test date closer by weeks or even months after all.

Unfortunately, most of this process will involve you refreshing a web page over and over again. We wouldn't, therefore, blame you for feeling a little overwhelmed or horrified at the prospect of searching for your perfect practical test date.

Want an easier solution? See how PassMeFast can help you below...

Let PassMeFast do the heavy lifting

Road trip

If the thought of refreshing the practical test page over and over again sends shudders down your spine, why not give the task to someone else? PassMeFast has a team dedicated to finding fast-track practical tests that take place weeks or even months ahead of DVSA waiting times. We'll always try to find the most suitable practical test taking into account your preferred time, date and location.

Not quite test-ready? PassMeFast has 8 crash course packages tailored to suit learners with any level of experience—from 5 hours to a 20 hour course to a full beginner 48 hour course. We cover most areas across the UK, and our courses are available to tens of millions of people!


Learn at an intensive or semi-intensive pace with one of our experienced instructors, fitting everything around your schedule. Depending on your chosen course, you could be on the road in as little as two weeks. Plus, if you're in college or uni, you could even take advantage of our student discount—making it cheaper to learn!

Book a course online or give us a ring on 0333 123 4949 to take one step closer to getting on the road.


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