Driving Test Pass Rate and Gender Study

Driving Test Pass Rate and Gender Study


Passing your driving test first time can be one of life’s real accomplishments – especially at 17 years old, it can become a bit of a competition between you and your peers.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of people taking their first driving test between April 2020 and March 2021 were in the 17 and under bracket. There was a clear drop in the number of people taking a driving test during this period compared to the previous period, which was a direct effect of the pandemic.

The study* we reference analyses both males and females across all ages as well as the amount of driving tests are taken before passing.

1st time pass rate for males have risen over the past ten years, where it previously sat at around 56%, it is now 64.3% (in the 17 and under bracket) with the average pass rate of all ages sitting at 53.2%.

This could be another direct effect of the pandemic, that driving tests have been delayed and thus learner drivers have had longer to practice their driving skills. There were a third of the amount of driving tests being conducted, so learner drivers may also have decided to wait until they were more confident than they would have in previous years.

Males taking a 2nd driving test had a slightly higher pass rate of 66% in the 17 and under bracket, with the average across all ages being 53.1%.

For females, the average pass rate is around 48% for those taking their 1st driving test between April 2020 and March 2021, up slightly from the previous few years, where the average was around 42%.

Females taking a 2nd driving test saw an average pass rate of 47.7%, up marginally from the previous two years which had an average pass rate of 44%.

An interesting statistic is that the pass rate gradually declines the more times a test was taken (April 2020 – March 2021), which we might have expected to see rise.

Driving test pass rates by gender

 1st Attempt2nd Attempt3rd Attempt4th Attempt5th Attempt6th Attempt
Average Pass Rate (Men)53.4%53.1%51.9%49.8%48.0%41.7%
Average Pass Rate (Women)48.6%47.7%45.8%44.1%41.5%36.8%


It might not come as a surprise that the age group that had taken the fewest driving tests was 60 and over.

There is a steady decline in the number of 1st tests taken as age increases, which is especially noticeable after age 18 in both male and female groups.

*data taken from Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

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