UK Driving Tests Decreased By 73% Over The Past 12 Months

UK Driving Tests Decreased By 73% Over The Past 12 Months


The DVSA recently announced that there are roughly 420,000 driving tests in backlog, with an average waiting time of 17 weeks to book that much-desired test to gain freedom on the road.

Each year, the DVSA also release the number of driving tests carried out by each driving test centre, along with the pass rates. We analysed this data, with the hope of seeing how the recent and ongoing pandemic has affected driving tests.

Firstly, we compared the overall number of driving tests carried out. Between April 2019 and March 2020, the UK carried out an impressive 1,599,566 driving tests – this decreased greatly to just 436,044 driving tests between April 2020 and December 2020 (the dates didn’t extend until March 2021 as the driving school industry was forced to close for the third UK-wide lockdown).

What does this tell us? 

The UK saw a -73% decrease in driving tests during the pandemic, as a result of the driving school industry being shut for many months in line with government guidelines.

What else did we learn?

While our research showed that some areas of the UK were level with the UK-wide average in terms of seeing a drop in driving lessons by -73% or less, some of the biggest cities in the UK were not as fortunate:

 April 2019 – March 2020April 2020 – December 2020% decrease in driving tests that took place

With a 17-week wait to book a driving test, is there a best day or time to try to arrange a driving test for?

While passing your test ultimately comes down to a number of factors, largely your experience behind the wheel, analysis of pass rates has revealed that Mondays have the highest pass rate of day of the week (46.9%), followed by Tuesdays (46.42%) and Thursdays (45.79%).

Likewise, there are similar patterns with some times of the day seeing the highest pass rates; while Sundays are thought to be the ‘worst day of the week’ to take your driving test (with a pass rate of just 43.28%), if you’re fortunate enough to book your driving test between 14:00 and 14:59, the pass rate jumps to 55.8%.

With such limited availability, particularly with tests declining in big city locations like Birmingham, ensure you get on the road to success as soon as possible! Book your driving lessons today with Bill Plant Driving School – award-winning driving tuition!