Learner riders are having to pay nearly £500 to take their test due to a shortage of places.
In the clamour to get full licences before changes to the test from September 29, parts of the country have been left with no places available except for those pre-booked by rider training centres.
And training centres are refusing to sell the places unless learners also book lessons costing hundreds of pounds, whether they need them or not.
Melanie Taylor, 41, from Dutton, Lancashire, failed her test on her emergency stop and found the only way she could book a retest without travelling hundreds of miles was by paying £495 instead of the usual £60.
She said: “I spent hours trawling round and couldn’t get a test in the North West at all until I phoned Riverview Rider Training. They said they had them all pre-booked and would only let me take one if I paid for two days’ riding lessons.”
Defending the policy, Riverview boss Wayne Taylor said: “The tests that I’ve pre-booked and prepaid for are for my instructors to work for. I sell training, not tests.” He said selling tests alone would mean taking work from his instructors.
Learners were warned in July they would face chaos unless they passed by the end of September, when 200 existing test centres are due to be replaced by as few as 30 new “super test centres”.
Honda said learners who missed the deadline would end up having to travel further, pay more and perform new tasks in the test.