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Norfolk and Suffolk beat national average in driving test

Learner drivers in Norfolk and Suffolk have continued to better the national average when it comes to passing their driving test, with the most successful pupils in Ipswich and Norwich.

The latest statistics from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), covering April 2018 to March 2019, show that compared to the national pass rate of 45.8%, 51.1% of pupils in Norfolk passed, and 50.9% in Suffolk.

By test centre in the two counties, candidates in Ipswich were most likely to pass, with a 60.1% success rate, and pupils in Bury St Edmunds were least likely, with 42.2.% passing, below the national average.


Test centrePass rate
National average45.8%
Bury St Edmunds42.2%
Ipswich60.1%
King’s Lynn49.7%
Lowestoft47.0%
Norwich (Jupiter Road)50.8%
Norwich (Peachman Way)52.0%

Males once again outperformed females, with 54.4% of males in Norfolk and 53.7% of males in Suffolk passing, compared to 48.2% of females in Norfolk and 48.4% of females in Suffolk.

Teenagers triumph on the test

And it was 17-year-olds in both Norfolk and Suffolk who once again came out on top as the age most likely to pass (DVSA reports individually on 17 to 25-year-olds), once again showing the confidence of youth in action.

Of those taking their test for the very first time, more than half in Norfolk and Suffolk succeeded, again better than the national average.

Achieving the perfect drive

Among those passing at the first attempt were the extra special minority who managed to do it without picking up any driver faults – in Norfolk 177 pupils achieved this, just 1% of all the tests taken across the county, and in Suffolk 128 managed it, only 0.7%.

On the automatic test, the national pass rate continued to be lower than the manual test – 38.8%, but candidates in Norfolk and Suffolk both outperformed this average. 45% of pupils in Norfolk passed and 44.7% in Suffolk.

Top tips to become a pass statistic

Behind every number in the DVSA’s data is the story of someone who has worked hard to become a safe driver over the course of weeks and months.

For many people, this involves overcoming serious nerves on test day to show what they can do. Here are some top tips on keeping your worries at bay and impressing the examiner.

Prepare the night before

To avoid last-minute panics on the day of the test, make sure you’ve got everything you need ready to take with you. Try and get a good night’s sleep, if you can!

Eat and drink well

Whatever time your test is, make sure you’ve had enough to eat and drink beforehand. This will help to keep your focus through the test. There are toilets in the test centre so don’t dehydrate yourself for fear of not being able to find a loo.

Treat it like a lesson

You shouldn’t drive any differently on the test than you have been in your lessons. Although it’s hard to not feel the test is a different experience, the more you can think of it as just another drive out, the more likely you are to remember correct processes.

Don’t dwell on mistakes

Although a tiny minority of people sail through the test without making any driver faults, most people will make mistakes. Remember you can make errors and still pass, and mentally fixating on something you did five minutes ago will make it harder for you to focus on the rest of the test. Keep looking forwards and stay positive.

Remember the basics

When you’re nervous, the most simple of things can go out the window. You may make mistakes you haven’t made for months in your lessons, like not checking your mirrors. Make sure you go into the test with a clear idea of the driving basics that you need to demonstrate.

It’s never the end of the world

Even if you don’t pass first, second, or even third time, don’t lose heart. It’s just a hiccup along the way and in no way an indication of the driver you will be for the rest of your life. Take on board the feedback you are given, work on any weak areas with your instructor, and go again.

Next steps…

Our free learner driver guide is full of videos, tips and advice to mastering all the elements of driving that you need to know for your test.

Looking to start lessons, or want to find a more suitable instructor in the Norfolk and Suffolk area? Get in touch; we’d love to welcome you to How-2-Drive.