Thousands of accounts used to book practical tests have been blocked
Almost 5,000 driving test booking accounts were blocked after operators were found bulk booking slots and reselling them for profit.
BBC News discovered that automated software was grabbing vacant slots and selling them on for more than £200.
These slots were being sold to desperate learners who otherwise faced a months-long wait to take their test, made worse by the backlog caused by the pandemic.
Despite the high demand, the DVSA has said 6,000 test slots per month are wasted by candidates who fail to turn up, double the number compared with 2020. Another 1,100 are unable to take the test because they are late, do not bring their provisional licence or have a car that meets test requirements.
A text message service is being launched which will send test date reminders to learners in a bid to prevent wasted test slots.
An estimated extra 425,000 tests have taken place since April 2021, the DVSA said, after more examiners were recruited and more tests offered at weekends and on bank holidays.