How hard is it to pass your driving test at Pontefract and Featherstone test centres?

A learner driver rips up her L plate
A learner driver rips up her L plate

Data has revealed how hard it is to pass your driving text at Pontefract and Featherstone test centres.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show 41% of all learners passed their practical test at Pontefract between April and September 2018 while 39% of all learners passed at Featherstone.

The average pass rate for test centres across Great Britain was 46%.

The Pavilion, in Birmingham, was the toughest test centre, with 29% 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. Gairloch, in the Scottish Highlands, has the highest pass rate, 81%.

Pontefract test centre conducted 2,768 tests over the sixth-month period and 1,121 people passed. Featherstone test centre conducted 4,063 tests over the sixth-month period and 1,601 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 Pontefract test centre, 43.5% gained their licence compared to 38% of women and at Featherstone, 44.3% of men gained their licence compared to 35.5% 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. However, the new test does not seem to have bothered rookie drivers at Pontefract test centre. In April 2017, under the old test, the pass rate was 41.2% at Pontefract (less than the rate in April 2018, with the new test) and 43.1% in Featherstone (only slightly higher than in April 2018_

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

At Pontefract test centre, 40.3% of people taking their test for the first time passed, with 14 learners succeeding first time with no minor faults.

At Featherstone test centre, 40.9% of people taking their test for the first time passed, with 20 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.”