Young men in Bridlington are more likely to pass their driving tests on the first attempt than young women, the Free Press can reveal.
On average, around half of all women under 25 (49 per cent) have failed their first attempt over the past four and-a-half years at Bridlington Driving Test Centre.
But new figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show just over 37 per cent of men failed theirs, between 2011 and June this year.
And with a test fee of £62, the Driver And Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is raking in more money from women having to re-sit their tests in Bridlington than they are men.
If all 1,106 women who failed their first attempt went on to re-sit, the agency would have generated an additional £68,572 in test fees. If the 794 men who failed went on to resit theirs, just £49,228 would have gone DVSA coffers.
It means women in Bridlington could collectively have paid at least £19,344 more than men to earn their licences.
Dave Campleman, a Bridlington driving instructor of more than 12 years, believes young women need more confidence before sitting the test.
He said: “I’ve had lots of good women drivers over the years. But I think men can handle the pressure a little bit better, especially in tests.
“Young lads between 17 and 18 – all they want to do is get their licence and drive a car. I think, sometimes, they just want it more than women.
“But I thought the gap would have been closer than 12 per cent. In my experience, I have had equal amounts [of men and women passing on the first attempt], give or take.”
But the instructing stalwart says a learner’s fate could come down to the examiner’s mood on test day.
“I’ve had examiners come back and say ‘they’ve done this’, but they have still passed.
“Other times, I’ve had students who I think will pass, and then they fail. But I’ve had others who I’m worried about and they pass!”
And to keep things balanced, the Free Press asked fellow instructor Cheryl Swainson for her thoughts on our probe.
Cheryl, who’s been in the job for nearly 10 years, said around 90 per cent of her students were female.
“I just think it is if you are good enough to pass, you will pass.
“I don’t think it’s got anything to do with being male or female – you have got to meet the criteria.
“A lot do pass first time but then you get students who get really nervous and can’t perform under the pressure.”
Nevertheless, Cheryl still believes women are the safest drivers – and the numbers would point to her being correct.
In December 2015, a survey of 1,094 British drivers polled found that nine per cent of men admitted to disregarding the speed limit frequently, compared with five per cent of women.
And 81 per cent of women said they thought they were safe drivers, compared with 77 per cent of men.
In response to our probe, the DVSA were quick to point out that all candidates were assessed to the same standard. Its Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, said: “It’s essential thatall drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely.
“The driver testing and training regime tests candidates’ ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind 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.”