Simple mistakes could cost drivers over £200


As the cost-of-living crisis continues to cause financial strain, experts at warn of the simple mistakes that could cost drivers £221.

With fuel costs soaring, drivers are now spending considerably more money to keep their cars on the road. With this in mind, are warning drivers of a number of simple mistakes they should avoid in order to help save money:

Failure to show for practical driving test – Missed practical driving tests are at an all-time high. In 2021-22, the DVA recorded over 2,110 missed practical driving test appointments, the highest on record dating back to 2008-09.*

In Northern Ireland a practical driving test must be cancelled 6 days in advance if booked for a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and 4 days in advance if booked for a Friday or Saturday.

If the driving test is not cancelled within this time frame customers cannot get a refund and will have to pay the full price for the missed appointment and book another, which could cost anywhere from £91-£125 depending on the time and day of the appointment.

Failure to show for theory test – Missed theory tests can also leave drivers to pay a significant amount of money. During the final quarter of 2022, the DVA recorded 3,044 customers that failed to attend a booked theory test. This represents 14% of all theory tests conducted during the quarter.

If you need to cancel or reschedule a theory test you must do so three working days before the test date to get a full refund. If not, you will have to pay the full £23.00 fee for your practical test. Rebooking a test will also cost a further £23.00 meaning drivers could face paying £46.00 as a result of missing a theory test.

Booking an MOT too late – As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and widespread problems with testing equipment, the DVA have been experiencing a massive backlog of MOT appointments, resulting in low availability and delays, with many having to travel to other test centres for an available slot.

In a recent survey conducted by on MOT delays, 32% of people said they had to drive 20 miles or more for an MOT appointment costing on average £6.00 in petrol. A further 20% said they had driven 30 miles or more costing around £9.00**

Recent booking information shows that test centres in Armagh, Ballymena, Downpatrick, Larne and Lisburn have a four month waiting list for an available MOT appointment.  Similarly, test centres in Craigavon, Enniskillen, Mallusk, Newry and Newtownards have a three month wait. Cookstown test centre has a two month wait and Omagh has a one month wait. There were no available slots, currently available at the time of checking, for the Balmoral and Coleraine test centres.

It is important to book your test well in advance to save travelling long distances to test centres and spending excess money on fuel.

ChallengesMoney wasted
Failure to show for a test – practical£45.50-£62.50
Rebooking another test – practical£45.50-£62.50
Failure to show for a test – theory£23.00
Rebooking another test – theory£23.00
Petrol charge for driving over 20 miles to the next available test centre£6.00
Failure to show for MOT test£22.00
Rebook MOT test£22.00

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.