Driving tests are difficult and nerve-wracking enough without the pain of wondering if they’re actually going to go ahead. Unfortunately, if you’re taking your test in the middle of winter, snowy conditions can often result in unsafe conditions for practical tests. When this happens, the DVSA are likely to cancel test appointments. This can, understandably, leave learners nervous as to whether their test will go ahead. You might even be questioning whether it’s safe to take your test.
If this sounds like you, then worry not—as usual, PassMeFast has got you covered. We’re going to look at exactly how you can find out if your driving test will go ahead in the snow and how the DVSA determines whether it’s safe enough.
It’s Snowing… What Do I Do?
If you tend to prepare for the worst, you’ve probably kept a close eye on the weather forecast on the days leading up to your test. So, if you find that adverse conditions such as snow are in the offing, you’re probably dreading your test day even more. So, what exactly happens to your driving test when you’re facing heavy snow or other bad weather conditions? As with anything, the DVSA has strict rules in place…
What’s DVSA Procedure When Facing Bad Weather?
The DVSA’s main priority with every driving test is the safety of both the learner driver candidate and the examiner, which is why they won’t have you taking your test if the road conditions are too extreme. More specifically, as cited by gov.uk, driving tests won’t be carried out in:
“Dangerous weather conditions, such as when roads are icy or if there’s flooding, thick fog or high winds”.
Of course, the last thing the DVSA wants is hundreds of driving test cancellations and re-bookings backing them up for months. So, they will try to continue testing as best they can, within reason. Leading up to and during adverse weather conditions, examiners will go out and check road conditions regularly. If they can, they’ll allow tests to continue and take candidates on the least affected routes. They’ll also keep a close eye on the weather forecast to make informed decisions.
Be aware, as well, that while early morning tests might be cancelled, tests in the afternoon might still go ahead if there have been improvements in conditions.
Do They Really Have To Cancel?
As we’ve said, safety is the main priority here. While we understand your eagerness to get your test over and done with, you need to bear in mind that adverse weather—such as snow—can be very dangerous, especially for learner drivers. When snow starts to come down heavily, road markings won’t be as visible. This means that you might miss something and possibly endanger yourself and other drivers.
And that’s not all. Icy roads can make it difficult to navigate around the quieter, residential areas—coming into focus when you’re trying to show off your skills in manoeuvres. In all, it’s just not worth endangering yourself, your examiner and other road users just to avoid a test cancellation.
If your test can’t go ahead, the DVSA will:
- Automatically book the next available date for your test
- Send you the new test details within 3 working days. Be aware that it can take up to 7 days if there’s a long period of bad weather.
You can change the date you’re given if it’s not suitable, or get PassMeFast to fast-track your test for you.
“Will My Driving Test Go Ahead?” Here’s How To Find Out…
Get In Touch
When you booked your practical test, the DVSA will have sent you a confirmation email. At the bottom of this email is a contact number for your chosen test centre. If you’re unsure as to whether your test will go ahead on the day, give the centre a ring at least 2 hours before your test appointment. They’ll then be able to advise you.
We’re living in the golden era of social media. Regardless of whether you’re a self-professed millennial with an obsession with every social media app out there or someone who avoids social media like the plague, Twitter, believe it or not, is the place to be for information regarding test cancellations. The DVSA has its own customer support team Twitter account @DVSA_HelpMe. Here, you’ll find frequent updates regarding test cancellations. For example, during the snowstorms in February 2018, the customer support team tweeted the following cancellations:
They’ll keep you updated on your local test centres by using specific hashtags, e.g., “#CheethamHillDTC” for Cheetham Hill test centre. Due to the support team receiving information directly from test centres, you can relax knowing that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. If you’ve not seen anything about your test centre, you can send a tweet to the support team directly—they’ll advise you on what to do next.
Of course, if Twitter isn’t the social media platform of your choice, you can always opt for sending the DVSA’s customer support team on Facebook a quick private message. As with their Twitter team, they’ll be able to advise you on your next course of action.
Check Your Emails
It’s worthwhile keeping a close eye on your email. While you’re more likely to find out about a test cancellation faster using the methods mentioned above, you might also get the cancellation email prior to your test appointment. Additionally, if the DVSA does cancel your test, they’ll send you a new test date via email.
As we’ve said, if you’re not happy with your new test date, you can get PassMeFast to fast-track it for you to a date and time suited to your personal preferences. If your test is going ahead, you might find it worthwhile refreshing your knowledge on winter driving.
Driving In The Snow: FAQs
① How long does it take to find out if your driving test has been cancelled?
If you’ve got a morning test, get in touch with your test centre to find out if your practical is going ahead. If it’s in the afternoon, try calling a couple of hours beforehand. Alternatively, you can check the DVSA’s customer service social media accounts.
② The weather’s awful outside—will they cancel my test?
It doesn’t matter if the weather’s bad—you need to check with your local test centre to find out whether your test has been cancelled. If it goes ahead and you don’t show up, you won’t get a refund.
③ The DVSA have given me a new test date but it’s months away. What do I do?
Nothing’s worse than having your test cancelled only to be given an alternate date that’s months down the line. If you’d rather jump the queue and get another test ASAP, you should look at getting a fast-track test.
④ I’m interested in your fast-track practical tests. How do they work?
When the DVSA cancels a practical test, that’s it—the test appointment simply doesn’t exist anymore. However, when an individual who had booked a test appointment cancels it, it’s then free for someone else to take. These appointments are often well ahead of the standard waiting times, so whoever takes it can effectively “jump the queue”. At PassMeFast, we’re constantly on the lookout for these “cancellation appointments”, ensuring that you’re the lucky one who gets to take their test early.
⑤ It’s been snowing but my test is still going ahead. Is it safe?
The DVSA aims to keep you as safe as possible. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can just opt to not take your test—though you’d miss out on a refund. We’d advise taking your test—even if you’re unsure on the roads, it makes for good experience.