Theory test fees to fall but beware websites charging extra
Learner drivers will benefit from a price cut for theory tests taken from 1 October.
The price for a car or motorcycle theory test will fall to £23 from £25. The costs have fallen by almost 20% since September 2014 when the price of the tests was £31.
If you use the official theory test booking service at gov.uk/booktheorytest you will only be charged for the test cost.
Other booking websites can charge extra fees. For example, driver1.co.uk charges £39.
Some sites charge more because they offer unlimited resits. One such website is theorytestcentre.com, which charges £59. The website states this is inclusive of £28 for unlimited resits and "the £31 test fee" – although the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's (DVSA) test fee has been £25 since October 2014.
The driver1 website also charges £59 for the test and unlimited retests.
Neither site makes it clear whether any money is refunded should a candidate choose the unlimited resit offer but pass first time.
On calling theorytestcentre.com, it emerged that the company discounts the cost of a practical test by £17 for those passing the theory test first time. However, it charges a £17 booking fee on top of the official DVSA practical test fee of £62.
This means learner drivers who choose to pay for the unlimited theory resit option but pass first time pay £121 for a theory and practical test but would have only paid £87 had they booked through the official gov.uk website.
Other websites don't disclose their charges upfront for booking tests. At booking-direct.co.uk, no charges are displayed before the learner driver is required to enter their personal details into the webform and no phone number is available. Enquiries must be sent via a webform.