There are currently 45,000 people waiting for a driving test date in Ireland.
Although the RSA waiting time target is 10 weeks maximum, Buncrana and Gorey see average waiting times of 19.3 weeks and 18.4 weeks respectively. Out of 48 test centres in Ireland, only eight meet the 10-week target.
“The driver testing service has seen increased waiting times nationally over the past year,” an RSA representative told The Journal. “This is due to a sustained level of applications being received, alongside a reduction in driver tester numbers due to retirements,” they added.
The spokesperson also said that 19,000 driving test candidates failed to attend their allocated time slot. The spokesperson also admitted that recent extreme weather has also caused a disruption.
“I booked my test in February and I’m still waiting for a date. They say booking can be up to 10 weeks but realistically its about 14-16. Even waiting for a cancellation is just as bad,” said Niamh Dunne, driving test candidate and a DCU student.
“A friend of mine had her test booked and date allocated, but then it was cancelled because it was mildly raining,” she added.
The longest waiting times in Ireland are Cork, Cavan and Killarney- with the longest waiting time being 23 weeks.
“The waiting times are way too long- driving test examiners have to cover too much ground. I think more examiners need to be appointed. For the amount you pay to book a test, you shouldn’t have to wait for that length,” said Ailish Finan, a language studies student at the University of Limerick.
“One of my close friends was waiting for a date and was under pressure to get the test passed as quick as possible because he was starting placement and he needed to be able to drive on a motorway. He eventually had to ring RSA and got a date as someone cancelled their test,” she added.
The RSA website states that long waiting times are due to “the boom in car sales in recent years and the surge in the number of drivers on Irish roads.”
Image Credit: Sarah O’Neill