How Many People Pass Their Driving Test First Time?

How Many People Pass Their Driving Test First Time?


We know that everyone who learns to drive will of course want to pass their driving test the first time! The statistics from the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) show just how common this is. We reviewed first-time pass rates based on the following categories:

  • Per attempt  
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Test Centre
  • No minors first time passes 

Official DVSA Data on Practical Driving Tests 2007 to 2022 YTD

An average of 323,798 learner drivers passed their driving test first time each year between 2007 and 2020, according to the data. The number of examinations conducted has decreased drastically since the beginning of the pandemic, as lessons and tests were discontinued throughout various lockdown periods.

Despite the fact that the total 1st attempt passes in has decreased since 2007 by 215,739, the good news is that the overall 1st-time pass rate percentage has actually gone up by 8%. 

Driving test passes by number of attempt

The data from the DVSA shows that there is a drop of over 226,094 tests conducted between the 1st and 4th attempts it is interesting to see that the pass rate percentage still remains 45%.  

This shows that not only are you more likely to pass your driving test on the first attempt! You are still nearly just as likely to pass your test as fail it on subsequent attempts.

Driving test passes by number of age

Official DVSA Data on Practical Driving Tests 2020/21

While both gender and region have been found to influence the number of people who pass their driving test, one element appears to outweigh them both in terms of influence: age.

The DVSA data shows large discrepancies in pass rates between younger and older people between April 2020 and March 2021, with those 17 being more than 50% more likely to pass their test. While only 9 out of 25 individuals 60 and over are passing their test the first time.

Driving test pass rates by gender

 Official DVSA Data on Practical Driving Tests 2020/21

While the DVSA’s overall summary statistics provide the most comprehensive picture of the number of individuals who fail their driving test each year, examining specific individual criteria might help us better understand how 1st-time passes are broken down.

When it comes to pass rates, we’ve noticed a significant variation between males and females, with males having a 53.4 per cent average between April 2020 to March 2021 per-attempt pass rate compared to 48.6 per cent for females.

Driving test pass rates by test centre

Top 10 test centers

Bottom 10 test centers

Official DVSA Data on Practical Driving Tests 2020/21

While looking at gender reveals one pattern, looking at how many people pass their practical exam 1st time by test centre reveals far larger jumps from one location to the next.

Despite the fact that there were 305 driving test centres operating across the UK last year, Just like in our blog around driving test fails the top 12 test centres in terms of pass rate were all located in Scotland, while 10 of the bottom centres were located in England’s inner cities.

This can be explained in part by the fact that, on average, test centres in rural areas have greater pass rates, whilst those in towns have lower pass rates.

How do I pass my driving test the first time?

If you would like to give yourself the best chance of getting that first-time pass book in with our export driving instructors and start on the road to success!

We also have a blog that can help you with someone helpful hints and tips for giving yourself the best chance of passing your test and a guide to help you choose the best cars for learner drivers.