Mum's anger as son is refused driving test - because car was 'too dirty'

Jane Sargent, whose son Leo was unable to take his driving test because his car was deemed too dirty

Jane Sargent, whose son Leo was unable to take his driving test because his car was deemed too dirty - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

A mum has spoken of her anger after a driving examiner refused to allow her 17-year-old son to take his test - because his car was too dirty.

Leo Sargent, from Morningthorpe, was due to take his test at 12.38pm on Friday, December 4 at the test centre on Peachman Way in Norwich.

He arranged to take the day off of school for the occasion and his mum spent the morning cleaning his 2006 Ford Fiesta to make sure it was shipshape for the £62 test.

Morningthorpe mum Jane Sargent, whose son was not allowed to take his driving test

Morningthorpe mum Jane Sargent, whose son was not allowed to take his driving test - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

However, when he arrived at the centre his examiner took one look at the vehicle and refused to allow the test to go ahead.

Mrs Sargent said: "It is quite an old car but I spent the morning power-washing it and vacuum cleaning it so it would be ready for the test.


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"There were some marks on the seat and a little bit of mud in the footwell by the time we arrived, but it is winter and we live on a farm, so there's very little we could do to stop that.

"With everything that is happening  my son has found things so difficult - he can't see his friends outside of school, he hasn't been able to play sports, so this is just a kick in the teeth."

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The A-Level student has been learning to drive since he reached his 17th birthday and had hoped passing his test would give him extra independence.

Mum Jane Sargent says her son  was "clearly upset" after his test was cancelled

Mum Jane Sargent says her son was "clearly upset" after his test was cancelled - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

His mum added: "When we first tried to book again it looked like we would have to wait until March but thankfully we were able to get a cancellation - but we're still out of pocket.

"He was clearly very disappointed, as he wanted that independence, he doesn't want to be mothered any more. We live out in the sticks so I have to keep driving him everywhere."

A spokesman for the DVSA said: "DVSA's priority is to protect our customers and staff and stop the spread of Covid-19.

"Guidance has been issued that cars used on driving tests must be cleaned before the test to lessen the chance of infection. Tests will not go ahead if this has not been followed to ensure public safety."

The spokesman added that on this occasion the examiner did not feel the vehicle was clean enough.

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