Learner’s 13 test drives and still unlucky!

L plates on a learner driver's car. Photo by David Jones/PA Wire
L plates on a learner driver's car. Photo by David Jones/PA Wire
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A HAPLESS learner driver sat their test in Scarborough 13 times – and failed every one.

The luckless learner has spent nearly £1,000 on tests alone, as well as many thousands more on lessons.

But the number of tests could be even higher, as the statistics, obtained via a Freedom of Information request to the Driving Standards Agency, only dates back to 2004.

Peter Ladlow, a retired Scarborough driving instructor, taught learners for nearly 50 years, and said he sympathised with the driver.

Mr Ladlow, who taught approximately 20,000 people how to drive, passed his test first time, although he admits “it was much easier in those days.”

He said: “I’m not blaming the driver, I would blame the instructor that they went with.

“When I was an instructor, the highest number of fails any of my students had was four.

“But learning to drive is hard, and to me it doesn’t look like they’re sorting out any problems the learner is having.”

The veteran instructor added the attitude of learners is also partially to blame, saying they face enormous pressure when they get behind the wheel.

He said: “The problem is that when they start learning to drive, they think that they can get behind the wheel and pass their test within half a dozen lessons.

“Of course, they also have their mates boasting to them that they passed their test in an amount of lessons, when, in reality, it will have taken them much, much longer, and this never helps them.”

Other information obtained through the request shows the unlucky driver isn’t the only learner whose driving is stuck in reverse.

One wannabe motorist is still waiting to get behind the wheel, after they failed their theory exam at least fifteen times, although not every one of those exams was sat in Scarborough.

Another driver who has sat tests in Scarborough still hasn’t passed after nine attempts.

Mr Ladlow added he feels the fail rate will increase over the next few years as the test becomes harder to pass.

When asked what advice he would give to struggling learners, Mr Ladlow said: “You have to take on board what the instructor is telling you. Learning to drive is a two-way road.

Are you the driver in question? Or have you, or someone you know, failed a test even more times? Contact reporter Ian Johnson on (01723) 383809.