A DRIVING instructor from Weston Rhyn believes mostly young learners are being penalised by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) during the pandemic.

Clive Geary condemned the DVSA’s treatment of learner drivers during the pandemic, insisting they are not extending the dates of theory test certificates, which normally stand for two years.

He believes that the majority of learners are young people are being mistreated over this.

Mr Geary said: “I cannot express enough how disappointed I am with the way young people are being penalised through no fault of their own by the DVSA policy at this moment in time.

“The DVSA appear to be profiteering from the crisis. There are no driving tests and it would appear this will be for at least three months. But they will not extend anyone’s theory test certificate.

“The DVSA profess to make it cheaper to learn to drive as substantiated by a reduction in the cost of the theory test in the not too distant past.”

Mr Geary says his concern is that the DVSA’s ‘inconsistent’ approach is unfair.

He added: “Due to the coronavirus, the DVSA has extended the validity of MOT certificates by six months.

“An MOT test is a safety check on a vehicle’s road worthiness. Should a vehicle suffer a brake failure and injuries result, who might be at fault? This is generous, if risky. With regards to learning to drive, the DVSA has chosen to be less generous.”

All theory tests are currently suspended until May 31. All practical driving tests are suspended until at least June 20, unless you are a critical worker.

Clive added: “Assuming matters get back to a near-normal, you will not be able to book a practical driving test until at least October/November 2020, although you have paid for and passed a theory test you have not actually got a certificate that is valid for two years.

“It seems to me that the DVSA are profiteering from the ongoing crisis as they will not extend the validity of theory test pass certificates.”

The DVSA confirmed that tests are in place for two years, but admitted it is reviewing the current regulations given the unprecedented nature of COVID-19.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “We’re looking into the impact of the current restrictions on provisional licence holders. Key workers can still book a practical driving test or a theory test.”