"That will be £2.99 for the L-plates – and would you like a driving test as well?" The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has selected Halfords as a preferred partner to provide venues for driving tests.

Testing from partner premises is expected to start from the autumn, for practical car tests. Other types of practical tests and theory test centres will not be affected. Partners will allow the use of their premises at no cost to the DSA. Tests will still be conducted by DSA examiners.

Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning, said: "It is vital that public services are as open and accessible as possible. This initiative is a great example of how working with partners in the public and private sectors can help to ensure that we offer people the best possible service wherever they live.

David Wild, Halfords CEO, said: "We want to help motorists wherever we can, so we look forward to working in partnership with the DSA to provide a first class service for drivers taking their tests."

The scheme focuses on 21 locations, centred around 5 different areas across the country:
• Glasgow
• Kettering
• Manchester
• Watford
• Worcestershire

It is certainly a novel way to address the issue of customer satisfaction. Halfords was recently slated as the worst place for customer service, and given that the overall driving test pass rate is only 42%, there could be another reason for lots of people to be negative about the Halfords brand.