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

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

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show 42 per cent of all learners passed their practical test there between April and December 2018.

The driving test was changed just over a year ago, with many observers saying it is now tougher

The driving test was changed just over a year ago, with many observers saying it is now tougher

| See how learner drivers fared at the test centre in Eastbourne |

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.

Hastings test centre conducted 3,018 tests over the nine-month period and 1,253 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 Hastings test centre, 44.4 per cent gained their licence compared to 39.1 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.

And rookie drivers do seem to be finding it harder at Hastings test centre – in November 2018, the pass rate was 41.7 per cent, compared with a pass rate of 45.5 per cent in November 2017, under the old test.

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

At Hastings test centre, 42.4 per cent of people taking their test for the first time passed, with 16 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