Spending over three hours at the AA the other week was quite an eye opener.
We saw more than one learner turn up without L plates, a Telecom van reverse into a car (which had just come back from a test) and SO many cars randomly have front or back lights go out. One light gone, and you can’t sit your test. And you know Murphy’s Law means your light will stop working just on that day, or just in the time between you getting there and you going back out to the car with the instructor. It wasn’t just clunkers having this problem. A family wagon, a flash new Holden….no car is invincible.
Maybe the AA should provide test cars, or at least have backup cars. It’s a waste of instructors’ time, and it’s a waste of both time and money for those taking the test. You don’t get your money back! You lose about $45, I think, on a restricted and about $80 on a full. Rebooking isn’t just a matter of getting a time later that day either, usually. It’s more like days or weeks. In fact, maybe the AA should open more branches, but then that wouldn’t be very profitable would it?
My friend M pointed out that day that most people LIKE their own cars. They’re used to the controls, they’re comfortable in them. But a lot of people don’t have cars and don’t have much access to cars they can use for things like sitting their test. Just learning to drive is a mission to organise (I should know!) And they need their licences for work, uni, or whatever. I don’t think it would be such a bad idea for there to be a few dedicated AA test cars for the most dire circumstances, both manual and auto.