‘They have you over a barrel’: how scammers, touts and bots took over driving tests

‘They have you over a barrel’: how scammers, touts and bots took over driving tests

It can take you six months to get a driving test in England – unless you’re willing to pay a middleman up to £350. What’s behind this black market? And is there any way to avoid it?

I have much good fortune in my life, but in one respect I am unlucky: I live in the part of the country with the longest waiting times for driving tests, and I have been learning to drive.

I began learning in 2022. In June 2023, I was test-ready. But when I tried to book my test, there were none available until mid-November, meaning I had to pay for six extra months of lessons so I wouldn’t forget what I had learned.

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