Learner drivers are spending hundreds of pounds on test drives after a loophole allowed scalpers to book slots en masse and resell them for a profit.
Some learners have spent over £200 to book a practice test, despite officially costing between £62 and £75, to circumvent a long backlog following the pandemic.
As the BBC reported, the worst-hit areas – including Birmingham, Cardiff and London – do not have new testing slots available until September or October.
A BBC survey found many are now turning to dealers and paying hugely inflated prices.
Some are even paying companies to get tests canceled across the country, which they can then book.
In response, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) urged applicants to use its official website if they wish to book a test.
He told the BBC he used automated software for bookings, adding the system was “flawed” because it “is built on trust”.
In a statement, a DVSA spokesperson said: “We urge applicants not to use third-party cancellation verification services and always go through the official DVSA website.
“We already have measures in place to monitor and prevent bots from accessing our systems, while strengthening our firewall to address the issue.”
As part of the investigation, the BBC discovered that it was able to book tests en masse claiming to be acting on behalf of a bogus driving school. He found that little verification was needed to enroll, with no formal documentation requirement.
However, each reservation still required the registration of a provisional license. But this could be obtained and the licensee would not be informed that a reservation using his contact details had been made. Once this reservation is made, it could be easily exchanged between candidates, which means that resellers can resell them.
The DVSA has confirmed that it is illegal to book a driving test using someone else’s contact details without their consent.
He added that he will conduct out-of-hours testing and recruit more examiners in a bid to eliminate the backlog of driving tests.
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This notice was published: 2022-06-01 10:44:08