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For most people across Britain, driving is a part of everyday life, and although we talk about our own experiences, complain about traffic and chat about the latest cars, the driving test is often forgotten about until its time for your own kids to get behind the wheel and start their lessons.
As the driving test is an impressive 80 years old this month, we decided to show our appreciation to the test for keeping our roads safe by sharing 21 fascinating facts! Here we go:
1. The driving test was made compulsory on June 1st 1935.
2. A whopping 246,000 candidates put themselves up for a driving test in 1935.
3. At this time, the driving test pass rate was 63%, compared with today’s 47%
4. Test centres were non-existent in 1935. Instead, you would need to arrange and agree a meeting place with the examiner.
5. Common meeting points were the post office, train station or town hall.
6. Since the test’s inception, around 50 million tests have been taken in Britain.
7. During the Second World War, the driving test was suspended and did not return until November 1946.
8. The first automatic driving test took place in 1969.
9. The theory test was first introduced in 1996.
10. The theory test was also a replacement for question-asking during the practical test.
11. Online bookings for the theory test were first introduced in 2001.
12. The test centre with the highest pass rate is currently Gairloch in Scotland.
13. In 2014, 16 students took their test in Gairloch and just one failed.
14. Besides test centres in Scotland, others with high pass rates include Whitby in North Yorkshire and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.
15. With only 30% of candidates being successful, Belvedere in South East London claims the lowest pass rate.
16. The famed Ozzy Osbourne took his test 19 times before passing.
17. The current average pass rate for the theory test is 51%, compared to the 65% it was back in 2007.
18. Mexico has no driving test whatsoever. You can simply buy a licence for 626 pesos – which translates to a mere £28.
19. Conversely, in Japan you can fail your test for failing to bend low enough to check the underside of your car for concealed cats!
20. A woman from Southwark in South London, aged 26 years old, failed her theory test for the 90th time in 2010.
21. A man from Stoke-on-Trent took 37 goes to pass his test, failing a mind-blowing 36 times!
With researchers looking into the progress, structure and teachers of the driving test, there’s sure to be another long list of interesting facts to share with you another 80 years from now. For now though, we want to hear your own facts and experiences, so please do use the comments section below to have your say!