The DVSA has released statistics regarding the driving theory and practical tests for the January-March 2014 period. From the statistics, a number of trends can be deduced.
The total number of practical tests have been on a downward medium-trend from the period of 2007/08; an important factor that is potentially influencing this is the generally increasing practical test pass rates, hence fewer candidates taking retests. However, in this quarter the pass rate has decreased to 46.9% and the number of practical tests taken has increased which can be attributed to, as well as the lower pass rate, to the fact that there was an unusually low number of tests taken in the same period last year due to the severe weather.
In addition, the pass rate for the theory tests have decreased, standing at 50.5% which is 19% lower than last year’s pass rate in the same period. This may be affected by the withdrawal of voice-overs and translators for foreign language tests from April 2014 resulting in a surge of less well prepared candidates taking their test.
Previously, the economic recession from 2008 had discouraged some people from taking the theory and practical tests; however, the increase in test number suggests that the economic conditions are no longer a limiting factor.