A rush of people applying for tests following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions has created a shortage and a black market (Picture: Getty)

Online grifters are making hundreds by selling on driving test booking slots amid a national shortage.

Motorists trying to obtain their licence are having to wait several months because of a backlog in the system caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With some applicants having to wait until 2023 to take a test in particularly badly hit areas, a black market has opened up.

People looking to make a quick profit are bulk buying in demand slots and selling them on at a profit.

Others have set themselves up as middle men by using software to quickly snap up cancelled bookings and charging a fee to drivers desperate to get an earlier test.

Metro.co.uk saw one Facebook account charging people £120 and upwards to find them a newly available test time.

The account promised to find both practical and theory tests anywhere in the UK for an inflated price, warning of an extra surcharge for bookings in London boroughs where the shortage is particularly acute.

The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) usually charges £62 for a weekday test and £75 for a weekend.

Accounts are claiming to be able to sell cancelled booking slots for hundreds more than they are actually worth (Picture: Facebook)

But one seller on Facebook Marketplace was offering a single test in Ilford, London, for £300 on Wednesday morning, five times what it would cost through official channels.

Another said they could find a driving test ‘anywhere in the UK’ for a £190 fee, more than treble its value.

A BBC investigation also found evidence of slots being sold on for a profit.

One 23-year-old motorist who had used one of these services told the broadcaster: ‘It was very on-the-go.

‘My driving instructor would call me and say “quick, there’s a cancellation, do you want it?” 

Some have set themselves up as middle men and use software to quickly snap up in demand slots when they become available and sell them on for profit. (Picture: Facebook)

‘The day we booked my test it all happened within a three or four-minute phone call.’

In a statement, the DVSA told the BBC: ‘We urge applicants not to use any third-party cancellation checking services and to always go through the official DVSA website.

‘We’ve already put in place measures to monitor and prevent bots from accessing our systems, while also strengthening our firewall to tackle the issue.’

New tests are released at 6am on a Monday and are available 24 weeks in advance.

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