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Learning to drive

How to book your next driving test if you’ve just failed

Failing your driving test sucks. You know it, I know it, your granny you told in secret that you were taking your test (and who now has to put the Congratulations! card back in the drawer) knows it.

But you can make it suck less. If you and your instructor feel confident that you've done enough work to take another shot, this is what you do.

How to beat the wait for a driving test slot

  1. Check the online test booking system

    Duh. I mean, what kind of advice is that? I know you've probably already looked there and the 1st July 2025 slot didn't quite take your fancy.

    Book the closest driving test slot that you could do. Even if it's 3 months away, book it.

  2. Follow @DVSA_HelpMe on Twitter

    Trust me, if you don't have Twitter, it's worth getting it just to follow @DVSA_HelpMe. When you're trying to book a driving test this century, this is the place to come.

    As well as tweeting short-notice cancellation test slots, DVSA Support will also alert you to extra driving test slots being released to cope with demand. It's rare but it is starting to happen. All is not lost!

    While you could sit refreshing the online test booking system 24/7 (like I did), these guys have a lot more to offer. Every few minutes, they tweet a series of driving test slots for various centres on that same day or the next day - and you can DM them to reserve. That's completely side-stepping the system.

    If you're 100% ready to retake your driving test and you don't mind last-minute arrangements, @DVSA_HelpMe is for you.

  3. Swap your driving test slot

    That test you booked for 10 years hence? If you've seen a slot come up on DVSA Support's Twitter, you can now access the GOV.UK driving test booking system and joyfully replace it with your new test slot. Just be quick - they go fast!

    If you see a tweet from them that says 'DM us to book' (usually for same-day slots), they'll process everything for you and replace your old booking with the new one. Crikey!

It IS one extreme to the other - from a 3-month wait to taking your test TOMORROW - but if you're readyreadyready, waiting and spending needless cash on top-up lessons is incredibly frustrating.

So, if you just failed, chin up. There's light at the end of the tunnel and you'll be back in the driving seat before you know it.

Updated: 18/01/2019

Fancy feeling better about yourself?
Here's how I failed my first driving test.