EXCLUSIVE: The learner driver who needed 20 attempts at their test in Hornchuch

Taking a driving test can be a memorable occasion – but there have been many to forget for the driver who took their 20th attempt at passing in Hornchurch.

The unlucky wannabe-driver is the person with the most number of test attempts registered at the Station Lane centre since January 2007, the Recorder can reveal.

But he or she was not completely alone in repeatedly booking tests, with the second and third highest belonging to drivers who needed 19 and 17-goes each.

Meanwhile at the smaller Warley Hill test centre in Brentwood, six candidates took their driving test for more than the tenth time during the period.

The figures, disclosed from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) under the Freedom of Information Act show that 16 candidates have sat more than their 10th test at the Hornchurch centre.


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At Warley Hill, the top three number of attempts were 16, 15 and 14 respectively.

Romford driving instructor Chris Bancroft, from Streetwise driving school hasn’t taught the record-breaking learners, but said: “We don’t know the actual reasons behind all the failures, but sometimes it’s just that the pressure of the driving test gets to people, sometimes they just want it so badly that they make a mistake.

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“Sometimes it’s the fault of other road users being inconsiderate to the learner as well.

“All you can do for someone who has failed a few tests is try and lift their spirits.”

He added: “I do kind of salute people who’ve taken more than 10 tests though, it shows they’ve got the persistence to see it through.”

The figures only give a partial picture, however, as the DSA was only able to provide data where the last driving test was taken, rather than all previous ones.

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