Redditch learner driver failed theory test 59 times and spent more than £1,000 before passing

041223 REDDITCH DRIVER - ITV News Central - Steve Parsons/PA Images - Ellen Knight
Learners must pass the theory test before they can book a practical driving test in the UK. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Images

A learner driver from Worcestershire who failed the theory test 59 times before passing has been praised for their "amazing" commitment.

The person, who has not been named, spent £1,380 and around 60 hours on the process at a test centre in Redditch according to data obtained by AA Driving School.

That's more than anyone else in Britain - but they weren't the only driver in the Midlands needing more than a few goes before they finally passed.

One person in Birmingham made 48 attempts and spend £1,104 before passing - as did another individual from Sutton Coldfield.

The figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) relate to learner drivers who passed during the first half of 2023.

Camilla Benitz, managing director of AA Driving School – which has an app that helps learners prepare for the test, said: "There’s no doubt it’s a tough test and these learners’ commitment to passing is amazing.

"But with the right tools, it really shouldn’t need to cost this much to be successful.

"Nerves can undoubtedly play a part, as well as making sure you understand what the test will involve before you get there.

"It’s quite easy to underestimate the theory test and assume that you’ll be able to pass without any effort at all but that’s not the case."

Department for Transport figures show the pass rate for theory tests has fallen from 65% in the 2007/08 financial year to 44% in 2022/23.

Learners must pass the theory test before they can book a practical driving test in the UK - and each theory test attempt costs £23 and takes around an hour.

It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions testing candidates’ knowledge of the Highway Code and guidance on driving skills, with 43 correct answers required.

This is followed by a hazard perception test, which involves 14 video clips of driving situations, which evaluates learners’ ability to anticipate potential danger, with a pass mark of 44 out of 75.

Fraudsters have been prosecuted for impersonating other people to sit their theory tests.

In January 2020, Swallaxadin Abdul Bashir, then aged 42, from Coventry, was handed a 28-month prison sentence at Warwick Crown Court after admitting attempting to sit tests while impersonating applicants at 12 locations across England.

People who fail the theory test must wait at least three working days before taking it again.

Those who pass must take a successful practical test within two years or they will need to complete the theory test again.

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