PA Wire

Long gone are the days when a nervous teenager goes to a DVLA driving test centre hoping for freedom by passing a driving test.

From February, learner drivers will able to start and finish their tests at branches of Halfords, as part of an initiative from the Driving Standards Agency.

Aiming to make driving test centres more accessible across the country, the first Halfords store to participate will be in Wellingborough.

Driving tests will still be carried out by DSA examiners, who will have a special area set aside in store to meet with test candidates and conduct around 1500 tests a year.

Other stores under consideration as test venues include Glasgow, Altrincham, Bromsgrove, Market Harborough and Hemel Hempstead.

Road safey minister Stephen Hammond said: "We are very pleased to be working with Halfords to provide a more local service for driving test candidates.

"This is a great example of working with private sector partners to provide an important local service that is convenient as well as being cost effective."

Halfords commercial director, Paul McClenaghan, added: "The DSA initiative is a natural fit for our business. Halfords is already a destination for motorists, who come to us for a range of automotive products and fitting services, so why not driving tests as well?"