Driving test fails for ‘dirty cars’ criticised

Driving test fails for ‘dirty cars’ criticised
Driving test examiners have come under fire for failing learner drivers because their cars are “too dirty”. 

One 17-year-old girl was said to have been left “distraught” when her examiner failed her last Monday before she had even got behind the wheel of the car, the Daily Mail reports.  

Her father said the reason she was refused the test was because there were tiny pencil rubber filings on the carpet underneath the passenger seat of her instructor's car.    

The teenager, who asked not to be named, had been waiting months to take the test, but has not yet driven again following the incident at Blackpool Test Centre.     

Her driving instructor asked for a second opinion after her examiner refused to get in the car, but this was reportedly refused.    

The girl’s father insisted that the instructor's car “was spotless apart from a few tiny bits of rubber from when the instructor had rubbed something out of his diary”. 

He added: “The filings weren't on the seat or anywhere where the examiner would be sitting. It wasn't like there were crisp packets and empty tins everywhere, it's ridiculous... She's failed without even driving the car, and there's no way of getting the money back.” 

There is currently a huge backlog of practical driving exams because of the pandemic, with at least a four to five-month wait for the test, which costs £62. And with theory tests expiring after two years, this all adds to the pressure learners are under to pass.   

New hygiene standards have been set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.  

People wanting to take a test must clear and clean the inside of their car before their practical assessment. But it appears that some test centres may be taking the guidance a little too far. 

Several other learner drivers across the country have also complained that they have failed their test because their car does not meet the new cleanliness standards.  

One Norwich driver reportedly failed as there was mud in the footwell of their car, while others were rejected because of blades of grass and even strands of hair.  

The DVSA has declined to comment on individual cases but said its priority is to protect its customers and staff and stop the spread of COVID-19. 

A spokesperson said: “Guidance has been issued that cars used on driving tests must be cleaned before the test to lessen the chance of infection. Driving tests will not go ahead if this has not been followed to ensure public safety.” 

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