Learners waiting up to nearly five months for driving test

Dublin is experiencing the worst backlog with almost 12,000 drivers seeking test date

After Tralee, Co Kerry at 19 weeks, the longest waiting times by test centre are Athlone (17 weeks), Donegal (17 weeks), Roscommon (16.8 weeks), Mallow (16.7 weeks). Photograph: Getty Images

After Tralee, Co Kerry at 19 weeks, the longest waiting times by test centre are Athlone (17 weeks), Donegal (17 weeks), Roscommon (16.8 weeks), Mallow (16.7 weeks). Photograph: Getty Images

 

Driving test waiting times have risen to an average of 13 weeks, with the longest waiting times in Tralee, Co Kerry, at almost five months, according to the latest figures.

The largest number of people waiting to be scheduled for a test is in Dublin at 11,691 people, with 4,815 people awaiting a date in Cork, according to Road Safety Authority (RSA) figures from August 5th.

Similarly, Galway, Tipperary and Waterford are also experiencing high wait times. In total, 44,433 people are currently waiting on a driving test date in Ireland.

The RSA’s target average waiting time is 10 weeks but there is considerable variation across the State with some waiting times significantly longer than 13 weeks.

National average

After Tralee, Co Kerry at 19 weeks, the longest waiting times by test centre are Athlone (17 weeks), Donegal (17 weeks), Roscommon (16.8 weeks), Mallow (16.7 weeks), Loughrea (16.6 weeks) Tipperary (16.6 weeks) and Clonmel (16.4 weeks).

The RSA’s website states it aims to have a national average waiting time for a driving test of no longer than 10 weeks.

“Our ability to meet this target depends on the number of applications received. Accordingly, the average waiting time in driving test centres may vary above or below this 10-week target,” it stated.

Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has highlighted that people in Roscommon and Athlone are subjected to some of the longest waiting times for driving tests in the State with waiting times of over four months.

Mr Murphy recently tabled a parliamentary question on the matter with Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

Scheduled

“Figures from the Road Safety Authority indicate that people in Athlone have one of the longest waiting times in the country as they are typically waiting 17 weeks or over four months to sit their driving test and 1,892 people in Co Westmeath have not been scheduled for a test yet,” he said.

“The waiting time for a driving test in Roscommon is 16.8 weeks and over 700 people have not been scheduled for a test while there are over 3,000 people in Co Galway who have not been scheduled for a driving test yet,” said Mr Murphy.

Mr Murphy has called on the Minister for Transport to “expedite” the appointment of additional driver testers and to increase the numbers.

“Many of these people may be waiting for a full licence for employment purposes or a job application may be hinging on them having a full licence while other drivers are paying exorbitant levels of car insurance for provisional licences and they are being left waiting long periods to sit their driving test,” he added.

Top 10 by average waiting time

1. Tralee – 19 weeks

2- Athlone – 17 weeks

3 Donegal – 17 weeks

4. Roscommon – 16.8 weeks

5. Mallow – 16.7 weeks

6 Loughrea – 16.6 weeks

7. Tipperary – 16.5 weeks

8. Clonmel – 16.4 weeks

9. Letterkenny – 15.9 weeks

10 Newcastle – 15.6 weeks

Top 10 by number of people waiting for a test

1. Dublin – 11,691 

2. Cork – 4,815

3. Galway – 2,465

4. Kerry – 1,853

5. Limerick – 1,819

6. Tipperary – 1,721

7. Louth – 1,543

8. Meath – 1,521

9. Wexford – 1,515

10. Offaly – 1,294