From time to time, you may experience the DVSA driving examiners on strike. The DVSA will usually announce the strike with adequate notice, usually provided through the Direct.gov website and various social media platforms too.
Do all of the examiners go on strike?
Not all of the examiners will go on strike. Sometimes the managers, senior examiners and some standard examiners will continue to work. Every test centre is different, so some test centres will unfortunately be affected more than others.
Can you find out if your test centre has been affected by the strike?
Unfortunately, you can’t find out whether your test will go ahead in advance. You will be required to attend the test as if you were still expecting it to go ahead. If your test does go ahead, that’s a bonus. If it doesn’t, you will be notified on arrival and you’ll receive a new test date by post or email.
In the event your test has been cancelled, you will also be entitled to claim out of pocket expenses.
Why do the DVSA examiners go on strike?
There are many reasons for the DVSA examiners to go on strike. In 2017, the examiners took strike action because of the new driving test changes and contractual issues. In 2015, there was also a strike due to contractual issues, along with strikes in 2012 and 2013 too.
Most past strikes have lasted 1 or 2 days. The reason unions encourage strikes is to cause disturbance to the business. If the disturbance is significant, it can help the employees who are members of the union be heard.
What to do when your driving test is booked on a strike
The DVSA will usually advise you to attend your driving test or reschedule your test to avoid disappointment on the day. You have up to 3 working days before your test date to reschedule.
If you do not attend the test, you will not be entitled to a rescheduled test, regardless of whether your allocated examiner was on strike or not.
Can you call the local test centre to find out more information?
Remember, the examiners are on strike to cause disturbance to everyone. You will not receive any information other than being recommended to turn up for your test as normal.
What happens at the test centre when they are on strike?
Examiners won’t be outside the test centre protesting and it won’t be chaotic. You should go down to the test centre and, when your test is due, you’ll be notified whether your test has been cancelled as a result of the strike. You may receive a letter or the examiner may explain you’ll be informed about your new test date and time in due course.
Save time by checking your new test online immediately
Once you know your test has been cancelled, you can go online and look for early cancellations straight away rather than waiting to be notified. If you can’t see anything straight away, then it hasn’t been amended yet. If you’re really keen, call the DVSA on 0330 200 1122. Explain that your test has been cancelled due to the strike and you want to find out if there are any earlier slots. In some areas like London, you may be able to get an earlier test in Goodmayes despite taking your driving lessons in Romford and Hornchurch test centre.
If you’re in no rush, sit tight and you’ll receive correspondence from the DVSA regarding your new test date.
driveJohnson’s office team may be able to help you
If you’re a driveJohnson’s pupil, send us an email with your circumstances and we can help you find an earlier test. Brad Jones, who was doing his driving lessons in Oxford had his test cancelled by the DVSA and within 7 days, we found him an earlier driving test.