The DOE Press release:
The ‘DOE Driver, Vehicle, Operator and Enforcement Statistics’ 2014/15 has been published today.
The latest official statistics show that just over 80% of vehicles presenting for a full vehicle test during 2014/15 passed first time. This full test pass rate was over one percentage point higher than in 2013/14 and ranged from 74% for Light Goods Vehicles to 94% for Motorcycles. DVA provided over 1million vehicle test appointments in 2014/15, over 60,000 more than in 2010/11 or equivalent to approximately an extra 1,200 appointments per week. However, during the year, there were also over 24,000 ‘Failed To Attends’ which is approximately 77 vehicle tests per working day where a vehicle did not present for a booked appointment.
The 54,000 Driving Test appointments provided during 2014/15 was 7% higher than for last year. This was the first annual increase in the number of test appointments provided since 2008/09, and comes on the back of decreases of 14% and 8% in the two years prior to 2014/15. It is still however, over 22,000 tests below the series high recorded in 2008/09. Nevertheless, this latest annual increase in learner drivers trying to get “on-the road” could signal an end to what had been a downward trend and may be linked to an improving economic environment.
The theory test pass rate for private cars in 2014/15 was just under 49%. This is the first annual figure to show that over half of those sitting the private car theory test had failed and is 15 percentage points below the rate in 2010/11. The decrease in the pass rate is mainly attributable to a series of changes to the theory test, introduced from 2012, and designed to encourage a higher standard of knowledge and understanding of safe driving theory. During the same period, the pass rate for the private car ‘L’ Test increased by five percentage points to just below 56%.
The key points from this annual report for 2014/15 are:
- The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) provided 1,033,259 vehicle test appointments across all vehicle testing categories, marking a very small increase of 0.1% on 2013/14 when 1,032,111 vehicle test appointments were provided. However, the total number of appointments provided has increased by 135,764, or 15.1%, since 2008/09.
- The overall pass rate for full vehicle tests was 80.5%. This is the highest pass rate for full vehicle tests recorded across the time series, over two percentage points above the pass rate of 78.3% observed in 2008/09. The testing pass rate varied by test category, with rates in the larger volume tests ranging from 93.5% for motorcycle tests to 74.4% for Light Goods Vehicle tests.
- The DVA provided 54,171 driving test appointments, marking an increase of 7.4% on the previous year when 50,445 test appointments were provided.
- The total number of appointments provided has decreased by 22,338 (29.2%) since 2008/09 when 76,509 appointments were provided.
- DVA carried out 65,075 theory tests; 88.6% of tests conducted were Private Car tests. The pass rate for theory tests varied from a low of 48.6% for Private Cars to a high of 79.4% for the Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) Hazard Perception tests.
- For Private Cars there has been a strong decline in pass rates, from 66.1% in 2008/09 to 48.6% in 2014/15. This is largely attributable to the changes in the suite of theory test questions introduced in January 2012, designed to encourage more thorough preparation by candidates.
Driver Licence Stock
- On the 31 March 2015, there were over 1,070,000 Full and Eligible licence holders with Private Cars/Light Vans entitlement in Northern Ireland.
- Based on Mid Year Population Estimates for Northern Ireland in 2013, it is estimated that over three-quarters (75.9%) of Northern Irelands population aged 17+ had a full and eligible license with entitlement for Private Cars / Light Vans.
Road Transport Licensing
- As of the 31 March 2015, there were 14,462 licensed Taxi Drivers in Northern Ireland, down by 6.3% from 15,430 at the end of March 2014. There were also 1,885 licensed Taxi Operators at 31 March 2015, representing an annual increase of 4.3%. Of these, the vast majority (87%) were classified as a small operator (1,636) providing for up to two taxis to be listed on their licence.
- The number of Goods Vehicles checked in 2014/15 (2,534) was down over 28% on the previous year (3,532). This was the lowest number of Goods Vehicles checked per annum in the available time series.
- The number of taxis checked in 2014/15 (1,445) was over 26% lower than in the previous year (1,965). The number of buses checked decreased by 1.8% to 764 during the same period, though this was still around twice the number checked in 2008/09 (383).