We are taking on the great gender driving debate, answering whether boys or girls are more likely to pass the car Theory Test first, and who will pass the Practical Driving Test first.
When it comes to driving, you’ll find reams of articles as to why men or women make better drivers, or who is better at reversing or navigating. In this blog, we’re here to answer if males or females will pass the car Theory Test first and why.
We’ll also look at the stats for when, and who passes the Practical Driving Test too.
By using the most recent data from the DVSA, combined with our own research, it seems that the girls are better at passing the Theory Test, but the boys are better at passing the Driving Test.
It's a tie!!!
The car Theory Test pass rates
The car Theory Test pass rates have reduced dramatically over the last decade for both genders, making people believe that Theory Tests have become harder.
For instance, in January 2012, new test questions stopped being published online, and a year later in 2013, the test question bank was completely refreshed. From April 2014, interpreters and foreign language voiceovers were banned, leading to many experts highlighting it as another reason for falling pass rates.
The DVSA and Department for Transport statistics state that in 2007/2008, the average pass rate for males and females was 65.4%.
But, by 2018/2019, the pass rate had dropped to only 47.3%. That’s over an 18% drop!
Why are women better at passing the car Theory Test?
Look at the pass rate table below. You'll notice there's quite a difference over the last decade.
Average Pass Rates
Back in 2007/2008, males had an average pass rate of 62.3% and the female pass rate was 68.9%.
By 2018/2019 the rates dropped to 45.6% for males, and 49.1% for females.
The current overall pass rate for both sexes is 47.3%.
This shows that women have consistently had higher pass rates than men for over a decade. But why?
Who puts in more Theory Test revision and practise?
We conducted our own research that may offer a reason for a higher female pass rate; they revise for longer before taking the official DVSA Theory Test.
Who revises more for the Theory Test?
|Hours of revision
|5- 25 hours
|26- 50 hours
In our survey of 887 Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App users from January 2019, 58% of the girls revise between 5 and 25 hours before taking the official test, compared to only 52% of the boys.
When revising for even longer; between 26 and 50 hours, 22% of females will put the time in, compared to 18% for males.
There’s a simple message here; to increase your chances of passing the Theory Test, just devote more time to your revision!
Yes, you can try to ‘wing it’, but when each Theory Test costs £23 to sit, it’s not worth wasting your money for the sake of a few more days or weeks of revision.
From our 22 years of experience in educating learner drivers, we recommend that in studying for the Theory Test, learners should be confidently passing a minimum of five consecutive mock tests with high pass rates (over 43 out of 50), with at least 5 minutes remaining from the 57 minutes allocated for the test.
Our Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App allows you to take as many mock Theory Tests as you need, and by using our Progress Tracker, you’ll clearly know when you’re test-ready.
At what age are the highest car Theory Test pass rates found?
The current highest individual pass rate for males is at 24 years old were 47.9% pass, and for the girls, it’s when they are 22, where the pass rate is 51.7%, as shown in the table below.
Ages for the highest pass rates
Overall, the best pass rates for both sexes is between the ages of 25 – 34 with the lads getting a pass rate of 46.74%, and the girls a pass rate of 49.88%.
However, of those that use the Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App, 48% of both sexes are more likely to pass between the ages of 17 and 19.
Are men or women more likely to pass the car Theory Test the first time?
When you look at who will pass the car Theory Test the first time, 50.3% of 26-year-old males had the highest individual first-time pass rate, and 42.7% of 18-year-old girls pass the first time.
On the flip-side, the worst first-time pass rates for males is when they are 55 years old where only 41.7% pass, and for females, it’s when they are 60 years old where only 23.9% pass the first time.
What about pass rates for the Practical Driving Test?
To balance the score a little, it’s men who hold the title for consistently having higher Practical Driving Test pass rates than women.
Average pass rates for the Practical Driving Test
For instance, in April 2007, the pass rate for men was 47.8%, and for females, it was 41.8%.
By March 2019, the pass rate for males had increased to 49.9%, and for females, it was 42.5%.
We can see that of both sexes that more people are passing the driving test (thanks in part to all the brilliant Approved Driving Instructors), but why are the ladies lagging behind?
One reason that is offered by many is that males are just more confident behind the wheel. However, that confidence tends to lead to more dangerous driving.
Last year, Confused.com carried out research that stated men were almost four times as likely to commit a motoring offence than women.
These offences included everything from drink-driving and driving without tax or insurance, to speeding. So, while males are likely to be driving sooner than females, they also may have more points on their licence!
Who passes the Practical Driving Test the first time?
Again, men do better than women here based on the latest statistics.
Who passes the Practical Driving Test on the first attempt?
For males and females, the highest rate was achieved by those who were 17 and under, being 56.3% for males, and 53% for females.
Compare this to the 368,795 total Practical Driving Tests taken for the first time across all ages of females, and the average pass rate is 42.9%. Of the 364,371 total Practical Driving Tests taken for the first time across all ages of males in 2018/2019, the average pass rate is 50.3%.
So, if you’re looking to pass the Practical Test the first time, you need to start your driving lessons early!
Perhaps more young people should take advantage of the Young Driver Programme, where, as long as you’re over 10 years old, you can learn to drive at one of their venues around the country.
Wherever you are on your learner journey, the key advice to take away from all these statistics is that you will learn and pass these tests when you’re ready.
If you want to give yourself the best chances though, you’ll start your driving lessons as soon as possible, and you’ll also put in the right amount of Theory Test revision. And, whether you’re male or female, you’ll try to be a safe and considerate driver so you can keep hold of that licence for the rest of your driving life.
Get all your Theory Test revision using our Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App for iOS and Android devices for just £4.99