The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) is warning learner drivers to avoid using copycat websites to book driving tests. Copycat websites that offer to book theory and practical driving tests can appear to be the official agency, however they charge users a premium for their services, while gov.uk sites do not.
Some of these websites catch learners’ attention by appearing in adverts above the results in search engines. These websites can charge up to £30 just for booking a test, on top of the driving test fee itself, plus a ‘pass protection’ fee with the promise of a free retest that very few customers actually qualify for. Copycat websites are also unable to show live appointment availability and do not provide customers instant confirmation of a booking.
It is unacceptable that some of these websites try to trick learner drivers into paying an extra fee to book their driving test.
When booking a test through the official booking service on gov.uk candidates will only pay for the cost of the test and will get instant confirmation of their appointment, with the theory test costing £25 and a driving test £62.
DVSA chief executive, Alastair Peoples said: “It is unacceptable that some of these websites try to trick learner drivers into paying an extra fee to book their driving test.
“We are working alongside other government departments to ensure that ads for misleading websites are removed. We want to make sure our customers are aware of the risks of these websites and know how to avoid them.”
The government is tackling this problem by working with organisations such as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB), consumer body Which? and search engines, to raise awareness of the issue and to ensure enforcement action is taken.
Picture: Springfield Gallery