RAC Cars News


How Location Affects Driving Test Results

By raccars Published

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The UK is currently experiencing a high level of driving test pass rates. According to Department for Transport data, the test pass rate for 2013/2014 was the highest for the last seven years, at 47.1%.

However, the number of people sitting the test has fallen, which could be because of the high expense of learning to drive. Learner drivers are taking the process more seriously as they cannot afford to fail and have to retake their test. But analysis shows that a number of variables affect how likely you are to pass...

The start of the process of learning to drive is to acquire a provisional licence at £50. You can then take driving lessons with a professional, at an average cost of £24 per hour. According to the DVSA, the average learner driver takes 47 of these lessons before passing their test. A theory test costs £31, followed by a practical test at up to £75. You are looking then at about £1,250 to become a car driver.

To avoid retaking at extra expense, you need to give yourself the best chance of passing at the first go. Statistics show that this is more easily done by taking your practical test in a rural area. The pass rate is highest in remote Scottish locations. The small Highlands village of Gairloch boasts a practical test pass rate of 93.8%, meaning that of the 16 people who took a practical test there last year, only one failed.

It may not be entirely practical to move to Northern Scotland, but your chances are also good in Cumbria's Barrow-in-Furness - at 65.5% it has the highest pass rate outside Scotland, or maybe Whitby at 65.4%. Examiners from Belvedere in London appear to be the harshest, giving passes in only just over 30% of tests. 1,131 tests were failed there last year.

In the last few years, the DVSA has sharpened up the theory test, which has seen pass rates fall dramatically. In 2007 the pass rate was at almost two thirds but last year went down to 51%. The pass rate for the practical test is even lower...

Department for Transport data also shows that men achieve a higher pass rate in the practical test and women are more successful at theory tests. The theory test pass rate for women was 54% last year, compared to 48% for men. Exactly the same six point difference was seen in the practical test pass rate but in reverse, at 44% for women and 50% for men.

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