Men more likely to pass driving test at Heysham Test Centre - but women are safer on roads, figures reveal

Heysham Test Centre in Penrod Way.
Heysham Test Centre in Penrod Way.

Men are in pole position when it comes to passing their driving test at Heysham Test Centre, new figures show.

But the AA says higher pass rates for male motorists do not mean they are safer behind the wheel, and that female drivers have fewer collisions in the months after they gain their licences.

Heysham Driving Test Centre parking bays.

Heysham Driving Test Centre parking bays.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show that 54 per cent of practical tests taken by men at the centre in the year to June ended in success – compared to 45 per cent for women.

Across the period Heysham Test Centre carried out 2,810 tests – 1,432 for women and 1,378 for men.

Overall, 49 per cent of the tests resulted in someone getting their licence – above Great Britain’s average of 46 per cent.

Broken down by sex, the pass rate across Britain was 50 per cent for men and 43 per cent for women.

The EU banned car insurers from basing prices on gender in 2012, but studies suggest that men still pay more than women on average.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said that male and female pass rates should not be a consideration in insurance cost.

He said: “Legally car insurance cannot take gender into account, so any disparity between prices offered to men and women would be because of other factors – such as where they park their cars, which postcode they live in, what car they drive, how much they drive and any current convictions or accident record,” he added.

“The difference in the pass rate for men and women is a long-term trend and is not a reflection on the safety of those who have passed their driving test.

“In fact, females have fewer collisions in the first six months of passing.”

The car insurance comparison site Confused.com said a recent analysis of its price index showed that men are paying £84 more for their car insurance than women on average.

Amanda Stretton, the company’s motoring editor, said: “This could be down to the fact that they are almost four times more likely to commit a motoring offence, and twice as likely to make a claim compared to women.

“While data shows that men are more likely to pass their driving test, and have a higher first-time pass rate, our research proves that women are in fact ‘better’ drivers.”