Driving tests: Latest Eastbourne figures reveal how hard it is to pass at test centre

The average pass rate for test centres across Great Britain was 46 per cent.
The average pass rate for test centres across Great Britain was 46 per cent.

Data has revealed how hard it is to pass your driving text at Eastbourne test centre.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show 51 per cent of all learners passed their practical test there between April and December 2018.

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The average pass rate for test centres across Great Britain was 46 per cent.

The Pavilion, in Birmingham, was the toughest test centre, with 30 per cent of drivers successfully getting their licences.

Overall built up urban areas tended to have lower pass rates, while at quieter rural test centres learners appeared to find the exam easier.

Inveraray, in Scotland, has the highest pass rate, with 85 per cent.

Eastbourne test centre conducted 3,783 tests over the nine-month period and 1,915 people passed.

Historically men have paid more for car insurance than women as they have more accidents, but the figures show they have a higher pass rate.

At Eastbourne test centre, 54.7 per cent gained their licence compared to 47.1 per cent of women.

Just over a year ago, the driving test was changed, with many observers saying the new test is tougher than the old one.

Learners now must navigate for 20 minutes using a sat-nav, and explain how to test the brakes, clean the windscreen and demist their windows while driving.

However, the new test does not seem to have bothered rookie drivers at Eastbourne test centre – in November 2017, under the old test, the pass rate was 51 per cent, only slightly higher than in November 2018, with the new test.

Data from the 2017-18 financial year shows the number of first time passes.

At Eastbourne test centre, 47 per cent of people taking their test for the first time passed, with 14 learners succeeding first time with no minor faults.

Drivers taking the test can pass with up to 15 minor faults, such as not checking their mirrors at the right time.

DVSA chief driving examiner, Mark Winn, said: “The driver testing and training regime tests candidates’ ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.

“All candidates are assessed to the same level and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.

“We constantly monitor our examiner’s performance so they conduct and assess driving tests in accordance with the standards set. This includes the supervision of live tests.”

Report by Ralph Blackburn, data reporter