Top 10 driving test facts

The driving test’s been going for more than 75 years - here are a few facts:

  • Mr Beene was the first person to pass the driving test in 1935: he paid the grand total of 7/6p (37.5p) to take the test
  • 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
  • the test was suspended for the duration of World War 2 and didn’t resume until 1 November 1946
  • in 1975, candidates no longer had to demonstrate hand signals
  • the theory test was introduced in 1996, replacing questions about the Highway Code during the practical test
  • driving was much more hazardous 75 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
  • candidates could book their theory test online for the first time in December 2001
  • the pass rate in 1935 was 63% compared to 46% in 2009
  • 1969 saw the first driving test set for an automatic vehicle
  • since 1935 more than 46 million tests have been taken
Driving Test 1935

© Adrian Lord 2009 - 2019