Learner drivers who pass first time could get refund

Learner drivers could get money back from their driving test fees if they pass first time.

Tuesday, 17th November 2015, 5:00 am
A learner driver

The Department for Transport (DfT) is considering the proposal in a bid to encourage learners to only take the test when they are ready and confident of passing.

It is hoped this will mean new drivers are less likely to have an accident in their first months of driving.

Just 47.6 per cent of learners pass first time.

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The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency conducts some 1.5 million practical tests each year but only 21 per cent result in a first time pass. Some 53 per cent are failed and 26 per cent are passed by learners who are on at least their second attempt.

Under the proposal, the practical driving test fee – which costs up to £75 – would be reduced. The learner would also be required to pay a deposit to be returned if they pass. This is part of a consultation aimed at finding ways to improve road safety and increase efficiency in Government agencies.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We want to make learning to drive safer and more affordable. This change will give those who pass first time some money back and provide an incentive for learners to be more prepared before they take their test. These common sense proposals mean that all learner drivers can feel the benefit.”

Motoring research charity RAC Foundation welcomed the proposal.

Director, Steve Gooding, said: “We support measures that will encourage learner drivers to get the experience they need to pass their test first time with flying colours, rather than barely scraping through or failing and having to repeat the process a few months down the road at yet more expense.”