Learning to Drive

AA warns learner drivers over online test 'booking services'

28 June 2010

The AA is warning learner drivers over online 'booking services' that add surcharges of up to 65% to arrange a driving test which learners can easily book themselves.

A number of young learners alerted the AA after they unwittingly booked their test through third-party commercial websites that invite learners to enter their details and preferred dates for a Driving Standards Agency test.

Learners are then charged over £50 for a theory test for which the DSA charges £31, with the difference being levied as an 'administration fee'.

Some sites add fees of up to £30 to book a practical test – on top of the standard DSA fees of £62 for a weekday test or £75 for a weekend or weekday evening – while bookings for extended tests attract booking fees of up to £40.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Driving School, says: "These so-called 'services' invite you to type in the same details you would if booking directly with the DSA, only on a different website and at a hugely inflated cost. Some sites include 'DSA' in their Google search listings or web page headings, which can make it confusing as to whose site you're on.

"Learning to drive involves a once-in-a-lifetime investment in a vital skill for life. But paying hiked-up fees for 'help' to book your test is a waste of money few learners or their parents can afford."

To avoid extra charges learners should book directly with the DSA, for the standard fee of £31 (theory test); £62 (practical test, weekday) or £75 (practical test, weekend or weekday evening), by going to:

www.direct.gov.uk/drivingtest

Join the discussion in the AA zone

 

29 June 2010