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Learner driver took 21 practical tests in a year, DVSA data shows

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Some learner drivers need as many as 21 attempts in a calendar year to pass their practical test, new data shows.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) released the information after a Freedom of Information request for the 10 most prolific candidates every year between 2009 and 2018.

In 2016, one driver passed on their 21st try that year, while a learner in 2018 failed 19 times before passing.

In 2009, 2015 and 2017, a learner failed all 19 tests they took.

Rules mean a learner has to wait 10 working days between failing and taking their next test.

The DVSA said its priority was to “help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving”.

“Candidates should only attempt their test when they’ve gained a broad range of experience and are ready to drive safely and independently,” it said.

“Anyone who fails their driving test has to wait at least 10 working days to take another.

“This ensures the candidate has time to undergo additional training and improve any faults noted by the examiner before they take their test again.”

Separate data from the DVSA showed the car driving test pass rate was 45.8% in the year 2018/19, the lowest figure since 45.3% in 2008/9.

Some 18,922 learners passed the practical test with zero faults in 2018/19, up from 18,410 the previous year.


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