Passing the driving test is a big milestone which gives teens the freedom to hit the roads, no longer having to call mum and dad’s taxi service to get home. But when it comes to the driving test, who actually performs better – men or women?
Statistics show that on average, women perform better in the driving theory test whereas men have a higher pass rate in the practical test.
In 2015 to 2016 there was a 44% pass rate in the practical test for women, compared to a 51% pass rate for men. The proposed changes to the driving test - such as increasing the independent driving part of the test and making candidates follow directions from a sat nav during this part - could have an impact on these figures.
The top 10 reasons people fail their driving test have already been revealed and show both men and women make the same mistakes on test day. However, we wanted to find out what other mistakes learner drivers made on that all important driving test.
We spoke to staff around Admiral who shared some of their test day memories.
Geraint: My friend failed his driving test before he had even left the test centre. There's a slight hill at the exit and it's difficult to see vehicles approaching from the left. My friend stopped at the exit, turned to the examiner and asked 'How are we looking your way mate?' The examiner said he would have passed with only two minors had he not done that at the start!
Jessica: I drove along a road the wrong way four minutes into my test. The examiner said to pull over, told me that I can't drive and walked back to the test centre leaving me there crying!
Justine: When I got into the car for my second driving test there was an extra person sat in the back seat of the car. My examiner explained the man in the back was the head examiner and that he was auditing him during my test. The extra passenger had really bad chest problems and all I could hear throughout my test was really heavy breathing and wheezing. I was too scared to ask my examiner to repeat himself, so I missed a few of his instructions which resulted in me failing!
My third test had to be cancelled after we were hit by a bus! A double-decker bus which was turning into the road I was on took the turn too wide and scraped the right-hand side of my car, which took out the door lock and mirror. Annoyingly, I was doing brilliantly until that moment! I did get a full refund though.
Nabeel: When my friend took his driving test for the fifth time, he drove into a puddle and managed to soak a pedestrian. The examiner said he failed for not having respect for other people! Natalie: I failed my driving test seven times for numerous reasons. The most memorable were:
- Popping the tyre against the pavement while trying to park
- Rolling backwards down a steep hill after failing to put the car in gear to perform a hill start
- Accelerating to 50mph to catch -up with the traffic ahead which resulted in the examiner having to put his full weight on the brake to stop me from colliding with the car in front
- Pulling out from a junction onto a 60mph road while attempting to do a hill start in second gear, which resulted in me stalling across both lanes of traffic during rush hour!
Ebony: "My partner performed perfectly during his first driving test and didn't even have any minors on his return to the test centre... That was until he smashed into the fence while reversing the car into a space! Safe to say he failed.
Keith: "At the start of my friend's driving test he was asked to read a number plate for the sight part of the test. He told the examiner he couldn't read it, which made the examiner question if he normally wore glasses to drive. When my friend told him that he did, the examiner suggested that he put them on. However, my friend hadnâ€™t brought his glasses with him for the test, so he failed before he even got in the car!
Steve: A girl in my class at school and I were competing to pass our test first. During her test, everything went very well, so she drove back to the test centre excited and expecting to hear sheâ€™d passed. When they got back, the examiner said to her when I asked you to drive back I was intending to tell you that you had passed, but unfortunately as you drove straight through a red light on the way back, I'm afraid it's an instant fail. She hadnâ€™t even realised.
Make sure you have L plates on your car and that the person supervising you while you are practising is legally allowed to do so.
You'll also need valid insurance before setting off. Veygo by Admiral's Learner Driver Insurance gives you cover on mum or dad's car while you're learning and it won't affect their No Claims Bonus if you need to make a claim.