SCARCE driving test slots are being shamelessly flogged for three times the official fee amid an unprecedented national backlog.
A shortage of examiners, strike action and a post-pandemic surge in demand have left a queue of more than half a million learners.
Fraudsters have also been fleecing learners out of hundreds of pounds for fake tests
Now The Sun can reveal opportunistic instructors are openly offering pupils’ cancelled dates for resale.
Our investigation also found Facebook fraudsters trained by organised crime gangs are fleecing desperate learners out of hundreds of pounds for bogus tests.
Officially, tests can be booked through the Government’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) site for £62 for a weekday test, or £75 for a weekend slot.
Becky Kelway’s 19-year-old daughter Fran is due to take her test in November — six months after booking it.
Becky, of St Albans, Herts, said: “It’s a minefield. I think it’s criminal that these organisations are allowed to operate. It’s like a cartel.”
Kirsten Scheider, 48, also from Herts, is facing a 500-mile trip to Aberdeen — the closest town she could find with test availability for her 17-year-old son.
She said: “It’s ridiculous. Instructors tell you to book anything just to get on the system, then look out for a cancellation closer to home to swap it with.
“There’s been nothing, so I guess he’s going to Scotland.”
The DVSA has an online portal for legitimate driving schools to secure test dates for pupils.
But the agency admits unscrupulous brokers exploit the service and even use bots to make block bookings.
The Sun spoke to one broker, under condition of anonymity, who said he gets test dates from an instructor and resells up to ten of them a week at £240 each.
Former DVSA examiner Asif Zamir now runs the 1 Driving School in North London.
Its website lists more than 20 fast-track driving tests for sale — with admin fees of up to £165 on top of the £62 weekday test fee.
Adding VAT takes the cost of some weekday tests to more than £270.
Asif, 39, says he doesn’t use bots to book tests, and that his dates are sold on behalf of learners who need to cancel or rearrange.
He said: “All we do is offer a swap shop service — they sell their date and we find them a new date, inclusive.”
Crooks are also cashing in via Facebook groups that claim to offer a test date swap shop.
In reality they are used by swindlers who advertise fake tests and arrange sales on WhatsApp or via Facebook Messenger.
The Sun spoke to one conman in Cameroon who told how organised criminals recruit crooks through cyber cafes and charge $200 for tutorials in the scam.
He said: “It’s hard — I do maybe one or two a week. I know it hurts people and I want to stop, but I can’t say I will because I need to eat.”
The DVSA told The Sun that reselling test appointments is not illegal, adding: “Approved driving instructors are allowed to charge reasonable fees if they are booking tests on behalf of a learner, but they are not allowed to make a profit from doing so.”
The agency offers no guidance to what is a “reasonable” fee.
Facebook owner Meta said it removed three scam groups after being notified by The Sun.
DVSA examiner Asif Zamir now runs the 1 Driving School in North London
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