A south Essex driving instructor has called for more examiners as he and his colleagues are losing out on revenue due to long waits for tests.

Kevin De'cort, managing director of System Driving School in Rayleigh, has said it's "strange times" as students are having to pre-plan their driving tests as soon as they've finished their theory tests.

When asked if he's ever seen anything like this, Kevin told BBC Essex: "No, it's very strange times, we've all had to adapt and change the way we sort of do our driving lessons or pre-plan our pupils getting to their driving tests.

"Pre-covid we would normally work with our pupils, get them test ready, pre-plan mock tests and say 'book a driving test for five weeks time' and it'd be no problem. You'd be able to go out and just book a test.

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"Now that's not available to do, we're having to get our pupils to pass their theory tests and as soon as they pass their theory tests, tell them to look for a driving test for six months time and then try and work towards that date to get them prepared for their driving test."

Some pupils may be ready sooner than that, but Kevin says trying to move a test forward to an earlier date can be "very hard to do" unless they can "sit on the DVSA website literally refreshing the button every second".

The managing director says Covid has played a big part in this, as a "backlog" was made through lockdown.

However, he told BBC Essex it's not all down to Covid, as DVSA has lost a numer of examiners who have retired or left the trade meaning there are less available than there were before the pandemic.

Due to the lack of tests, he says he has "hundreds and hundreds" of people who contact the driving school looking for tests, who he then has to turn down and lose revenue as he and his colleagues have no spaces.

He told BBC Essex: "Two things would sort it really, obviously more examiners in the test centres and also, as I've said before, driving schools who book driving tests for pupils who aren't ready."

He continues: "People need to be test ready before they take a test, if they're not test ready don't take the test leave that test available for someone who is test ready."

The DVSA says it is working to reduce waiting times in the country, with a campaign to recruit an additional 300 examiners.