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Driving test gender gap pass rate narrows at Mill Hill Test Centre

The overall pass rate at Mill Hill Test Centre for 2023 was 45% – down from 47.2% four years before reports Marieta Marinova, Data Reporter

A car with a L sign for 'Learner Driver' on its roof
Across the country, women proved better than men at theory tests – (Credit – Radar)

The gap between male and female driving test pass rates narrowed at Mill Hill Test Centre, new figures show.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show male drivers took 5,482 tests at Mill Hill Test Centre in 2023, 2,588 of which were successful – a pass rate of 47.2%.

Meanwhile, 42.5% of the 4,655 tests taken by women were passed over this period, giving a gap of 4.7 percentage points.

In 2019, 43.6% of women gained their licence at the centre compared to 50.7% of men – a difference of 7.1. It meant the gap has narrowed since then.

The overall pass rate at Mill Hill Test Centre for 2023 was 45% – down from 47.2% four years before. This was lower than the average rate across Great Britain of 48.2%.

Camilla Benitz, managing director of the AA Driving School, said: “Learners can only book their practical test once they have secured that all important theory test pass.

“Given the long waits many learners are still facing to book their practical driving test, it is good to see the overall practical test pass rate has risen slightly, meaning fewer will face a lengthy wait to re-book another test.”

However, she added the pass rate for the theory test “is stubbornly low” and has fallen by a third since 2007-08.

Across the country, women proved better than men at theory tests. They had a pass rate of 46.8%, while 43.5% of tests taken by men were successful.

Benitz said while young male drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a crash than young female drivers, this is not considered when it comes to insurance prices.

It is currently illegal for insurers to take gender into account when calculating premiums.

However, the Confused.com car insurance price index for the latest quarter of 2023 shows on average men were paying £177 more than women.

Louise Thomas, motor expert at the comparison site, said while gender is not considered, prices are based on other factors such as the type of vehicle, any modifications made to it, as well as claims and conviction history.

“Generally, men tend to drive powerful, more expensive cars. They also tend to have a higher claims and conviction rate than women, all of which contributes to reasons why prices might be higher.

“But under the EU law, if a man and woman have the exact same insurance details, then they should return the same prices,” she said.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “DVSA’s priority is to continue to reduce waiting times, and thanks to the measures we introduced since October 2023 we have reduced waiting times by more than four weeks and are on the way to reaching our target to provide an additional 150,000 tests.

“We continue to urge learners strongly to book their driving test only when they are ready to pass as it’s essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge, and attitude to drive safely.”


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