Claim money back for cancelled theory test or driving test
In the event the DVSA cancel your theory or driving test at short notice, you are entitled to claim out of pocket expenses. Short notice means less than 3 days, with Saturdays included as a working day. Sundays and public holidays are not counted as working days.
If the DVSA have cancelled your theory test at short notice, you will only be able to claim the cost of the theory test.
If the DVSA have cancelled your driving test at short notice, then you may be able to claim more than just the test fee. Either the instructor or the pupil can claim out of pocket expenses. It is probably easier for the DVSA if only one party claims a total loss. For example, if you arrive at the test centre and your examiner is sick, you could then claim for the 2/3 hour lesson you would have paid your driving instructor and the test fee.
In this instance, the instructor still needs to be paid on the day because they have booked their diary out to accommodate your test and preceding lessons. Therefore, the pupil would normally claim the out of pocket expenses. If you are the pupil reading this, please obtain a receipt from your instructor for the amount you paid them on the day of your driving test which was cancelled. You will need to provide evidence to the DVSA so you can claim a total loss.
Other examples of losses/expenses you can claim for a cancelled driving/theory test
- Unpaid leave from your employer – usually half a day after tax and national deductions. You cannot claim for overtime or lost commission. If you’re self-employed, you may need to provide an SA302/Self Assessment analysis of your most recent yearly income and the DVSA should pay you a prorated amount.
- Cost of travel – usually applies to their test. However, if you have taken a train from Northampton to meet your driving instructor in Kettering for a lesson before the test, you can also claim for that.
- Set rate per mile if you used for your own car for the day of your driving test, from your home to the test centre and back.
Typical scenarios you can claim for
- Examiner is sick
- No examiner available
- General error by the DVSA booking system (really important you bring your confirmation letter on your test day, so you have proof it’s their mistake on the day and it can be logged)
- Examiners taking strike action
If the DVSA give you notice of more than 24 hours that your test has been cancelled, you may find it more difficult to claim extra out of pocket expenses. If the DVSA have cancelled your test outside of your instructor’s cancellation policy, you may be able to claim for the costs of the lesson. You will need a copy of your instructor’s cancellation policy signed by both your instructor and yourself. Evidence is needed of the appointment that was booked – especially if claiming more than 2 hours – and a receipt/evidence showing you have paid them for your driving test preparation/lesson time.
Typical scenarios you cannot claim for
- Weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog etc. This is nobody’s fault and you will receive a rescheduled test at no cost to you.
- If you are late for your test or you have got the wrong date or time.
- Your instructor is sick or has let you down.
- You don’t have a car for the test.
- You are unwell. Some serious misfortunes may be considered if evidence is provided.
- Your instructor’s car or your own vehicle is not roadworthy. For example, a brake light not working on the car or the engine management light is on.
- Cost of lessons leading up to your test. Only charges applied for the test day.
- Extra lessons you decided to take while waiting for the rearranged test.
How to claim out of pocket expenses
You should fill in the form and apply within 6 months of the cancelled test, providing the necessary evidence if you are claiming extra losses such as driving lessons charges. If you don’t provide the correct evidence, your claim will take longer.
What your instructor needs to do
As mentioned above, provide a signed and dated receipt on headed paper or an official invoice showing their business details and the hourly charge. The date of the receipt needs to be the same day as your driving test.
They also need to complete section 2 of the claim form.
How to make a claim
- Fill in the claim form. Download and print it from here.
- Give the DVSA permission to contact your employer/driving instructor.
- Include evidence of all your losses you are claiming for, such as your receipt from your instructor, receipt for travel, letter from employer confirming your unpaid leave, this should include up to 4 hours at your hourly rate minus the tax and national insurance.
Send your claim with any supporting documents to:
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
Customer Service Department
PO Box 1286
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
PO Box 280