The cost of failing: Retaken driving tests cost learner drivers £45.4 million

teacher pointing on something to student in car during driving test

New research by Go.Compare Car Insurance has estimated that Brits spend over £45.4 million per year on retaken practical driving tests.

The comparison site reviewed government data on the number of retaken practical driving tests between April 2021 and March 2022. It found that there were 722,192 repeat attempts during this period, with more than 50,000 being on at least their sixth attempt at the test. As the test price was £62.90 at the time, this means that learners spent millions rebooking their test over a single year.

These findings follow the news that learners will have to wait 28 working days before rebooking their test after failing – a sharp increase from the 10-working-day wait that was required previously. This highlights that Britain’s learners now face a pricey ‘cost of failing’ if they don’t pass their test.

Ryan Fulthorpe, a motoring expert at Go.Compare, said: “Our estimates show that retaking driving tests is costing the nation’s learners a fortune, especially for those who have multiple attempts. Plus, with the announcement of a longer wait before rebooking a test, today’s learners are facing a pricey ‘cost of failing.’

“There’s no shame in failing on your first few attempts and it’s only natural that some learners might need a few attempts at the test before passing. However, our findings highlight that it’s important to resist rushing into it. While it might be tempting to take your test as soon as possible, taking your time and ensuring you’re fully prepared will minimise the chances of you having to stump up for another one.

“If getting on the road is having an impact on your wallet, remember that there are numerous ways you can bring the cost down. Comparing policies will ensure you get the best deal possible on your insurance, and taking an advanced driving course or investing in a black box could help to bring down your premium.”

Does failing a driving test impact insurance premiums?

Lots of factors can impact premiums, but insurers rarely ask drivers how many attempts it took them to pass their test, so it shouldn’t affect insurance prices.

Can new drivers get insured on their parent’s car insurance policy when they pass?

Yes, new drivers can be added as named drivers to their parent’s policy if they’ll be driving the car from time to time. This can be cheaper than getting a separate policy.

How can new drivers get cheaper insurance?

As well as taking advanced driving courses, new drivers can bring down their premiums by adding a more experienced driver to their policy and ensuring they adopt a safe driving style. If drivers are able to do so, paying annually will also work out cheaper than paying in monthly instalments.

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