What percentage of learners pass their driving test the first time?
In the UK, the pass rate for the driving test varies depending on a number of factors, including the location of the test centre and the specific test that was taken.
According to data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the overall first-time pass rate for car driving tests in the UK was 45.8% in 2020. This means that slightly more than half of all people who took the car driving test for the first time failed.
The pass rate for first-time car driving test takers can vary significantly between different test centres and regions. For example, in 2020, the pass rate for first-time car test takers was highest in the North East of England, where it was 51.8%, while it was lowest in London, where it was 37.9%.
It’s also worth noting that some demographic groups tend to have a higher pass rate than others. For example, men have historically had a higher pass rate than women, and younger test takers have tended to have a higher pass rate than older ones.
It’s also important to keep in mind that passing the driving test on the first attempt does not necessarily mean a person is a safe driver. A person could still pass their test by luck or by not being asked to perform some of the more difficult manoeuvres. Thus, it’s also important to have experience and driving practice before taking the test.
Overall, while a pass rate of 45.8% might seem low, it is important to remember that the driving test is designed to ensure that only those who have the knowledge and skill to drive safely on the road are given a licence.
Tips to passing your driving test first time
- Study the Highway Code and understand the rules of the road
- Practice as much as possible before the test to gain confidence and experience
- Arrive on time for your test
- Check your mirrors frequently, and be aware of other road users such as pedestrians and cyclist
- Use signals correctly and cancel them after completing a manoeuvre
- Keep to the speed limit and be aware of any changes
- Maintain a safe following distance
- Use roundabouts correctly and signal your intention to exit
- Use the correct gear for the speed and road conditions
- Take your time during the test and don’t rush
- Obey traffic lights, road signs, and react to them appropriately
- Check your blind spots before changing lanes
- Stay calm and composed, if you make a mistake continue driving
- Use the correct position on the road and obey give-way and stop signs
- Consider taking an instructor lesson before your test for feedback and preparation.