I managed to pass my UK driving test the first time around a few years back but I know that on another day and with another examiner I could easily have failed it.
I got around to taking about driving tests the other day with a local here in Bolivia. There are basically three ways to start driving here:
1. Pay about £50 to get 10 lessons and a short series of safety talks. Then pay about £100 and spend a lot of hours in various queues to get your licence, which involves a laughably easy theory test and an even easier practical test.
2. Go to the place where they issue the licences and pay a small sweetener so that all that annoying red tape just disappears.
3. Don’t bother with a licence. If you get stopped the police will (allegedly) accept a small donation to their retirement fund.
No one could believe it when I said how tough it is in the UK to get a licence, so I decided to have a look online to back me up.
Over 3 Grand on Tests
The story which jumped out at me was about a lady from Essex who has failed her driving theory test a staggering 105 times. It costs £31 to take it each time so the hapless would be driver has already spent over 3 grand on trying to get a licence. She would have been better off using the money to come over here and live.
In second place is a chap from Peterborough who has tried and failed an impressive 84 times. It seems that the test now involves 50 questions and that you need to get 43 of them right to pass these days.
Is this too tough? Well, it might be but to be honest you see the results on the roads. With easier (or nonexistent) tests the standards of the drivers goes right downhill. I’ll vote for more stringent driving tests any day, although that doesn’t stop me feeling a bit of sympathy for the lady who is spending a fortune on them without any success.