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Which counties spend the most on driving tests – and how likely are they to pass first time?

Which counties spend the most on driving tests – and how likely are they to pass first time?

Is your county full of better drivers than its neighbours, or are you driving examiners just too strict? Find out where your region ranks for driving test pass rate and the amount of cash splashed on tests.

Brits spent more than £49 million on driving tests in 2020, even as Covid restrictions meant fewer than normal could be taken.

The new research from Zuto shows just how much getting a licence means to the nation of wannabe drivers.

Last year’s outlay on tests was half what it was in 2019, when more than £100m was spent, our research found.

In 2020, more than £44,067,800 was spent on tests in England alone.

National pass rates have seen an increase, though, with all but a handful of counties seeing an improvement. The national average was 51%.

Jump to:

· Top 5s: Which regions invested the most in driving tests – the top and bottom 5s for spending money on driving tests

· Top 5s: Which counties have the best and lowest pass rates – as well as the stand-out performers

· What percentage of drivers pass their test first time where you live – find your county to see who’s the best – or who’s got it easiest

· How much do counties spend on driving tests – see if you’ve been spending more than your neighbours

Which regions invested the most in driving tests?

More tests were taken in London than any other English region in 2020. In the capital, more than £8,668,716 was spent on them last year.

That compares to £86,242 spent in North Devon – the lowest spending of England’s regions.

In Scotland £3,471,628 was spent on tests in 2020. In Wales £2,019,216 was invested.

Biggest spenders in England on driving tests

Region

Total spent on driving tests in 2020

London

£8,668,716

West Midlands

£2,857,022

Greater Manchester

£2,749,514

West Yorkshire

£2,533,196

Hampshire

£1,554,836

Lowest spenders on driving tests in England

Region

Total spent on driving tests in 2020

North Devon

£86,242

 

Herefordshire

£96,224

Northumberland

£210,056

East Sussex

£268,894

West Sussex

£283,340

Which counties have the best and lowest pass rates

One of the few bits of good news brought by the pandemic was a slightly increased chance of a first-time driving test pass. Across Britain, the pass rate for first tests was 51% in 2020, compared to 49% in 2019.

West Midlands has lowest first-time driving test pass rate in England

In England, the West Midlands continued to prove the toughest place to pass first time. It had the lowest first-time pass rate in 2019 and 2020.

In 2020, things improved slightly with 40% of drivers passing their test first time. In 2019, the figure was 38%.

Northumberland has the highest first-time driving test pass rate in England

Northumberland recorded the highest first-time pass rate, with 63% in 2020. It neared the top of the table in 2019 too, in third place with 61%.

Discover what percentage of people pass first time in your region in the tables below.

What percentage of drivers pass their test first time where you live?

The highest percentage of first-time pass rates in England in 2020 were:

Region

Percentage of tests passed first time in 2020

Northumberland

63%

Dorset

60%

Somerset

59%

Cumbria

58%

County Durham

58%

The lowest percentage of first-time pass rates in England:

Region

Percentage of tests passed first time in 2020

West Midlands

40%

Cornwall

43%

London

44%

West Yorkshire

45%

Devon

46%

All England regions 2020 first-time pass rate:

Rank

Region

First-time pass rate % in 2020

           1          

Northumberland

64.6

           2          

Dorset

60.9

           3          

Somerset

59.2

           4          

Cumbria

58.5

           5          

County Durham

57.5

           6          

Herefordshire

57

           7          

North Devon

56.6

           8          

North Yorkshire

56.5

           9          

Berkshire

55.1

         10        

Norfolk

54.3

         11        

Bristol

54.2

         12        

Hampshire

53.9

         13        

East Yorkshire

53.6

         14        

Oxfordshire

53.2

         15        

Warwickshire

53.1

         16        

Northamptonshire

53.1

         17        

Nottinghamshire

52.9

         18        

Wiltshire

52.5

         19        

Suffolk

52.4

         20        

Lancashire

51.4

         21        

Essex

51.1

         22        

Lincolnshire

51

         23        

Shropshire

50.9

         24        

Surrey

50.8

         25        

Teeside

50.7

         26        

Hertfordshire

50.6

         27        

West Sussex

50.4

         28        

Sussex

50.3

         29        

Kent

50.2

         30        

East Sussex

49.8

         31        

Leicestershire

49

         32        

Cheshire

49

         33        

West Yorkshire

48.7

         34        

Derbyshire

48.6

         35        

Cambridgeshire

48.4

         36        

Worcestershire

47.9

         37        

Tyne and Wear

47.6

         38        

Greater Manchester

47.3

         39        

South Yorkshire

47.2

         40        

Staffordshire

47.1

         41        

Gloucestershire

46.6

         42        

Merseyside

46.6

         43        

Buckinghamshire

45.5

         44        

Devon

43.7

         45        

Cornwall

43.6

         46        

Bedfordshire

43.4

         47        

London

43.4

         48        

West Midlands

41.1

All England regions 2019 first-time pass rate:

Rank

Region

First-time pass rate % in 2019

           1          

Northamptonshire

63.3

           2          

Surrey

61.7

           3          

Northumberland

61.3

           4          

Dorset

57.4

           5          

Somerset

56.5

           6          

Tyne and Wear

56.2

           7          

North Yorkshire

54.6

           8          

North Devon

54.4

           9          

Herefordshire

54

         10        

County Durham

53.7

         11        

Suffolk

52.4

         12        

Teeside

52.2

         13        

Warwickshire

51.7

         14        

Nottinghamshire

51.6

         15        

Oxfordshire

50.1

         16        

Wiltshire

49.9

         17        

Norfolk

49.9

         18        

Lancashire

49.8

         19        

Berkshire

49.4

         20        

Hampshire

49.4

         21        

Bristol

48.9

         22        

Hertfordshire

48.3

         23        

Lincolnshire

47.8

         24        

Sussex

47.8

         25        

Cambridgeshire

47.2

         26        

Cumbria

47.2

         27        

East Sussex

47

         28        

Derbyshire

46.8

         29        

Essex

46.8

         30        

West Sussex

46.8

         31        

Leicestershire

46.8

         32        

Cheshire

46.2

         33        

Staffordshire

45.9

         34        

Greater Manchester

45.8

         35        

South Yorkshire

45.3

         36        

Kent

45.1

         37        

East Yorkshire

44.8

         38        

Cornwall

44.7

         39        

Gloucestershire

44.7

         40        

Shropshire

44.6

         41        

Worcestershire

44.2

         42        

Buckinghamshire

44.1

         43        

Merseyside

42.6

         44        

Devon

42.6

         45        

West Yorkshire

42.1

         46        

London

41.5

         47        

Bedfordshire

40.9

         48        

West Midlands

38.2

How much do counties spend on driving tests

Biggest spenders in England on driving tests

Region

Total spent on driving tests in 2020

London

£8,668,716

West Midlands

£2,857,022

Greater Manchester

£2,749,514

West Yorkshire

£2,533,196

Hampshire

£1,554,836

Lowest spenders on driving tests in England

Region

Total spent on driving tests in 2020

North Devon

£86,242

 

Herefordshire

£96,224

Northumberland

£210,056

East Sussex

£268,894

West Sussex

£283,340

All English counties’ spending on driving tests

Rank

Region

Total spent on driving tests in 2020 in £s

           1          

London

8,668,716

           2          

West Midlands

2,857,022

           3          

Greater Manchester

2,749,514

           4          

West Yorkshire

2,533,196

           5          

Hampshire

1,554,836

           6          

Lancashire

1,383,902

           7          

Merseyside

1,279,618

           8          

Kent

1,227,786

           9          

South Yorkshire

1,113,892

         10        

Essex

974,702

         11        

Leicestershire

875,378

         12        

Hertfordshire

799,242

         13        

Staffordshire

782,316

         14        

Lincolnshire

779,402

         15        

Nottinghamshire

722,548

         16        

Bedfordshire

719,882

         17        

Cheshire

708,722

         18        

Bristol

682,248

         19        

Cambridgeshire

669,662

         20        

Wiltshire

669,290

         21        

Cornwall

635,624

         22        

North Yorkshire

634,508

         23        

Tyne and Wear

631,904

         24        

Northamptonshire

625,146

         25        

Warwickshire

606,422

         26        

Norfolk

565,254

         27        

Surrey

552,482

         28        

Derbyshire

526,876

         29        

Oxfordshire

522,722

         30        

Berkshire

505,238

         31        

Somerset

497,674

         32        

Suffolk

475,354

         33        

County Durham

472,502

         34        

Dorset

456,878

         35        

Devon

451,980

         36        

Worcestershire

418,624

         37        

Shropshire

411,184

         38        

Buckinghamshire

407,774

         39        

East Yorkshire

371,442

         40        

Cumbria

357,368

         41        

West Sussex

567,610

         42        

Gloucestershire

352,718

         43        

Teeside

323,950

         44        

Sussex

283340

         45        

East Sussex

268,894

         46        

Northumberland

210,056

         47        

Herefordshire

96,224

         48        

North Devon

86,242

Britain overview – spending on tests and first-time passes

Country

Percentage of tests passed 1st time

Total spent on driving tests

England

50.9%

£44,067,864

Scotland

61%

£3,471,628

Wales

58%

£2,019,216

Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales)

53%

£49,633,108

Image of how much brits spent on driving tests and their pass rates by region

Data sources

Regional first-time pass rates calculated by Zuto by calculating an average percentage pass mark across all driving test centres that submitted their results to us in each region

Spending on tests in each region calculated by Zuto by adding together the total number of practical tests taken at all driving test centres in each region that reported their figures to us and multiplying it by the minimum possible test cost of £62.

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