Driving test pass rate falls to its lowest in over a decade

Driving instructor showing Learner Plate to learner driver
Learner drivers are failing to pass their tests, according to new data (GETTY)

The number of learners who pass their driving test has slumped to a new ten-year low - with some learners attempting the test over 21 times in a single year.

Figures released by the DVSA show the pass rate was 45.8 percent during the year 2018/19.

It is the lowest figure since 2008/9, when 45.3 percent of learner drivers passed their test.

Some have blamed a “dangerous” new parallel parking manoeuvre which, from 2017, is required as a part of the test, for the low success rate.

Cones for the examination, driving school concept. lesson for novice car drivers, test for beginner
Cones for the examination, driving school concept. lesson for novice car drivers, test for beginner

Drivers are asked to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.

Rob Harper, chair of the Association of Approved Driving Instructors told The Telegraph: “I think it’s a dangerous manoeuvre and so do many of my members.

“The day after the new test came in, one of our instructors was in a car that was pulling up on the right hand side and was hit by an old lady in a Honda Jazz.

She got two wheels up in the air along the side of the car and it was a terrible crash.

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“We have had lots of complaints from instructors, learner drivers and from members of the public, who aren’t used to seeing people doing it.”

However, the DVSA said young drivers simply need to “be better prepared” for tests.

The study also showed that some people have retaken their driving test a staggering 21 times in one year.

In 2016, one driver passed on their 21st try that year.

Wolverhampton, Unied Kingdom, JUN 16, 2018 Closeup above application for a driving licence on the table. Pile of legal documents on the table in UK. Paper document
A learner driver took their driving test 21 times in a single year (GETTY)

And two years later in 2018, a learner failed 19 times before passing.

The DVSA said: "Candidates should only attempt their test when they've gained a broad range of experience and are ready to drive safely and independently," it said.

"Anyone who fails their driving test has to wait at least 10 working days to take another.

"This ensures the candidate has time to undergo additional training and improve any faults noted by the examiner before they take their test again."