Revealed: The best time of day to take your test

by Adam Phillips - 2 Min Read

According to new research, there is a time of day which will give you the best possible chance of passing your practical driving test – but it’s not the time experts have previously said is ideal.

In the past, pundits have proclaimed that booking your test in an early slot is the best option as it’s when you’re at your most alert; over the course of a day, your ‘cognitive function’ slowly decreases as you become gradually more tired. But research by Dayinsure has uncovered that the optimum time is in fact the exact opposite – the true sweet spot is apparently between 7pm and 9pm.

It’s Official
That’s based on official data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) that revealed the 7pm-9pm slot sees 65% of students passing. Now compare that to the worst performing time slot – between 11am and 1pm – with a pass rate of 48% while the traditional 7am to 9am slot comes in at 50%.

The results are even more intriguing if you consider that the 11am-1pm slot is often seen as an ideal time to take test as well because there is no rush hour or school traffic to contend with plus you’ll still be feeling relatively fresh. In fact, the second best slot to take your test is 9am to 11am with a 52% pass rate, a slot where you can still expect some rush hour and school traffic. But whatever the time, the evening slot still wins out by a big margin.

Analysing the results, Tim Shallcross at IAM Roadsmart told the Sun newspaper that “the much greater success rate for tests taken in the evening is interesting – the most obvious difference is no daytime or rush hour traffic. Quieter roads and most drivers in less of a hurry may well make the test less stressed and nerves are the most common reason for failing.”

The Cost of Success
There is a catch though; the cost of an evening test is more expensive than one taken during the day with learners expected to fork out £75 instead of the standard £62 – but some may argue that the extra cash could well be worth it if it boosts the chances of passing.

While we all want to be in the best possible position to pass our test, Theory Test Pro believes that learners shouldn’t obsess over time slots. Instead, students should rely on their driving instructor to tell them when they are ready to take the test, no matter what the time slot is. If pupils feel they need to rely on an optimum time to gain a pass, it suggests they’re not 100% ready to take the test in the first place.

Here is full rundown of the time slot pass rates:

7am-9am: 50% • 9am-11am: 52% • 11am–1pm: 48% • 1pm-3pm: 50% • 3pm–5pm: 49% • 5pm-7pm: 49% • 7pm-9pm: 65%.

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1 Comment

  1. Bryan Greenall


    Theory test or Practical driving test?

    I think you may have your wires crossed in relation to driving test times. In my long experience, I have never come across a driving test being conducted beyond around the 5:15 pm to 5:30 pm start time cut off. I do not think driving tests are and have ever gone past this time slot start due to the obvious daylight operating time during winter months and driving examiners usually starting work at 8 am and not contracted to do such a long working day and me and many others never hearing off or doing late driving tests with pupils. If this is strictly about the Practical driving test and not the Theory Test, then you need to amend this information as it is wrong even though you have other linked information from other sources they are probably wrong as well by announcing that driving tests are conducted soo late in the day when actually they do not exist past the around 5 pm mark. Sorry for stepping on your toes and please do correct me, although I am pretty sure I am correct in my 12 years of being an instructor and never heard of such late driving tests.

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