8 Fun Facts About The Driving Test

From the cost of the first ever test to how many people have taken the practical driving test, this blog is packed full of fun facts, statistics and bits of trivia about the driving test. So, without further ado lets take a look at the top 8 fun facts about the driving test.

1. The driving test is different all over the world

You may think that driving standards are pretty standard all over the world, but the reality is that outside of Europe and the USA things become a little bit strange. Here are some of the bizarre requirements from around the globe:

Japan – Learners can fail their driving test for not bending low enough to check for concealed cats under their vehicle before beginning the test.

China – During your test in China candidates could be asked what they would do if their car plunged into water – we can only imagine that the correct answer is to get out and swim.

Pakistan – In Pakistan the practical test involves driving through a short series of cones, amazingly the pass rate is still only 80%.

Brazil – All new drivers must pass a psychological assessment before they are allowed a license and they must also learn defensive driving techniques to help them escape potentially life-threatening situations on the road.

North Korea – To get the highest grade driving licence in North Korea candidates must be able to build a car.

2. UK learners are more likely to pass on the second attempt

Statistically speaking just 46.7% of learners pass their test on the first attempt, while second passes are at 47.6%. Nerves are one of the primary reasons why people fail their driving test on the first attempt. So, if you happen to fail on your first attempt, don’t be embarrassed, the majority of people also fail on their first try so there really is nothing to be ashamed of.

3. Test centres in quieter areas have higher pass rates

Belvedere in London has the lowest pass rate in the country with under 30% of learners passing their test in the busy London area. Conversely Golspie in Scotland has the highest pass rate with over 80% of learners achieving their licence. Rural areas tend to have less-demanding roads where learners don’t have to worry about multi-lane city centre traffic, large and complex junctions and roundabouts or even traffic lights in some cases.

4. Men are better at passing the driving test

This probably all boils down to confidence, but when it comes to taking the practical driving test men have a much higher pass rate than women. The pass rate for men is around 50% compared to just 43% for women. But just because men have a higher pass rate than women doesn’t mean they are better drivers and men remain responsible for 96% of dangerous driving offenses.

5. Observations at junctions are the biggest reason for failure

For over 10 years the most common reason for learners failing their test has been a lack of observation skills at junctions. Other common reasons for failure include mirrors, control, turning right at junctions and moving off safely. These are all areas where a trained driving instructor will be able to help you progress and make sure you carry out all observations and manoeuvres in a safe manner.

6. Younger drivers have a better chance of passing

Driving pass rates diminish with age with 17 year olds holding the highest pass rates. Older drivers are likely to be a lot more cautious and less confident than their younger counterparts which negatively impacts their pass rates. This being said, older drivers are generally much safer than younger drivers, particularly men and so a lower test pass rate is definitely not something you should be worried about.

7. Over 46 million tests have been taken in the UK

The driving test was introduced in the UK on the 1st of June 1935 with the first person to pass the test a Mr R Beere who paid just 7 shillings and sixpence. Over the years the driving test has seen many changes with the introduction of an eyesight test, show me, tell me questions, addition of new test manoeuvres, independent driving and under instruction driving all now playing their part on the modern test. There is also the requirement to pass a separate theory test prior to being allowed to take the practical driving test.

8. Driving test failures

A 42 man from Stoke-on-Trent holds the record for the most failures needing 37 attempts to pass his driving test. And celebrities aren’t exempt from driving test failure with rock metal frontman Ozzy Osbourne taking 19 attempts to pass his driving test. A 26 year old woman in Southwark south London holds the record for most theory test failures with 90 attempts to date and still no pass.