You may soon be able to take your driving test from your local branch of Halfords.
The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) is testing a plan to provide driving tests away from traditional test centres. Several locations, including universities and premises owned by the Fire and Rescue service are being considered. Halfords, a nationwide car maintenance supplies chain, has already been chosen as a preferred partner in the scheme by the DSA.
Transport minister Mike Penning described the goal of the scheme as providing a “more local service for candidates”.
The scheme will initially be rolled out in Glasgow, Kettering, Manchester, Watford and Worcestershire, perhaps as early as autumn 2012.
In a parliamentary statement, Mike Penning said: “Subject to working agreements being finalised and suitable premises with driving test routes being identified, driving tests should be delivered from premises of these organisations in the near future.”
He went on to add: “Local agreements with the Fire and Rescue Service, particularly in areas not otherwise covered, are also being explored and there have also been discussions with several universities.”
Tests will still be carried out by DSA examiners and the new locations will only be offering the practical test, not the theory.
The UK driving theory test must still be taken at an official test centre at a cost of £31. With proper preparation, the theory test should be a breeze for learner drivers. However, without putting in the revision time, it can be a real challenge; a woman from London has reportedly spent £3000 retaking her theory test a staggering 90 times!