Driving lessons, intensive driving courses and waiting lists

It’s busy, busy, busy. And some people have been waiting a year to start their driving lessons.

I know it’s frustrating waiting to start your driving lessons, but this industry has been so badly affected by covid.

Driving instructors have not be able to work through the three lock downs, and many have left the industry for alternative employment.

There are nearly 10,000 fewer driving instructors in 2021 than there were 10 years ago.

This contributed to the many people trying to book driving lessons has created high demand, and there are far more students wanting lessons than there are driving instructor to give them.

Added to this, is the anticipated long waiting times for driving tests, which is rumoured to be on average 17 weeks across the UK.


Intensive driving courses

There’s no short cutting the system. People are frantically calling trying to book intensives hoping to take a test in May.

But the driving test waiting list is affecting these courses too.

An intensive course should conclude with a driving test. And generally, people assume that driving schools have driving tests pre-booked.

But unfortunately, that just isn’t true. This is what really happens.

You call to book an intensive driving course – The driving school take a deposit or the full course fee – they go to book a driving test with the DVSA, using the same system everyone uses, including the public – they find the first available date, and then allocate the course hours to start a week or two before the driving test date.

Example: the driving test waiting time is 17 weeks, they book the first date available, and your intensive course starts in 16 weeks’ time.


Driving lesson waiting lists

Unlike a dentist or a doctor where you can book a date in the future, trying to book driving lessons with a driving instructor isn’t that straight forward.

The reason is because we don’t know how long a student will be with us. Although most students stay with their driving instructor until they pass their driving test, others may leave sooner because of finances or they move from the area.

One way to explain how a driving instructors diary works is to think of a classroom of students. There are 30 seats so only a maximum of 30 students can be in the classroom.

Each week the same student will take the same seat, until one leaves, and that seat becomes available.

With that in mind let’s assume the student passes their driving test and leaves a space open on a Wednesday at 11.30.

The driving instructor is only going to offer that space to someone in their waiting list who can take the same day & time on a regular basis, because all other lesson spaces have been accounted for.

So, getting your name down on lots of driving instructors waiting lists is a smart thing to do.


Hopefully we helped to give some clarity to the current situation.

If you have any questions, please message the driving school and we will try to answer them quickly for you.