You’re more likely to pass your driving test in King’s Lynn or Norwich

Drivers in Norfolk are among those most likely to pass their driving tests first time, it emerged last night.

Men are slightly more likely to be ripping up their L-plates at the first attempt than women, according to figures from the county's two test centres.

But leaving aside the age-old rivalry, higher numbers of drivers of both sexes pass than the national average in Norwich or King's Lynn.

Some 52pc of candidates in Norwich and 48.5pc of those in Lynn pass first time, according to the DVLA. The national average in the year to March 2010, the most recent for which figures were available, was 45.6pc.

For male candidates, the percentage passing first time in was 55.9 in Norwich and 51.4 in Lynn, against a national average of 48pc.

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The pass rate for female candidates at the two centres was 49.4 and 45.5pc respectively, while the average was 42.5pc.

Mike Frisby, chief examiner at the Driving Instructors Association,

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said: 'There are many different reasons for varying pass rates between test centres, but the difficulty of roads and the amount of traffic you will find in an area does have an impact.

'Pass rates are generally lower in built-up urban areas, but even if pass rates are higher in towns and more rural areas the wider mix of roads makes for a better test.'

Mr Frisby said divers who passed the test first time were not necessarily the best behind the wheel.

'The higher pass rate among men isn't necessarily because they are better drivers,' he said.

'In my experience young lads go into the test with more confidence than girls of the same age.

'The crash rate is higher among young men after they have passed their tests, so perhaps the extra lessons are beneficial for female drivers.'

Peter Foster, who ran Peter Pan Driving Training in Sheringham for 10 years before retiring in January, said the test centres in King's Lynn and Norwich had varied in difficulty over the years as each had moved location and thought taking the exam in Norfolk's fine city was now slightly easier. But he could not pin the county's learner success rates on one element.

He added: 'Why we're passing more in Norfolk I don't know, all I can say is we're better instructors.'

Mr Foster thought men were more confident behind the wheel but said during his years as an instructor women had always been the star pupils.

'The best passes I have ever had where the pupil has had the fewest minor faults has been girls,' he added. 'Boys tend to be more confident than the girls but I think soon after they pass, girls are better than the boys.'

And he did not think the test had got any harder but a more tricky element had been added with the 'independent driving' part of the test, where learners have to navigate a route for 10 minutes by themselves.

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