Learner drivers across the UK are more likely to pass their test the earlier in life they take it, according to analysis of DVSA data. Cazoo, the UK’s leading online used car retailer, which analysed the DVSA data and found that of all age groups, 17-year-olds have the highest pass rate at 56%. Waiting only one year reduces a learner’s chances of passing by 8%, with less than half (48%) of 18-year-olds passing their driving test.

For learners in their thirties, the likelihood of them passing drops even further, with only two in five (40%) 31-year-olds passing. This trajectory continues the older a person gets, with less than a third (31%) of 60-year-olds passing their driving test – the lowest pass rate of the ages analysed.

The analysis also shows that where you take your test may impact the likelihood of you passing or failing. Looking at centres which carry out a minimum of 1,000 tests per year[2}, Kendal in Cumbria has the highest pass rate at 63%. This compares to less than a third (31%) who successfully pass their test in Rochdale – the lowest of those analysed.


 Test centres with the highest pass rate: 


Test centre Pass rate %
Oxenholme Road, Kendal 63%
Peterhead 63%
Wellingborough 61%
Yeovil 60%
Dorchester 60%


Test centres with the lowest pass rate: 


Test centre Pass rate %
Rochdale, Manchester 31%
Erith, London 32%
South Yardley, Birmingham 32%
Speke, Liverpool 34%
Kingstanding, Birmingham 34%


Cazoo also ran a study to identify driving test trends[3] and found that if you are learning to drive in a blue Ford Fiesta your luck could be in. According to the data ,16% of drivers say they passed their test in a Ford Fiesta and a further 19% say their test car was blue.

While nearly three quarters (74%) of learner drivers in the UK pass their theory test first time, less than half (45%) pass their practical exam on the first try, with the figures showing it takes 1.9 attempts to pass successfully on average. The most attempts taken to pass a theory test in the UK is 158, with one UK learner taking 43 practical tests before finally passing.

Those surveyed also stated that the first car they bought after passing their test was a Ford Fiesta (13%) or a Vauxhall Corsa (9%). The most popular destination for a first drive is visiting family or friends (36%), driving to work (10%) or to a fast-food drive-thru (5%).

A Cazoo spokesperson said: “Learning to drive is a real milestone and brings an increased sense of freedom and independence. It’s interesting to see that your age and where you take your test could impact your chances of passing. We understand that not everyone is in a position to learn to drive at the age of 17, but it’s clear that the younger you start the more successful you’re likely to be.

“Choosing your first car is exciting, but it can be tricky trying to find the one that’s right for you. To help narrow down the search, we’ve put together a list of what we believe are the best first cars for new drivers. Each one is cost-effective and is sure to make that first step into car ownership as enjoyable as possible.”

Cazoo has compiled a guide to top 10 cars for new drivers. For more information visit: https://www.cazoo.co.uk/the-view/buying/best-first-cars/