A DRIVING instructor is outraged after his students' tests were postponed FOUR months after their original date.

Arthur Mynott, owner of Exmoor School of Motoring, has said he has had three of his pupils tests moved from this month (May) to dates in September.

And the reason for this is due to staff absence.

Mr Mynott, whose pupils take their test at the Taunton centre, put a post on Facebook.

He soon discovered another 40 to 50 driving tests had been affected in a similar way, with pupils having to wait months for their rescheduled date.

But the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said there are a "large number" of students who need tests after the coronavirus pandemic.

And in general, they do not have enough examiners to cover staff absences.

"Normally, when a member of staff is off work, there would be other people who can cover the driving test," said a spokesperson for the DVSA.

"For example, examiners who are doing other jobs behind the scenes.

“However, as there are significant gaps in testing in England due to the pandemic, there are a large number of people who want tests.

“So these people who would usually take over during a staff absence are already booked to do tests.

"And as we are trying to accommodate any extra tests that we can, we can’t currently fill in for any absences.”

But Mr Mynott is devastated for his pupils - some of whom have already had their tests cancelled multiple times due to the pandemic.

"For the pupils it is devastating as they’re going to have to wait for four or five months," he said.

"It is interfering with their plans, as some students are going to uni or their theory tests are going to run out.

"It has also affected the driving schools, who haven't managed to work as much because pupils who are waiting longer for tests and they aren't having many lessons.

"The DVSA have not really addressed this issue very well."

The DVSA is currently recruiting more examiners to help with the backlog of tests.

They have received more than 5,000 applications and are planning to recruit 300 people.

They are expecting to offer 2,500 extra tests per month by using weekends and bank holidays.

Currently, there are 420,000 practical driving tests booked.

"We are releasing additional test slots on a weekly basis and advise people who wish to change their test date to check for cancellations," the spokesperson for the DVSA added.

"All candidates who have had tests postponed as a result of the pandemic have been automatically allocated a test for the first available date.

"Candidates can change their appointment for free if it is not suitable.

"Candidates’ tests can be moved 10 times before they are required to contact our booking team to make further changes."