Driving tests delays set to continue into 2024 despite 75 new testers

Driving Tests Delays Set To Continue Into 2024 Despite 75 New Testers
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Vivienne Clarke

Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers has admitted that even with the addition of 75 new testers it will be the end of quarter one in 2024 before waiting times for driving tests are reduced from the current average of 21 weeks to 10 weeks.

Speaking on both Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Chambers said that the waiting times were “completely unacceptable” and left too many young people in limbo “waiting to get to college or go to work and just go about their days”.


Mr Chambers said that 75 new testers were being recruited with a three-month recruitment process followed by two months training which meant the new testers would be in place by October.

“We are trying to find a solution that really puts a sustainable number of testers in place so that we can address the increased levels of demand we've seen over the last couple of years.”

Mr Chambers said that once the new testers were in place in October the waiting time for tests would begin to decrease.

“We were doing 3000 tests per week in October of last year. We're now at over 4000, with the 75 additional testers we will put in around 6000 tests per week. So there will be progress for many people that are waiting 21 weeks this year, but it'll be early next year before we get back to our average wait time of ten weeks in quarter one of 2024. I don't think we'll be waiting until the middle of next year to see tangible progress made.”


Mr Chambers said that an arbitration process has commenced between the Road Safety Authority and Applus, the company that has the contract for NCT centres in an attempt to stop delays for NCT.

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It was “totally unacceptable” that waiting times were now at 30 weeks on average. Moves were being made to recruit an additional 55 mechanics which should increase capacity.

"People had been forced to wait too long for their NCT.  They expected a proper service. Applus are contracted to provide that service and haven't provided the level or standard of service that I expect as Minister. And that's why contract penalties are being applied and there's an engagement between the Road Safety Authority and Applus. In fact there is a dispute on the contract mechanism.”

Mr Chambers said that arbitration was commencing between Applus and the Road Safety Authority.

It was unfortunate that the issue was being disputed, he added. “My position is that the penalties should be applied and they should be applied to Applus who aren't fulfilling their contract.”

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