Learner drivers will be unable to book a driving test until Wednesday due to “urgent maintenance” on the booking website after it crashed amid “unprecedented demand”.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said that its driving test booking service had almost seven million visitors in 12 hours when it reopened after several months of suspension due to the coronavirus lockdown.
It said on Saturday that it had taken the service offline until 8am on Wednesday so that essential maintenance can be carried out to help it cope with the increased demand.
Its chief executive Gareth Llewellyn added: “Coronavirus has severely impacted our business-as-usual operations, including by stopping driving tests in March.
“Since then DVSA have only been dealing with applications for emergency driving tests for critical workers.
“Following unprecedented demand for the driving test booking system with almost seven million attempts to book a test when it opened, we need to carry out urgent maintenance so people can book tests.
“We have to close the booking service until Wednesday 26 August and are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
The DVSA driving test booking service for England and Wales reopened again at 8am on Friday after being closed from March 20 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
But the agency said that by 8pm the service had been visited almost seven million times, leaving candidates unable to complete their bookings.
When attempting to access the application page users were met with an error message.
The DVSA said some 210,000 tests were cancelled and tens of thousands more were delayed because of the virus.
Learners whose tests were cancelled during lockdown were invited to re-book first in July.
Driving tests in Scotland are set to restart from September 14, but people are not yet able to book a slot.