New DVSA data reveals how easy it is to pass your driving test in Bristol

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The practical driving test pass rate in Bristol is above average at 54% in Kingswood and 56% in Avonmouth.

Learning to drive is never easy, and in some areas of the UK it can be especially tricky to earn your full pink licence.

From instructor demand to pass rates, the temporary learner driver car insurance experts at Dayinsure have used the latest DVSA data to create a new nationwide report.

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They’ve also dug into the official driving test insights on a local level too, to reveal what learners in Bristol can expect.

Learners in Bristol are more likely to pass.Learners in Bristol are more likely to pass.
Learners in Bristol are more likely to pass.

How easy is it to find a driving instructor?

Across the UK there is currently one driving instructor for every 243 provisional licence holders.

However, in Bristol, this is slightly lower at 239 learners per instructor.

Learners here may still find it competitive though, and benefit from getting on a waiting list or booking lessons in in advance, to ensure they are ready to take their test without delay.

What about theory tests?

The current UK average theory test pass rate is 45%.

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In Bristol specifically, the current theory test pass rate is 48.5%. This is 3.5% higher than the UK average, suggesting learners here are particularly well prepared for the test before they go into it.

What about practical driving tests?

In recent years the waiting time for driving tests has been high – it peaked at 20.6 weeks on average last August but is now down to 15 weeks (UK average)

The number of test centres with waits of 24 weeks has also fallen from 148 in October last year to 67 now.

The current UK average practical driving test pass rate is now 48% (based on the last 12 months).

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This is the same as in the previous year’s figures, but down 1% from 2022 (49%), and down 2% from 2021 (50%).

In Bristol specifically, the current practical driving test pass rate is quite a bit higher than the average at 54% at the Kingswood test centre, and 56% at the Avonmouth test centre.

This suggests that learners are well prepared or may have a slight advantage and increased likelihood of passing, by booking in here.

What are the main causes of an instant fail?

There are three types of faults a learner can make on their test

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  1. a dangerous fault - this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  2. a serious fault - something potentially dangerous
  3. a driving fault - this is not potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault

You’ll pass your driving test if you make no more than 15 driving faults (sometimes called ‘minors’) and no serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’).

According to the new learner driver report, the ten most common DANGEROUS faults that lead to an instant driving test fail were (last 12 months):

  1. Loss of control while forward parking – (25%)
  2. Insufficient observation while at a junction (17%)
  3. Failing to use mirrors when changing direction (10%)
  4. Loss of steering control specifically (7.2%)
  5. Insufficient observation while forward parking – (6.6%)
  6. Failure to leave sufficient clearance when passing obstructions (4.5%)
  7. Failure to judge risks at a crossing (4.5%)
  8. Failure to judge risks when meeting another car (3.8%)
  9. Failure to move off safely (2.5%)
  10. Failure to maintain control of the car when moving off (2.1%)

Nicholas Shaw, Director of Operations at Dayinsure said:“It is clear to see that driving test pass rates fluctuate up and down the country, and learners in some areas may also struggle to find an instructor in time to start their driving lessons on time.

“We would like to remind learners that they don’t need to wait for their instructor to start practising for their practical driving test.

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“With Dayinsure, you can practise in a borrowed car (or your own), as long as you’re supervised by someone who’s over 25 years old who’s held a British driving licence for at least three years. However, you must take care to ensure that everyone is fully insured to drive the vehicle.

“If you want to improve your chances of passing the first time, temporary learner driver insurance is a cheap and flexible option to get covered for your private practice sessions with your friends or family.”

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