On this day in auto history – June 1st

Tue 1st Jun 2021


It was on this day in 1935 that a compulsory driving test was first introduced in Britain.

The test was a requisite for all drivers who started driving after April 1st 1934 and basically set the template for how it is today. There was no theory test but learner drivers were quizzed on their knowledge of the Highway Code before the practical exam started.

The practical element of the test lasted for approximately 30 minutes and included an emergency stop, a hill-start, and a three-point turn. Drivers also had to demonstrate their proficiency in hand-signalling, parking and number-plate reading.

According to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency), 246,000 candidates applied to take the test when first introduced with the initial pass rate being 63%.