Men in North Devon are more successful at passing their driving tests than women, according to the latest figures.

The Barnstaple test centre in Bull Court. Picture: GoogleThe Barnstaple test centre in Bull Court. Picture: Google

A study of insurance deals shows that men often pay higher premiums than women as they have more accidents, although pricing differently based on gender was banned by the EU in 2012.

However they appear to be better drivers, at least when it comes to the test, than women.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show that, between April 2017 and March 2018, 53.7% of men who attempted the practical test at the Barnstaple test centre managed to pass, while 41.1% of women were successful.

The test centre carried out 3,524 tests in that period - 2,000 for women and 1,524 for men.

There were 1,641 passes, at a rate of 46.6%. That’s higher than Great Britain’s average of 46%.

The test centre with the highest pass rate was Golspie, in the Scottish Highlands, where more than three quarters of learners were awarded their licences, while in The Pavilion, in Birmingham, less than a third were successful, making it the toughest.

On December 4 last year the driving test was changed, with many observers saying the new test is tougher than the old one.

Learners now must navigate for 20 minutes using a sat-nav, and explain how to test the brakes, clean the windscreen and demist your windows while driving. Rookie drivers do seem to be finding it harder. In March 2018 the pass rate was 48.4%, compared with a pass rate of 54.3% in April 2017, under the old test.

The data also shows that 45% of people taking their test for the first time managed to pass, with seven learners succeeding first time with no minor faults. Drivers taking the test can pass with up to 15 minor faults, such as not checking your mirror at the right time.

DVSA deputy chief driving examiner, Gordon Witherspoon, said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.

“All candidates are assessed to the same level and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.

“We expect candidates and instructors to become more familiar with the new test and well continue to monitor the impact of the changes.”