The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency examiners continue their strike action this week with disruption at DVSA test centres in the North of England and in Yorkshire. This means that DVSA test centres in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster are potentially affected by disruption.

Just because tests have not gone out at a specific test centre today, it doesn’t mean that others may not.

Not all examiners are members of the PCS Union, the union which has organised the industrial action. Not all examiners work every day, particularly newer examiners whose contract may require weekend working and have a day off during the week. Finally there is no requirement for an examiner who participates in strike action on one day, to participate on other days of the same action.

My Test is in Sheffield This Week. What Do I Do?

Firstly, unless you receive a communication from the DVSA, you should turn up for your driving test. The teams at the DVSA are doing their best to communicate with candidates ahead of time but the scale of the industrial action means that there are an awful lot of tests to be rescheduled.

If your test is affected by the strikes, the DVSA will reschedule it for you at the soonest opportunity. The bad news here is that one examiner striking for an entire week will cause 35 test cancellations. Looking at Sheffield Middlewood Road, that means that the DVSA may need to reschedule 280 tests and communicate these to the relevant candidate. This will take time.

It is also highly likely that if you have a morning test, the DVSA will not have time to communicate it to you in advance.

If your test is rescheduled, you can look to swap the test for an earlier one if available. However it seems the system doesn’t recognise a DVSA cancellation differently to a failure or a no-show. This means that you may not be able to book a test in the next 10 working days.

If your test is cancelled within 3 clear working days by the DVSA you can submit a claim for your reasonable expenses. This includes half a day of pay at your standard rate and the costs of using your instructors vehicle for the test. To support the claim the instructor must complete part of the claim form or provide a dated and signed invoice or receipt for the cost of the session at their standard hourly rate. If you are hiring a vehicle from a dual control vehicle provider you can also claim for the cost of hire.

If you are taking your own car to test, you can claim mileage for the trip to and from the test centre.

Full details of what you can claim and how are available here:

Nicholas Smith

Nicholas Smith is an approved driving instructor and a member of the SDDIA committee responsible for the build and maintenance of the association website and content production. Nick draws on his experience of over a decade as a motorsport journalist alongside his driving and instructing roles.