New drivers face seven-week waits for tests

Aucklanders face nearly seven-week waits before they can sit their practical drivers licence tests.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says social distancing rules during the COVID-19 lockdown stopped driver testing from happening, causing a backlog.

In Auckland, the wait time is currently 46 days for a restricted licence test and 43 days for the full licence test.

In the Bay of Plenty there is a 21 day fore restricted licence tests and 19 day wait for full licence tests.

NZTA said it understood how important it was to have a licence - especially for getting work.

It and Vehicle Testing New Zealand - which manages practical driving tests - were making sure there are enough testing officers in the right parts of the country.

NZTA said people should use the time to practice driving to increase their chance of passing the first time.

The national average wait times are currently 16 days for restricted driving tests and 13 days and for full driving tests.

By region, current wait times for restricted licence tests and full licence tests:

  • Northland 12 days 11 days

  • Auckland 46 days 43 days

  • Waikato 10 days 7 days

  • Bay of Plenty 21 days 19 days

  • Central 13 days 12 days

  • Wellington 9 days 10 days

  • Christchurch 7 days 8 days

  • Southland 15 days 11 days