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Driving Instructors Are Charging Learners Hundreds Of Pounds For Last-Minute Test Slots

Gregory Robinson

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| Last updated 

Driving Instructors Are Charging Learners Hundreds Of Pounds For Last-Minute Test Slots

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

A driving instructor has been criticised for advertising last minute driving test slots for up to five times the price for desperate learner drivers looking to beat the six-month long queues.

Steve Cogan says he is simply 'trying to do good' when he advertises test dates given to him by an unnamed examiner, who is now being investigated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Steve's Facebook marketplace listings contain a list of 30 dates in February at 10 different test centres in London, including Uxbridge, Pinner, Yeading, Goodmayes and Isleworth, charging a whopping £212 rather than the usual £62-£75.

Steve posted an advert on Facebook with the available test dates (Credit: Kennedy News & Media)
Steve posted an advert on Facebook with the available test dates (Credit: Kennedy News & Media)

The driving instructor was investigated by undercover reporters and he bragged he's been selling tests from the 'very handy' mystery examiner for 'a couple of months' and even claimed learners engaged in a bidding war over one in-demand area of London that saw the test slot purchased for an eye watering £300.

It remains unclear how the unknown man is able to provide the slots to other instructors or whether he is breaching any rules or guidelines when doing so.

But Steve admitted pocketing £10 per booking and giving the remaining profits to the examiner.

Steve, who lives in Shepherd's Bush, west London, said: "It's a six-month waiting list so I was just trying to help some people out. I'm sure there's people that would say it's fair and some people who say it isn't.

"I don't buy [the tests]. I'm just a middle man. If you look at the DVSA and look who has bought them, my name won't be next to it. I go through someone else.

"I've got someone who lets me know they've got these tests, then I pass them out to my students and anyone who needs them.

"I was just trying to help some people, and I only make £10 from each booking and the rest goes to the other party.

Steve has since defended his actions (Credit: Kennedy News & Media)
Steve has since defended his actions (Credit: Kennedy News & Media)

Steve defended his actions and said he didn't think his actions with the unnamed examiner were 'dodgy'.

He said: "The guy's an examiner or an ex-examiner. I didn't think it was dodgy, not really. There's hundreds of apps out there that you can get driving cancellations on. I just assumed it was one of those.

"Some people will put the time in to press that refresh button and keep clicking, spending 20 hours a day doing it, and some people would rather pay someone else to do it.

"If it's not allowed then I will happily stop right now. I don't want to get in trouble and I don't want to get anyone else in trouble. I don't want to get on the wrong side of anyone, let alone the DVSA."

Driving tests cost £62 to be taken on a weekday and £75 for a weekend, but by paying an extra £150 and providing your provisional driving licence and theory pass numbers Steve says he can help jump the queue.

Steven claims he's been called 'kind' for providing the quick-booking tests to learners and even suggests the DVSA should begin to operate it in the same way airlines provide priority boarding.

Learner drivers have to wait up to six months for a test (Credit: Alamy)
Learner drivers have to wait up to six months for a test (Credit: Alamy)

The DVSA is now involved and investigating the secret examiner Steve claims he was in contact with to get the test dates.

And Steve has deleted his initial Facebook listing after being informed of the DVSA's investigation.

However he has since uploaded more with a similar offer.

Meanwhile, learners are posting on social media that they are unable to find available tests in their area with one not finding slots until 2024.

The DVSA encourages all pupils to use their official booking website, and any available slots that become available as a result of cancellations will appear there.

A DVSA spokesperson said: "DVSA does not stand for any abuse of our customer service booking systems and are investigating. We will not hesitate in taking action if any misconduct is identified.

"We will take action against any instructor guilty of misconduct at the expense of legitimate candidates who have patiently waited for their opportunity to test.

Steve has called himself a 'middle man' (Credit: Kennedy News & Media)
Steve has called himself a 'middle man' (Credit: Kennedy News & Media)

"Any tests booked outside of the official DVSA booking site could be a scam and may result in candidates not having a test slot.

"We urge anyone to report any tests offered on social media to us."

Lynne Barrie, chairman of the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC), said: "There is an obvious unfairness to everyone else trying to get cancellations and earlier test slots.

"The current system isn’t perfect but no one should be circumventing it for their own gain. I'm sure DVSA will investigate thoroughly."

A spokesperson for the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) said: "The DIA has asked the DVSA to look into this problem and it has now established that there is a problem that could possibly be linked to their own staff."

Topics: Life, News, Real Life

Gregory Robinson
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