Millions of drivers would fail if forced to resit test

Scots were more confident of passing a retest

ALMOST four million drivers think they would fail if they had to take a driving test again, a survey has found.

Research by motoring group the AA found many UK driving licence holders were underconfident behind the wheel

The research shows 11% of UK drivers think they are ‘quite’ or ‘very’ unlikely to pass a re-test.

But Scots were more confident of their driving abilities, with 12% thinking they could drive to the required standard.

Just 2% of Scottish motorists thought they were ‘very unlikely’ to pass a second time round.

Across the UK men are more confident about whether they would pass a test again, with 32% feeling they were ‘very likely’ to do so compared to 23% of women.

And it seems younger drivers are less sure of their ability to pass a re-test than older drivers; with 15% of 18-24-year-olds saying there are ’quite’ or ‘very’ unlikely to pass compared to 9% of over 65’s.


In England, Londoners were the most confident with just 9% thinking they would fail a re-test. The least confident area was Tyne Tees, where 13% thought they would fail a re-test.

Edmund King, AA President, said: “It is alarming to think more than 3 million drivers who have passed their test may not be safe on the roads due to a lack or confidence or competence; to such a degree they don’t think they would pass their driving test.

“It is particularly worrying so many young drivers think they would not pass a re-test, when it can’t have been long since they took their test.

“Driving is a skill for life and, although it is easy to let bad habits form after your test, drivers should make sure their skills are kept polished.”

Qualified drivers with serious driving problems are tackled by an expert team of AA Driving School instructors in a new Channel 5 series, Dangerous Drivers’ School, which starts on October 19 at 8pm.

The episodes include qualified drivers who are terrified of flyovers, phobic of motorways, who drive either too fast and too slow, can’t use roundabouts and ones who can’t stay in the left lane.


A Driving Standards Agency spokesperson said: “The driver testing and training regime tests candidates’ ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.

“To make the test more realistic, we have added a new independent driving element, allowing candidates to demonstrate their ability to drive safely in more realistic situations without detailed instructions from the examiner.

“We have also stopped publishing test routes so that candidates learn the principles of good driving rather than learning routes by rote and plan to cease publication of theory test questions in 2012.

“It’s essential that all drivers keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date to remain safe and responsible drivers. We encourage anyone needing to update their skills to seek the advice of an approved driving instructor about additional training.”