Learner drivers crash out of driving test

Car Insurance Driving
Learner drivers had 415 accidents during their driving tests in 2014

This article is brought to you by Call Wiser.

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has revealed that 415 learner drivers were involved in a road accident whilst taking their driving test in 2014. The average pass rate for driving tests in the UK last year was 46.9%, with more men passing than women.

It is remarkable to think that 415 learner drivers in the UK were involved in a collision with other cars, pedestrians or property during a driving test – as either the responsible party or the victim. This remarkable figure sends a strong message to other drivers on the road to give learner drivers the extra space and caution when faced with the pressures of their driving examination.

Stress leads to driving test failures

The government figures show that out of over 733,000 practical driving tests conducted last year, the pass rate was only 46.9% – so learner drivers have slightly less than a 1 in 2 chance of passing their tests. Overall, men had a 50.5% pass rate compared to their female counterparts who had a pass rate of 43.6%.

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency reported that the most common errors for both genders were failing to make proper observations at junctions and failing to use mirrors correctly when changing direction. However, there were some gender-specific differences as well. Women were more likely to struggle with reversing, steering and gear changing whereas men picked up more faults from driving too fast and not taking the right approach to road signs and traffic lights.


The worst drivers in Britain?

Figures showed that in 2014, 13 drivers took their practical test for at least the 30th attempt. The worst driver managed to receive 12 serious or dangerous faults in one test, failing on almost every part of the test including the use of gears, mirrors, approaching junctions and speed.

Some fail their driving tests due to back luck. Maybe there’s another bad driver on the road or tough weather conditions that make visibility difficult. For some, failing to pass is simply a reflection on their driving ability. The media reported a 30-year-old man from Peterborough who failed the theory test 86 times, while a 41-year-old learner from Birmingham was jumping for joy after passing on his 80th attempt. A 27-year-old man from Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire and a 39-year-old man from London have both failed their 66th attempts to pass the exam this year.

The theory driving test in the UK recorded a pass rate of 51.6% last year but a woman from South-East London, was recently dubbed ‘Britain’s worst learner driver’ after failing her theory test a staggering 113 times.

A spokesman for the AA said: “We applaud people who have failed the test multiple times, because although their driving may not be great they are still doggedly staying within the system rather than the one in 20 drivers who are going around uninsured.”

“These disqualified drivers or those that can’t be bothered to pass the test are the real menace on our roads.”

Who would want to insure these drivers?

With not exactly the best track record, these failed drivers pose a huge risk for insurers. Learner drivers need car insurance, especially if over 400 were involved in an accident last year. But once they pass, the cost of their car insurance can be astronomic considering the risk they bring to the roads.

A spokesman from insurance provider Call Wiser commented: “The figures are alarming but it doesn’t mean that all learner drivers and young drivers should be put in the same bracket, especially when it comes to high car insurance premiums.”

“New drivers can do things like the Pass Plus Scheme which is an extra driving course recognized by leading insurance providers to lower the cost of cover. There is also telematics insurance which involves putting a mini tracking device on your dashboard to record how safely you drive in terms of speed, turning and braking and better drivers will pay lower premiums. Also, if you can go a few years without making a claim, you will be able to gain a huge discount through a no claims bonus.’

Many learner drivers have car accidents during their driving tests

Daniel Tannenbaum

Daniel Tannenbaum works in the digital marketing team for Call Wiser who are based in Hampshire and a sister company to Be Wiser Insurance. He has been working in digital marketing for over 5 years. Daniel enjoys football blogging in his spare time and has previously written for The Metro and The Huffington Post.


  1. Bryan Greenall

    Well at least in my term being a driving instructor this has never happened to me to date. Fingers crossed it never will, I trust all my pupils are good enough to react or control the vehicle well enough when they go to test anyway.

  2. Some years ago one of my learners was on test and after completing a 3 point turn, waited at end of road for a safe opportunity to turn left, when she was shunted by an idiot. Examiner got out and acquired her name and address, before continuing with test, which was successful.

  3. You'd have to be very unlucky to be involved in a crash during a test, its a shame it happened to so many people!


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