DRIVING instructors in Worcestershire have said they believe an extension should be granted to theory test certificates which expire this year so pupils who have already passed the test won't have to retake it following cancellations due to the pandemic.

It is claimed that an estimated 70,000 learner drivers who have already passed their theory test face having to take it again due to the delays caused by the pandemic. Rules state you must take your practical test within two years of passing your theory, but as both lessons and tests have been cancelled for most of the last 12 months and there's now an eight month waiting list for practical tests, thousands could miss this cut off.

Theory test certificates haven't been extended by the DVLA during the pandemic, but a petition has been created to extend the permitted time by 12 months so learners won't miss out on taking their practical.

Vanessa Fewtrell, who runs Vanessa's Driving School in Worcester, said she also believes an extension should be granted.

She said: "I have several pupils that could have to retake the test myself.

"I have one pupil one who takes the test later in May only a couple of days before her theory runs out.

"I would support it being extended, not opened-ended, but a year would be ideal because we lost so many months with people that were test ready.

"I have four pupils who have had tests cancelled in lockdown and It’s been a bit of a nightmare for them.

"I would say that I’m really in favour of the extension because there’s lots of people in the situation whereby they’ve taken their theory test and passed and are waiting for the practical test and it's been cancelled due to lockdown."

Instructor David Wilkinson, who runs the Malvern School of Motoring, said: "There are people who are having to retake the theory test through no fault of their own.

"It's not an ideal situation and a lot of people must be frustrated and aggrieved, and quite rightly so because it seems a bit harsh not allowing people to extend their theory test.

"I think it’s wrong because they’ve already spent their money on the first theory test."

Leaner drivers with expired theory tests have to pay £23 to retake the test.