The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the number of people able to take practical driving tests, with new data showing the Q3 figure was down by more than 50%.
The DfT figures show between July and September, 188,520 practical car driving tests were conducted in Great Britain – representing a decrease of 53.8% compared to the same period in 2019.
The reduction in the number of car theory tests was smaller, with 457,177 representing a decrease of 8.4% across the same period.
Commenting on the figures, the RAC says it is “incredibly important” that testing capacity is increased – as soon as it’s safe to do so – given how important the ability to drive is in enabling people to travel for work.
Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “The scale of the pandemic’s impact on novice drivers is clear to see.
“Even with looser restrictions over the summer, the number of practical driving tests was only half what it was in the same period last year.
“Given how important the ability to drive is in enabling people to work, there will undoubtedly be enormous frustration among learners about having to delay the start of their driving careers.
“For that reason, it’s incredibly important that testing capacity is increased as soon as it’s safe to do so.”