The Department of Transport have announced that driving tests could soon be available from branches of Halfords.
Plans by the Government mean that as well as using traditional driving test centres the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) are looking to work with public and private sector partners to provide a test premises in areas in the UK that don’t have a local test centre.
Research into new approaches for driving tests started last year which offered a test to learners from local authorities and leisure centres. After the research was successful it was announced in March that the plans for the scheme were to be extended to a further 21 locations centred around five different areas across the country with businesses and organisations encouraged to give their proposals.
After much consideration Halfords plc was selected as a preferred partner, however the DSA are still exploring partnerships with the Fire and Rescue Service along with several universities. The scheme will allow the DSA to use partners premises at no cost and the test will still be conducted by a DSA examiner. Driving tests from partner premises is expected to start in the autumn.
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, commented on the partnership: “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.”
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By Amanda Bainbridge