Driving test gender gap narrows in Ashfield
The gap between male and female driving test pass rates has narrowed in Ashfield during the coronavirus pandemic, figures suggest.
The RAC said it is encouraging to see the gender gap shrinking, but warned ‘time will tell’ if the trend continues as test numbers recover following Covid-related disruption.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency data shows that, of 559 tests taken by male drivers at Ashfield Test Centre, off Coxmoor Road, Sutton, between April and June, 369 were successful – a pass rate of 66 per cent.
Meanwhile, 59 per cent of 635 tests taken by women were passed over this period, giving a gap of seven percentage points.
Figures for 2020 were unavailable for Ashfield, when tests were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions.
Women had a success rate of 53 per cent during the period in 2019 – compared with 64 per cent for men, meaning a gap of 11 percentage points between the genders.
Across Great Britain, 49.2 per cent of tests taken by women between April and June were passed – a higher proportion than during any similar period on record, and up from 47.1 per cent in 2020-21 as a whole.
Though the male success rate also rose, the gap between the two genders, 4.7 percentage points, is now the closest it has ever been – previously peaking at 7.3 in 2018.
Rod Dennis, for motoring organisation the RAC, said: “While it’s encouraging that the gender driving test pass ‘gap’ appears to be closing, only time will tell whether this is a trend that continues as the number of people taking tests starts to return to normal.”
Of the six months of available figures for Ashfield between July and December 2020, women had a pass rate of 56 per cent, while men passed 63 per cent of tests.
The AA said the difference in pass rates between men and women is a long-term trend, but added it is good to see the gap closing slightly.
A DVSA spokesman said practical and theory tests are designed to measure a candidate's ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.
He said: "All candidates are assessed to the same standard and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.”