posted 3 years ago

Learner Drivers That Pass Test First Time Could Get Refund

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin wants to raise the first-time pass rate, which stands at just 21% of applicants

Learner drivers that pass the practical test first time should receive a partial refund, Government proposals claim.

The purpose of the initiative – that among others is the subject of a Consultation Document – is to raise the first time pass rate of 21%.

A partial refund could encourage learners to only sit the test once prepared, rather than on a wing and a prayer.


The Government claims there is “anecdotal evidence” that some learners book a test far in advance, then sit it whether ready or not. The perception that there is a long run-in time probably encourages this strategy.

The Government argues that a partial refund for passing the practical driving test first time could ensure learner drivers are:

  • better prepared for taking their test and driving independently;
  • less likely to have an accident in the months following the test;
  • taking their test when they are ready and confident of passing.

Driving Learner

Incentive for learners

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We want to make learning to drive safer and more affordable. This change will give those who pass first time some money back and provide an incentive for learners to be more prepared before they take their test. These common sense proposals mean that all learner drivers can feel the benefit.”

Steve Gooding Director of the RAC Foundation, added: “We support measures that will encourage learner drivers to get the experience they need to pass their test first time with flying colours, rather than barely scraping through or failing and having to repeat the process a few months down the road at yet more expense.”

Improving standards

The Consultation also sets out proposals to:

  • Introduce more driving test appointment times, including weekends and evenings;
  • Offer tests from a range of venues;
  • Review fees for all services provided by motoring agencies;
  • Change providers for some services;
  • Combine services at motoring agencies.

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon explained: “This is a bold and ambitious approach aimed at putting the user at the heart of everything the motoring agencies do.”

He added: “These proposals are about modernising customer services and improving road safety - particularly for younger drivers - and I want to hear all views.”

Driving Learner

Have your say

The Department for Transport Consultation Document is titled Motoring Services Strategy. Interested parties have until January 8th 2016 to respond. Options are by email (; or post (Edward Bunting, Motoring Services Agency Sponsorship, Department for Transport, Zone 2/29, Great Minster House, Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR).