Driving tests could soon be available from branches of Halfords under plans announced today (10 July) by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning.
As well as using traditional driving test centres, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is looking at working with public and private sector partners to provide driving test premises in selected areas that don’t already have a local test centre.
New approach to test delivery
The DSA has selected Halfords plc as a preferred partner, and is also exploring partnerships with the Fire and Rescue Service and several universities.
In one location the agency also expects to sign an agreement with training company Mantra Learning Ltd.
The scheme focuses on 21 locations, centred around 5 different areas across the country:
Starting from autumn
Testing from partner premises in these locations is expected to start from the autumn.
These arrangements apply to practical car tests. Other types of practical tests and theory test centres will not be affected.
Partners will allow the use of their premises at no cost to the DSA. Tests will still be conducted by DSA examiners.
‘Best possible service’
Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning, said:
“It is vital that public services are as open and accessible as possible. This initiative is a great example of how working with partners in the public and private sectors can help to ensure that we offer people the best possible service wherever they live.
“Our aim is to provide all driving test candidates with a local service that is convenient as well as being cost effective.”
David Wild, Halfords CEO, said:
“We want to help motorists wherever we can, so we look forward to working in partnership with the DSA to provide a first class service for drivers taking their tests.”
The driving test may also be provided from major supermarkets and also local council offices, it makes sense and will defenitley cut down on travel to test centres for candidates, as well a saving for them on hiring a driving instructor.