Learner drivers in Wales will be able to return to lessons later this month, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed. Driving lessons, which have been suspended since lockdown was introduced in March, will begin again on Monday, July 27, while driving and theory tests will recommence in August.

Driving lessons have already been reintroduced in England, but Wales’ stricter coronavirus lockdown rules have prevented learners having time with their instructors. Now, though, lessons will be able to restart ahead of theory tests recommencing on Monday, August 3.

On the same day, practical tests for motorcycles, lorries and buses will restart, along with car-and-trailer tests, and tractor driving tests. Welsh car driving tests, however, will not come back until August 17.

According to the DVSA, tests will only take place with “physical distancing measures in place” to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The reason for the delay between the restart of lessons and testing, the DVSA claims, is to give learner drivers time for “refresher lessons and practice” before they take their driving tests.

Learner driver with instructor taking lessons

“It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice,” said Gareth Llewellyn, the DVSA’s chief executive. “We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors but I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and tests in Wales.

“Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.”

L plate (for learner driver under instruction)

Sarah Rees, the managing director of AA Driving School, expressed delight at the restart of lessons, and said instructors have been eagerly awaiting this announcement. She also expressed a desire to see Scotland, which has so far only announced a date for the restart of driving theory tests and motorcycle practical tests, make a similar announcement.

“We are delighted as learners in Wales can join their counterparts across the border and start their driving journey from July 27,” she said. “We saw a huge surge in demand after the initial announcement that lessons were back in England and expect to see a similar level of interest in Wales, if not more, as the Welsh lockdown restrictions continued for longer.

“Driving instructors in Wales have been left in career limbo during lockdown and we are pleased that the wait is finally over. We hope that the Scottish government will follow suit; if we want safe new drivers after the pandemic, we need to ensure they get the right education and driving experience before the clock to return to work starts ticking.”