NEW research has revealed learner drivers across Hampshire are waiting nearly two years to take their tests after a driving test backlog.

Researchers found the county currently has one of the longest backlogs in the UK, with learner waiting up until January 2024, behind London, Greater Manchester, Kent and Essex.

The analysis carried out by learner driver insurers, Marmalade, discovered 68,491 learners will battle for test slots across 2022/23 in Hampshire.

While some learners will secure tests as hoped, others will be left disappointed as they fall into a lengthy rollover.

An estimated 4,243 learners within Hampshire were unable to book a test in February and have fallen into a rollover.

The backlog estimation comes after Marmalade obtained data through a Freedom of Information request showing all tests booked for 2022, as well as gross demand for tests through the DVSA across all of 2021.

Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade said: “Learner drivers have been consistently impacted as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns. We have seen the biggest ever backlog in access to driving tests and for many this will have set them back quite considerably in their journey to getting on the road or perhaps even ended it for some."

Winchester driving instructor, Colin Smith from Driving Winchester said that tests were in high demand.

He said: "I check online at least two or three times a week. They show there is no tests available for six months, then they will release a few tests and they go like hot cakes.

"It's unfair on us, the pupils, instructors and examiners but there's nothing we can do about it. The DVSA are trying their best to get the backlog down. They're doing early morning tests and working weekends, as well as overtime. We've got a two year backlog due to lockdown. It doesn't help. It's really frustrating but you can't blame anybody."

The six locations with the longest backlog of learner drivers from last month:

1) London - 27,077

2) Greater Manchester - 8,487

3) Kent - 4,850

4) Essex - 4,445

5) Hampshire - 4,243

6) Lancashire - 3,637