Learner drivers have paid £2.2million to DVSA officials through cancelled theory tests

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Analysis from insurance experts at Marmalade has warned 49,543 theory test certificates expired throughout 2020. Learner drivers would then need to pay £23 to retake their tests and would effectively lose the £23 they initially paid to pass.

This would mean each driver would have paid £46 to pass their test through circumstances out of their control, equating at revenue of £2.2million.

However, more drivers are set to be affected by the issue in 2021 as theory tests are again cancelled during the lockdown.

Marmalade has revealed if the lockdown ends in Mid-February a total of 13,944 tests will expire in just six weeks.

This would equate to a loss of £320,712 or over £7,000 a day for learner drivers across the UK.

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Marmalade said the shock data was obtained through multiple Freedom of Information requests to the DVSA.

Marmalade spokesperson Crispin Moger said refusing a theory test extension was “another roadblock” and a “hindrance” to many young drivers.

He said: “I don’t doubt that there will have been many learner drivers that would have planned to take their test during the time periods affected by the multiple UK lockdowns and will now have lost through no fault of their own.

“Learners whose certificates have expired will need to take the test and pass it again before they can take their practical driving test adding yet more time to their wait, adding to the backlog we are already expected to see in 2021.

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“For some, this is just another roadblock to gaining freedom and will be a hindrance to many where a driving test pass was at the centre of their plans.”

The Government has been adamant since the start of the pandemic that theory test certificates will not be extended.

They say this is because drivers’ road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills need to be up to date when they take a driving test.

The pandemic means many learner drivers have had their theory test cancelled up to four times over the past year.

A petition has been launched where learners are demanding an extension for all theory test certificates which expires in 2020 and 2021.

The petition has since received over 37,500 signatures meaning the 10,000 threshold to force a Government response has been met.

GOV.UK said this comment would be received within the next six days.

Crispin Monger, spokesperson for Marmalade has added refusing to extend the certificates will “put pressure” on test centres when lockdown rules ease.

He said: “We have previously launched a petition to ask the Government to extend these certificates by three months to allow learners the chance to qualify as drivers as soon as it’s possible.

“Something which will also ease waiting times and pressure on theory test centres once they reopen.

“Northern Ireland has announced an extension, while the UK Government has said they will not be extending the period, something which will have certainly come as a blow to learners.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the DVSA for further comment.

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