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InsureLearnerDriver | December 6, 2019

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Driving Test Celebrates 80 Years

Driving Test Celebrates 80 Years
George Trout
  • On June 1, 2015


Today is the 80th Anniversary of the driving test, happy birthday and may you have another 80 fine years.


The Driving Test, a Brief History

When driving licences were brought in, in 1903, they were not something people sought after. They cost 20 shillings and were originally only used as a means of vehicle identification. Now thousands of teenagers apply every year to get their licence and dream of the moment they can go from the green provisional to the pink nirvana of the full fledged licensed driver.


Of course, obtaining a license years ago was all too easy and wasn’t even mandatory. It was only in the 1930s that people had to take a compulsory driving test. In its inception, 63% of people passed. As vehicles became more common on the road, the driving test eventually became mandatory, more expensive and harder to pass.


Interesting facts that may surprise you (

  • 1935 – if you passed a motorcycle test you did not need to take a separate driving test.
  • The driving test was suspended during World War II, due to the lack of instructors available and fuel rationing. Testing resumed in 1946.
  • In the Early days of the M1 there were: no speed limits, lighting or crash barriers.
  • 1962 – failure to pass the driving test 7 times could result in the licensing authority refusing further applications from the individual.


We’ve come a long way, driving has grown in popularity year on year. Now, over 30 million motorists live in Britain. If you haven’t passed your driving test yet, keep your chin up, it’s not an easy journey, but it is a journey that has had 80 years refinement. Even today the test is still changing and evolving.


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