top of page


The driving test has been going for 80 years. Here are the top 10 driving test facts:

  1. Mr Beere was the first person to pass the driving test in 1935: he paid the grand total of 7s 6d (37.5p) to take the test.

  2. There were no test centres in 1935 so you had to arrange to meet the examiner somewhere like a post office, train station or town hall.

  3. The test was suspended for the duration of World War 2 and didn’t resume until 1 November 1946.

  4. In 1975, candidates no longer had to demonstrate hand signals.

  5. The theory test was introduced in 1996, replacing questions about The Highway Code during the practical test.

  6. Driving was much more hazardous 80 years ago - 7,343 people were killed on Great Britain’s roads when only 2.4 million vehicles were in use - in 2008, 2,538 people were killed with 26.5 million vehicles on the road.

  7. Candidates could book their theory test online for the first time in December 2001.

  8. The pass rate in 1935 was 63% compared to 46% in 2009 .

  9. 1969 saw the first driving test set for an automatic vehicle.

  10. Since 1935 more than 46 million tests have been taken.

Source DVSA under open government licence. You can view this licence here.


bottom of page