Smart People Take Longer To Pass Driving Tests

The Inbetweeners/E4

Passing your driving test felt like the ultimate badge of maturity at seventeen.

Look at me go, that licence seemed to cry, a fully fledged adult with tyre wings; able to fly to retail park multi-plexes and Pizza Huts and other such out-of-town zones unfathomable to the lowly bus user.

How you bragged to your mates about your first time pass as you drove them to sixth form, huffing and tutting cheerfully about the outlandish price of petrol like you were somebody’s dad.

However, could it be… and this may be hard to swallow… could it be you were merely a complete muppet?

Disney–ABC Domestic Television

According to research from Privilege DriveXpert – which surveyed 1,564 people with British driving licences – those with higher academic abilities may actually be less likely to pass first time.

Brainier types are more likely to over-analyse the test, in a way practical-minded folks just won’t.


59% of learner drivers without qualifications passed first time – taking an average of 1.7 attempts to gain their full driving licence. This number drops to 51% for those with A-Levels.

There was a 48% first time pass rate for those with undergrad degrees, which fell again to 47% for those with a postgraduate qualification.

A split was even detected between arts and sciences A-Level students. Those studying for creative subjects took approximately 1.9 tries, whereas those studying science subjects took 2.3 times.

Professions appear to count. Only 39% of proprietors and company owners pass on the first go, while 22% of business owners will take their test four or more times.

Paramount Pictures

The report explains:

Failing a driving test first time can feel like a major set-back for a new driver.

But our research has shown a link between qualifications and professional position held and the number of times it takes a person to pass their practical driving test.

Those with no qualifications are more likely to pass first time.

Head of Privilege DriveXpert, Charlotte Fielding, made the following statement:

Passing first time isn’t the be-all and end-all of driving ability as many of the main skills we need to equip ourselves for our driving careers are learned over the years as our experience on the roads builds.

This research demonstrates a link with academic and professional success and passing the driving test.

Paramount Pictures

And if you have just failed your first (or second, or third…) driving test attempt, then you are in good company.

Jaden Smith took to Instagram to express his disappointment over his failed driving test.

Maybe he should have taken a leaf out of his dad’s book and whistled for a cab instead?

Popstar Meghan Trainor also showed she’s not all about the brakes, managing to pass the second time around.

The Dear Future Husband singer tweeted:

When you fail your DMV written test the first time..but pass the second time.

Whatever your driving test may say about you, lets face it, its still really exciting to get that all important pass…

Good luck to anyone sitting their test soon!