Derry Driving Centre has lowest pass rate

Learner driver on test (file pic)
Learner driver on test (file pic)

The pass rate among those undertaking the practical driving test for private cars in Derry, is the lowest of any test centre in Northern Ireland.

New figures for the period from the start of January to the end of March, 2019, show that the practical test pass rate for private car drivers at the Altnagelvin Test Centre stood at 42.9 per cent.

This is compared to a NI average pass rate of 55.4 per cent, with Downpatrick having the highest at 73.8 per cent.

The Department for Infrastructure’s new ‘Driver, Vehicle, Operator and Enforcement Statistics’ report also states that this was the “fifth consecutive quarter that Londonderry (Altnagelvin) had the lowest pass rate” for car drivers. It added: “At least part of the difference recorded between test centres will reflect the different driving ability and experience of candidates presenting for testing, while other relevant factors will be specific to the test centre such as local driving conditions.”

During this period there were 14,100 practical tests conducted in NI, over 80 per cent of which were for private cars.

Meanwhile, less than half of people who sat the theory test for private cars passed and the report shows that while women were more likely to pass their theory, men were more likely to pass the practical element.

The number of taxi driver licenses across NI, meanwhile, has dropped dramatically by almost 10 per cent over the past year. The report states: “This is a continuation of the declining trend with numbers down by over a third on the series high recorded five years ago. This reduction may have been exacerbated by the introduction of a new taxi driver theory and practical driving test, which was introduced on October 31, 2014.”

The pass rate for MOT tests in 2018/19 was 81.8 per cent.