The Daily Mail has apparently discovered the secret to guaranteeing a pass on your driving test.
In an article which is even more nonsensical, alarmist, and offering more downright dangerous advice than usual – even by the Mail’s standards – one of their junior hacks is suggesting that since pass rates appear higher for many test centres in areas outside London, people should head north if they want to pass.
What this sorry excuse for a journalist fails to appreciate is that the driving forces behind the statistics are a little bit more complicated than that – indeed, more complicated than she is ever likely to be able to comprehend.
To start with, most of the test centres with low pass rates are in inner city areas with high immigrant populations and little free cash (at the very least, the candidates in question do not want to spend a single penny more than they can get away with, even if they can afford it for cultural reasons). This means that candidates are more than likely looking to pass their tests as quickly as possible by spending as little as possible and so will not be ready for their tests when they take them. Those candidates often also turn out to be too stupid to realise that keep taking – and failing – their tests is at least as expensive in the long run as taking a few quality lessons and fewer tests would be. And so they carry on pulling the area pass rates down.
An additional complication is that a high proportion of instructors in those areas come from similar cultural backgrounds, and share similar attitudes towards passing tests quickly without necessarily being fully road-ready. It comes down to “let’s give it a try to see what happens”.
Conversely, those centres with the highest pass rates are often in middle-class areas, where such factors are less prevalent.
Fair enough, some of the others are out in the sticks where the entire test route covers less than a dozen named roads, and where the traffic density is much lower. Many of these routes don’t even have to negotiate dual carriageways or large roundabouts. But even then, 40% of the locals are still failing.
The typical London learner responsible for those 75% failure rates common down that way is unlikely to miraculously pass merely by travelling 600 miles north! Not without spending more cash on lessons teaching them the local pitfalls – and certainly not without spending even more cash on the real issue: that they simply cannot drive properly.
You see, that’s why people fail tests. Because they aren’t very good drivers – not because of the latitude they live on.
If you are a good driver, you stand almost as much chance of passing first time no matter where you were taught and took your test. Those different pass rates are down to many other factors.
Do not listen to nonsense like that published in the Mail. It is ridiculously misleading.