Since the start of the pandemic, the number of calls to the DVSA customer services centre has increased dramatically.
Between October and December 2021, they received 359,000 calls. That’s 82% higher than we the number of calls they received in the same period in 2019.
They have worked hard to try and meet this additional demand and have taken measures so that they can answer more of your calls such as recruiting more call agents but they are still not meeting the demand.
The DVSA understand this has caused disruption for people and their business and want to do more to improve the service they offer to you and their other customers.
Why are call levels so high?
The DVSA state that they are doing everything they can to reduce the high driving test waiting times caused by the pandemic as quickly and safely as possible.
They understand that learner drivers and instructors may be frustrated by long waiting times and many are keen to find an earlier test appointment.
There will also be learners who do not feel fully prepared for their test and need to delay it to a later date.
DVSA have also seen an increase in theory test enquiries including questions relating to delays to some sites going live, the transfer of the enquiries from the old service to the new one and from candidates who have lost their theory test pass certificates or booking details.
The 5 top types of questions received
The top 5 types of enquiries customers are calling about are:
- Theory test booking with an average call handling time of 9 minutes, 30 seconds
- ADI test swaps with an average call handling time of 7 minutes
- Enquiry for DVLA not DVSA
- Prefer to phone with an average call handling time of 7 minutes, 30 seconds
- Requesting to change their test date with an average call handling time of 7 minutes, 30 seconds
To help increase the number of calls they can answer they are going to ask those who have access to online services to use them whenever possible rather than contacting the customer services team.
What are we doing to address this?
DVSA have recently recruited 50 additional temporary call agents. This will allow them to answer 2,000 more calls a day and answer calls quicker than they currently do.
The 50 additional call agents will be helping to answer driving test enquiries to start with and will then support with theory test enquiries too.
The temporary call agents have initially been hired for 4 weeks. This may be extended up to 16 weeks.
DVSA have also reduced the number of calls that can be queued at any one time. This means that they will accept less calls at once and some customers may experience an engaged tone rather than being put in a lengthy queue.
This change combined with the additional temporary call agents means that they will now be able to answer more of your calls.
How you can support DVSA
To help to increase the number of customer calls they can answer they need you to:
- use our online services rather than contacting our customer services teams whenever possible
- use the fast-track number and ring when the lines are quiet to help make sure your call is answered
Booking and managing your pupils’ test appointments
If you are not already registered to use the booking and managing your pupils test appointment service you can register on GOV.UK.
If you already have access to the service and use it to book and manage your pupils test appointments please use this to swap bookings between your pupils.
This will allow you to manage an make changes to your bookings more quickly and easily.
If you are not able to use the online service, you can still contact the customer service centre during opening hours using the ADI fast-track number, 0300 200 1122 (option 25 at point of connection).
Changing test dates
The call agents have access to the same live booking service that you and your pupils’ use.
So if your pupils want to change the date of their test, encourage them to use the change your driving test appointment service on GOV.UK.