• ETC
  • Jul 19, 2014
In America, a driver's test seems almost like a formality. Can you park? Can you parallel park? Can you navigate down a road without hitting/killing any other cars, people, animals, houses, buildings, street signs or yourself? Yes, yes and yes? Congratulations, you're licensed to drive. Things are more difficult in the United Kingdom, it seems.

According to the UK Department of Transport, the average pass rate for both the theory and practical tests in the first three months of 2014 was barely half. While that's a discouraging stat, it hasn't put off a 28-year-old woman from the UK, who has sat through the practical portion of the test 110 times. At a cost of 31 pounds (about $53 at today's rates), she's shelled out over 3,000 pounds ($5,120), according to The London Evening Standard.

Now, we're not at all advocating that driving tests should be made easier. But after spending a pretty substantial amount of money, at what point should the UK driving authorities just waive the fees and let her try and sit the test again?

It's unclear if the anonymous woman, who happens to live in London and has a vast public transit network at her disposal, has passed the practical portion of the driver's test. She is, however, easily the record holder for most attempts at the written portion, with the next closest challenger at 86 attempts (he also hasn't passed).


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      gregorycalise
      • 5 Months Ago
      I lived in England for 7 years. It is not an easy test. One mistake and you fail. I passed first time. It keeps unqualified people off of the roads, and it is much safer to drive in England, even though it is much more populated. In the USA, I find there are far too many unqualified drivers. In fact, it has become abominable. If it wasn't for safer cars today, the fatalities would be astronomical.
        Lastchance
        • 5 Months Ago
        @gregorycalise
        You are right the US has very high death rate for a industrialized country. The US fatalities are more than all of western Europe combined. Americans do not take driving seriously. I drive on the highway alot and see driver mistakes that come from poor driving habits. People speeding in congested area, following to close.. It is way to easy to get a license in the US. I live in Massachusetts, and the driving test is ridiculous easy. A complete idiot could pass it. I
      phil623
      • 5 Months Ago
      You guys are assuming a lot, The UK test is Nothing like any test I've taken in the states, if you fail here you can keep trying till you pass even on the same day, you walk into the DMV take a number and anyone behind the counter will help you, In most cases you never actually get to sit in a car and show your driving skills. Autoblog suggests giving the lady a free test, Why should she get a free test? everyone else has to pay why not her, You are paying for someone's time. Each UK test has to be applied for, you receive a time and date pay your money and turn up, a Government tester is allocated to test you, if you fail to turn up you forfeit your test and fee then have to reapply, It could take weeks or months for your next chance of a test. The testers are not friendly in any way, they are their to pass or fail you. In the UK you have to actually drive the car, usually around 30 minutes, Most people take their driving test in the driving instructors car, you pay for the use of that car too, If you don't take Driving lessons you don't have much of a chance to pass the test, plus its very expensive. Most people in the UK drive manual, if you pass while driving an automatic you can only drive an automatic, automatic is considered easier than manual shift. The DMV is a joke, I see kids helping parents that cant speak English, yet they are on the roads driving in no time at all, I've seen mothers help their spoilt brat kids too, as I said Its a joke here, no wonder people have no respect for other drivers.
        PatrickH
        • 5 Months Ago
        @phil623
        Everything in your post sounds great to me. Bring that system here!
        PatrickH
        • 5 Months Ago
        @phil623
        Everything in your post sounds great to me. Bring that system here!
      Michael Scoffield
      • 5 Months Ago
      If Americans had to pass driving tests as rigorous as those in Europe they'd be only half the number of people with a licence today and probably 75% less deadly crashes.
      Teleny411
      • 5 Months Ago
      I work on a College campus and I know several students who have severe mental health issues-one in particular is bouncing off the walls by mid-afternoon. He then gets in his car & drives home. I can only imagine how he drives.
      Alex Ingram
      • 5 Months Ago
      This article is wrong. If you read the source news piece, the lady has failed the THEORY test 110 times. That involves a multiple choice exam based on the Highway Code, with a 'Hazard Perception' portion, which involves watching video clips and making note of potential dangers. She isn't allowed to sit the practical test until this test is passed. It isn't a difficult test. If you're nervous when it comes to sitting exams, I could maybe understand perhaps failing it once or twice, but 110 times?! She shouldn't ever be allowed on the road, and neither should the bloke who had 86 failed attempts.
      1454
      • 5 Months Ago
      Let her keep taking it for free? Are you dumb? No, it should be capped at like 25 attempts. After that, you should have to pay for actual off street (read, road course) driving, with like 40 hours of class instruction, and a waiting period before you can come back and *pay* to attempt it again. If you still can't manage after that, then there is a good possibility that you just don't need/deserve a license at all. In fact, I wish that licenses here were harder to get. Many, many, many people don't need a license here, but being the idiotic nation we are, we just give them a license anyway to kill people. I can't believe anyone would suggest that she, or her next closest competitor deserves additional attempts.
      diffrunt
      • 5 Months Ago
      Lax training & testing are the biggest contributors to US accident rate.
        rbnhd1144
        • 5 Months Ago
        @diffrunt
        Absolutly right, Most Americans never take a Drivers Ed course, School drivers education is a joke. Many have no respect for other roads users, plus drunken drivers and cell phone users.
        FuelToTheFire
        • 5 Months Ago
        @diffrunt
        Lax training? Are you really that stupid?
      TahsinZ
      • 5 Months Ago
      UK, do everyone a favor and just give her a bus pass.
        FuelToTheFire
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TahsinZ
        Public transportation is subsidized by taxpayer money. Why the HELL should I pay for some ignorant peasant commoner's transport if I'm not using the bus? Only the degenerates of society use public transport. If you use public transport, then you are a) riffraff from the city b) too worthless to buy a car. She can go walking for all I care.
          jphyundai
          • 5 Months Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          She needs the license to bring you more caviar. Check the name of your staff, she works for you.
      PatrickH
      • 5 Months Ago
      "According to the UK Department of Transport, the average pass rate for both the theory and practical tests in the first three months of 2014 was barely half. While that's a discouraging stat," That's in no way a discouraging stat. One can only dream of that statistic being applied to America. Can you imagine how pleasant the roads would be?!?! It is extremely easy to get a license in the US and that has to change. I'm sick and tired of paying the automakers to build idiot proof cars with ridiculously high crash standards and countless electronic doodads while at the same time NOTHING is being done to improve the skill of the average American driver.
      IBx27
      • 5 Months Ago
      "at what point should the UK driving authorities just waive the fees and let her try and sit the test again?" NEVER. If someone is so brain-dead that they can't pass after 4 times, let alone ***one hundred ten*** times, they should NOT be allowed to drive.
        DKay
        • 5 Months Ago
        @IBx27
        Totally this. I would be scared if she finally passes the test after 224-th try. Passing the test at this point would not mean she is able to drive.
        DKay
        • 5 Months Ago
        @IBx27
        Totally this. I would be scared if she finally passes the test after 224-th try. Passing the test at this point would not mean she is able to drive.
      SamerIraq
      • 5 Months Ago
      My wife failed the test 3 times only in Dubai and that cost us around 4000 dollars so far hahahah, so if she is living here she would have paid a billion dollars to go through the test 110 times
      • 5 Months Ago
      Btw the UK theory test is £31, the practical test is about £60 (more for weekend slots). So 110 times is more like 6 grand ($10k). I happier not sharing the road with her though.
    • Load More Comments