Staggering variations in pass rates revealed at UK driving test centres

Teenage girl during driving license test

The test centres in England where you are most likely to fail or pass your practical driving test have been identified, and the variations in pass rates are staggering.

Issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the pass rate data revealed 1.2 million people took their test between April and December 2022, and only 48% of them passed.

Liverpool’s Speke facility was the test centre with the lowest pass rate across the country.

Only 1684 of the 6209 learner drivers who took the test between April and December 2022 passed. 

This gave the centre a pass rate of just 27.1%. 

In comparison, the centre with the highest pass rate in England was the Kendal centre on Oxenholme Road.

Over the same period, the Cumbrian facility has a pass rate of 67.4% with 874 drivers passing their test out of the 1242 that attempted it.

Other centres where people struggled to pass their test included Erith (32.2%) Wolverhampton (35.3%) and Crawley (35.6%). 

Those who fail to pass their driving test will face a hefty wait to mull over their frustrations. 

Earlier this month, the Daily Mail ran a shocking investigation into ‘backlog Britain’ which revealed that learner drivers must wait for 15.5 weeks on average for a test appointment. 

This is compared with just six weeks before the pandemic.

Additionally, under a “graduated driving licence” designed to prevent peer pressure deaths, if you are under 25 when you pass, you might not be able to transport young passengers.

According to the road safety organisation Brake, drivers under 25 are four times more likely to be involved in an accident if they are riding together with other people. Peer pressure, the organisation claims, encourages young drivers to show off.

New restrictions would see amendments made to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act to ban passengers under the age of 25 in drivers’ first year or six months.

The Act already bans drivers if they get six points in their first two years of driving.

It has been backed by an advisory to the Department of Transport, Support for Victims of Road Crashes, and National Police Chief’s Council Roads Policing lead Jo Shiner.

Shiner has even suggested placing technology in new drivers’ cars to highlight weaknesses in their driving style.

It will be considered at a meeting on May 16.

In January 2022, proposals that would have imposed more limitations on newly licenced drivers, including curfews and limits on the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle, were rejected. Due to the requirement to utilise cars for employment, these were cancelled by the Department of Transportation.

In their first two years on the road, up to a quarter of novice drivers are involved in accidents, according to official statistics cited by the RAC.

In 2021, 926 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents involving a young driver.

In written evidence submitted to the Transport Select Committee’s Inquiry into Young and Novice Drivers in 2020, Ms Huddleston added: “I strongly believe that a Graduated Driving License Scheme should be implemented in the U.K. to help reduce the colossal amount of death and serious injuries in ‘Young and Novice Drivers’ and their passengers aged between 17-25 years of age.

“Road deaths are the forgotten epidemic. They kill more young people in the U.K. than anything else.

“Death from Road Crashes don’t receive the coverage in the same way as illness and disease often do. For people working in Road Safety this is baffling.”

2 thoughts on “Staggering variations in pass rates revealed at UK driving test centres”

  1. Learner drivers are having rough deal at the moment and DVSA should be doing more so that learner drivers do not have to wait for many many months. Also you just need to go on twitter and face book and you can see many test date are available if you are prepared to pay extra money, and these date are not offer to public on 1st come 1st serve. Simply DVSA is not doing enough to reduce waiting list.

  2. Samantha Flower

    Hi I’m looking to book a block of 10 lessons for my son Sebastian, can you please let me know your availability.

    Many thanks

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