Car parts and bike retailer Halfords has struck a deal with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to become the first private sector organisation to host cost-effective, practical driving tests, with a hope to carry out said tests on university campuses.
Young drivers and students are increasingly frustrated with the long waiting lists for practical driving tests. This announcement will come in good stead for young drivers, with Halfords announcing the deal was made in order to reduce waiting lists and offer locations closer to drivers for their tests.
Stephen Hammond, the Road Safety minister said: “We are working with Halfords to provide a more local service for driving test candidates. This is a great example of working with private-sector partners to provide an important local service that is convenient as well as being cost effective.” He went on to say that in the future, driving tests may be conducted in universities.
Many students put off their driving test due to moving to a different city for university, and the inconvenience of not having local testing centres. Providing a driving test service on campus would likely lead to an increase in students taking their tests, a skill that would undoubtedly look good on their CV’s to future employers.
Caitlin Fitzgerald, a second year law student at Glasgow University has commented, “I have completed all my driving lessons but have been waiting a year and a half to do my practical exam due to my studies. The opportunity to take my test on campus would definitely encourage me to book my test and would make life a lot easier”.
The commercial director for Halfords, Paul McClenaghan, said: “We’re always seeking new ways in which to enhance our offer, so working with the Driving Standards Agency is a natural fit for business, and extends the help we are able to provide for motorists.”
Using university campuses as test centres would inevitably encourage young students who have not learnt to drive to consider it and those that have, to book their tests.