A driving instructor has divided opinions after offering learners desperate to beat the six-month wait for a test an opportunity to buy last minute slots for five times the usual price.
Over the last two weeks, Steve Cogan, who lives in Shepherd’s Bush, has repeatedly taken to marketplace claiming to have 30 ‚February dates‘ at 10 different driving test centres.
The driving instructor is charging an eye-watering £212 rather than the usual £62-£75, but says he is simply ‚trying to do good‘ and help drivers beat ’s six-month waiting times.
The unnamed examiner who gave Steve the dates is being investigated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
Steve Cogan, (pictured) who lives in Shepherd’s Bush, has been charging learner drivers up to five times the usual price of a test to beat the queue
When contacted by undercover reporters, Steve boasted that he could secure test slots for as soon as three days away, despite the centres being booked up for months on the official system.
The father-of-two bragged that he’s been selling tests from the ‚very handy‘ mystery examiner for ‚a couple of months‘ and even claimed hopeful learners engaged in a bidding war over one in-demand area of London that saw the test slot go for a staggering £300.
It remains unclear how the unidentified examiner is able to provide the slots to other instructors, or whether he is breaching any rules or guidelines when doing so.
Self-confessed ‚middle man‘ Steve has since told reporters he is ‚just trying to do good‘ but admitted pocketing £10 per booking before handing the remaining profits to the examiner.
Driving instructor organisations have united to condemn the unnamed examiner’s actions as ‚unfair‘ and called on him to be ’named and shamed‘.
Steve said: ‚It’s a six-month waiting list so I was just trying to help some people out.I’m sure there’s people that would say it’s fair and some people who say it isn’t.
‚I don’t buy [the tests]. I’m just a middle man. If you look at the DVSA and look who has bought them, my name won’t be next to it. I go through someone else.
‚I’ve got someone who lets me know they’ve got these tests, then I pass them out to my students and anyone who needs them.
Steve (pictured), who claims to make just £10 from each booking, said he’s ‚trying to do good‘ by helping learners in search of last-minute test slots
‚I was just trying to help some people, and I only make £10 from each booking and the rest goes to the other party.
‚It’s not a huge amount of money.I thought I was doing people some favours by offering out the contact that I’ve got.
‚The guy’s an examiner or an ex-examiner. I didn’t think it was dodgy, not really. There’s hundreds of apps out there that you can get driving cancellations on. I just assumed it was one of those.
‚A student got in contact with him, and then she put me in contact with him.I’m trying to do good.
‚Some people will put the time in to press that refresh button and keep clicking, spending 20 hours a day doing it, and some people would rather pay someone else to do it.
‚If it’s not allowed then I will happily stop right now.I don’t want to get in trouble and I don’t want to get anyone else in trouble. I don’t want to get on the wrong side of anyone, let alone the DVSA.‘
Steve’s Facebook listing’s included slots at London test centres Southall, Uxbridge, Greenford, Ashford, Mill Hill, Hither Green, Pinner, Yeading, Goodmayes and Isleworth.
Aleksandrs Krasuckis, 33, is among those who think Steve is right to offer queue-jump tests at various centres (pictured), as his partner has been waiting since 2021 for a slot
Driving tests cost £62 to be taken on a weekday and £75 for a weekend, but by paying an extra £150 and providing your provisional driving licence and theory pass numbers Steve says he can help jump the queue.
Aleksandrs Krasuckis, 33, who lives in London, revealed his partner Korina Anderson, 29, has had to wait from September until next month to take her test three hours away from home.
He believes Steve was only doing the right thing for himself, and wasn’t considering the impact the scheme has on the long waiting times.
Aleksandrs said: online casino ‚I was surprised and annoyed when I saw it.I thought ‚what the hell‘. It’s just not fair. He’s being selfish and taking advantage of desperate learners.
‚Who is he doing the right thing for? It must be himself because he’s earning money from it. When the price is that high, it’s not the right thing for everyone.
‚I was just p***** off with this kind of person, keeping the slots for themselves.I understand it’s quicker and that’s a good thing but it’s too high of a price for me.
‚The DVSA should be looking into it, and maybe the trainees should book the test themselves and not the driving instructor. It would cut out this kind of thing.‘
Steve said everyone who has paid for his fast-track test service (pictured) has been ‚very thankful‘, while comparing himself to an airline offering priority boarding
Steve, whose Facebook claims he’s also a mortgage advisor, says he has been called ‚kind‘ for providing the quick-booking tests to learners and even suggests the DVSA should begin to operate it in the same way airlines provide priority boarding.
Steve said: ‚[The examiner] said he’s got a network of instructors and he’s contacting everyone saying, „If any of your students aren’t ready for their tests, we can give someone the option of taking their space“.
‚He said the money can go to giving that person some driving lessons until they can get another slot.
‚Everyone that has paid the fee has been very thankful, telling me, „It’s really kind of you“, and they’ve been over the moon that I’ve been able to help them‘.
‚It’s only like airlines providing priority boarding.There’s an extra cost to that. Maybe the DVSA should do something like that.‘
Steve deleted his initial Facebook listing after being informed of the DVSA’s investigation into the unnamed examiner.
However, he has since uploaded more with a similar offer.
Steve (pictured) said learners might be more understanding of the price he charges, if they understood the work that goes into finding cancellations
Learners have taken to social media complaining that they are unable to find available tests in their area, with one claiming to not have found slots until 2024.
One of Steve’s posts boasts, ‚We can book you a test in a matter of one-two weeks anywhere in West/North West/South West London‘.
Many members replied to point out they’d messaged him privately, while he sought to reassure wary learners he wouldn’t take payment until the DVSA confirmed the booking with them.
One user replied: ‚So a standard driving test costs £62 and you are charging £150.That is disgusting.‘
Steve defended his scheme, saying: ‚Sorry you feel that way but I don’t make the prices up and it’s better than waiting six months.
‚I understand it’s out of budget for some people, but maybe if you understood the work that went into finding the cancellations you might be a little more understanding.
‚I appreciate it’s not for everyone’s budget but if finding a test was easy this service wouldn’t be needed.I wish you the best of luck for your test..‘
A DVSE spokesperson warned any tests booked outside of the official DVSA booking site could be a scam and may result in candidates not having a slot.Pictured: Steve’s exchanges with a learner booking a test
Other Facebook users appear to be selling driving tests slots on the platform too, with one quoting £162 to secure learners a booking as few as two days prior to the test.
The DVSA encourages all pupils to use their official.gov booking website, and any available slots that become available as a result of cancellations will appear there.
A DVSA spokesperson said: ‚DVSA does not stand for any abuse of our customer service booking systems and are investigating.We will not hesitate in taking action if any misconduct is identified.
‚We will take action against any instructor guilty of misconduct at the expense of legitimate candidates who have patiently waited for their opportunity to test.
‚Any tests booked outside of the official DVSA booking site could be a scam and may result in candidates not having a test slot.
‚We urge anyone to report any tests offered on social media to us.‘
Lynne Barrie, chairman of the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC), said: ‚There is an obvious unfairness to everyone else trying to get cancellations and earlier test slots.
‚The average waiting time currently is up to six months due to Covid which is causing all sorts of challenges for candidates and ADIs.
‚DVSA are trying to reduce that time but this report seems to show an abuse of the system which needs to give fair access to everyone evenly.
‚The current system isn’t perfect but no one should be circumventing it for their own gain. I’m sure DVSA will investigate thoroughly.‘
A spokesperson for the Driving Instructors Association added: ‚The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) does not accept this type of behaviour from those who are supposed to be professionals in our industry.
‚It brings out industry into disrepute, and undoes all the hard work and trust that the ADIs and PDIs put so much effort into building up in order to gain a working and professional relationship with their clients.
‚The driving test booking system was designed for the public and driving instructors alike, to be able to freely book test appointments.These are in short supply currently, and waiting times are the highest they have been in many years.
‚It is unacceptable for any individual or mechanical process to be able to buy up individual or tranches of test appointments and retail them for profit.
‚The DIA has asked the DVSA to look into this problem and it has now established that there is a problem that could possibly be linked to their own staff.
‚This is an investigation and the DIA must not compromise that investigation by commenting further, but it must be resolved and the names of those involved should be made known to the industry to be ’named and shamed‘.‘