A driving instructor from Wivenhoe has shared his top tip on how to secure a driving test date amid the huge backlog across the country. 

Learner drivers have reported facing up to a six month wait for a practical exam in the Colchester and Clacton areas.  

Andy Mehen, an instructor from Wivenhoe who works for Benson School of Motoring, disclosed on social media, how new drivers can get an exam date booked for their driving test without having to wait for months. 

He replied to a post of a learner, who had tried to book a test online on a daily basis but was told he had to wait at least six months. 

His instructor told him to keep checking daily, but Mr Mehen found another way to speed up the process. 

To have a chance at an earlier booking, he advised students to book a test at a random place and time instead of choosing their preferred area and time. 

He said: "This has been a problem since the last lockdown. It is an ongoing issue and has never gotten any better.

"At the moment, if you try to book now, you will get an appointment for February or March next year."

Once they are registered, they can keep an eye out for cancellations or new dates, as they are already on the system. 

An app called ‘Teste’ can help, as it picks up on changes in the schedule and users can choose to receive notifications about changes at their test centre. 

He said: "Those who planned to take their test in summer had the earliest chance to get an appointment in November."

New dates for examinations are released every Monday morning at 6 am by the DVSA but only include dates six months in advance. 

Mr Mehen said: "We instructors have gotten an email from the DVSA that 150,000 new dates were added across the country but that is not many per centre."

Another factor, that adds to the massive backlog, is that some test centres are understaffed or at times closed and therefore unable to do the tests.

"Hopefull it will get better", Mr Mehen said.