This student had to drive 1,000 miles from Windsor to Aberdeen to take her driving test
It cost over £150 in petrol because she couldn’t get a slot near her
A student was forced to make a week-long 1,000-mile round trip to Scotland to take her driving test because she couldn’t get a test slot near her.
Emily Doyle is a 22-year-old musical theatre student. She travelled all the way to Aberdeen with her mum from their home to take her driving test.
Emily said she had been trying to book a test locally since she passed her theory test in April but had been unsuccessful so started to look elsewhere. The trip to Aberdeen cost over £150 in petrol alone.
She took the test on the 26th of October after setting off on the 22nd and passed with only six minors. She said: “I’m really relieved I passed. The first thing I did was drive up to university.”
Emily said she was glad she made the long trip: “I think that it paid off. I could have been waiting a year or more for a test near home. I think that it was worth it – but it was a lot of planning and time.”
Her mum added: “I think it’s very extreme what we did, but needs must. There was no alternative. We have been trying to get a test since April and we couldn’t even get a booking or secure a date. We’ve been on the [booking] site when it opens at 6am and Emily bought an app to book cancelled tests. But we’ve never been able to secure a date even six months to a year ahead.
“You just can’t secure the dates. It’s very frustrating and very extreme – but Emily was determined to take her test.”
Emily took her test right after Storm Babet so after stopping in Edinburgh, the main road to Aberdeen was closed due to flooding so they had to take a detour using backroads. If she didn’t pass, they’d already decided they would make the journey again when she was off uni for Christmas. Luckily she passed, though, as they said the whole situation left them stressed and frustrated.
Emily’s mum said: “We’re relieved now she’s passed – she can drive to uni, it’s going to be massively helpful, so we’re really pleased. It feels great now that success has been achieved but I underestimated how stressful it would be. We go up to Scotland quite regularly but not to sit tests, when she got there she was really stressed because she didn’t know the roads.
“She passed but because of the weather it just rained non-stop there, it was absolutely freezing and very challenging.”
Emily added: “I found it quite different to near home – there were less cars on the road which was nice but its unfamiliar surroundings so it took a little while to adjust. I practised for a couple of days before but it was a lot to try and adapt to quickly.
“There’s such a long wait list and its better to do it in a place your familiar with to take some of the pressure away and because it’s where I’ll be driving now I’ve passed.”
A spokesperson for the Drive and Vehicle Standards Agency said: “We are taking all the measures we can to reduce driving test waiting times. The work we’ve been doing to date, along with our examiner recruitment, is already creating over 40,000 extra tests every month. We strongly urge learners only to book their driving test when they are ready to pass.”
Featured image via SWNS.