Brits in a spin as reverse parallel parking named biggest driving test fear

  • Reverse parallel parking named most feared manoeuvre on 80th anniversary of UK Driving Test.

  • First time pass rates higher in Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester

  • One in four think they would fail if tested again today

  • One in five UK motorists have admitted to being left shaking at the wheel at the prospect of performing a reverse parallel park, new research has revealed.

Marking the 80th anniversary of the UK Driving Test the research, which was conducted by car buying experts Zuto, revealed the top feared manoeuvres on test day, with the difficult skill topping the list closely followed by reversing around a corner and hill starts.

The research also revealed that a startling one in four believed they would fail if taking the test again today. Examining the difference between men and women showed that 52% of men pass first time compared to 42% of women while the top reasons for failing the test were shown to be reverse parking (for women) and junction observation (for men).

On average Scottish learners were shown to pass their test earliest at 21 years 7 months, while those living in Yorkshire were the oldest at 24 years 5 months. By contrast an additional one in forty Brits also revealed that they didn’t pass until they were 50 years old.

Statistics also revealed that the average man takes 1.8 attempts to pass, compared to 2.1 for the average woman. Rather unluckily, one in twenty Brits also admitted to taking five tests or more before passing.

On average, it takes newly passed drivers one year and five months to buy their first car. Mini topped the list as the most popular first car owned, followed by the ever-reliable Ford Fiesta and Ford Escort in second and third. The Ford Cortina and Austin Metro – a rare sight on the road these days – rounded off the top five.

Delving into the future of the driving test highlighted the developments of modern day driving tech, with one in three believing that sat-nav use should be added to the modern day test. In addition, three quarters of all drivers believe motorway driving should also be included, while a further 71% also suggested that night time driving should also be added.

Commenting on the findings, James Wilkinson, CEO of Zuto said: “Passing your test and buying your first car is a milestone for every driver and as the research has shown, can be an extremely stressful process. While we can’t be there to hold your hand during the test, we are certainly on hand when it comes to picking that all important first car.

“Zuto has evolved to remove as much stress as possible from buying a car. We don’t just help in finding a finance solution, we also offer a car finding service, free vehicle history checks, free valuations and even help customers with the paperwork – meaning they can forget about the stress of passing and look forward to enjoying getting behind the wheel of their first car.

”Despite its long history, the driving test itself could become a thing of the past with 54% of drivers revealing they driverless cars will completely take over from human controls and an additional three in ten would consider buying one now."

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