4 out of 10 people fail their practical driving test

Every year, four out of ten people who apply for their driving license fail the practical test. Figures obtained by Television Malta show that an average of 8,000 practical tests are performed each year. In the summer months the absolute majority of test takers are foreigners living and working in Malta. To accommodate the public, theory tests have resumed from the centre at Guardamanga Hill – a crucial test for prospective drivers as they have to pass it first to advance to the practical test and get their license.

Failure to use indicators and to choose the correct lane before approaching the roundabout are among the most common mistakes encountered by Transport Malta examiners during practice tests to obtain a driving license. An average of 8,000 car practice tests are conducted each year which are divided between 10 examiners.

It is estimated that four out of ten people do not pass this test which allows a person to rack up 15 technical errors without a serious mistake which among others consists of a breach of traffic regulations or causing danger to third parties on the road. The test lasts about 45 minutes.

Clint Mansueto, Director of the Land Transport – Transport Malta Directorate, said “when we encounter banal mistakes this is an indication that the person is not prepared. If things like parallel parking or reverse prompt the individual to stare blankly at you, it means they’re not prepared. It’s hard to try to do something for the first time during a test and get it right away. ”

A person cannot apply for the car practice test, if he does not first pass the theory test. About 10,500 tests are done every year. It is estimated that two out of ten people fail this test which also lasts about 45 minutes and the study material for it is provided free of charge to the public.

Like the practice test, there is no limit to how many times a person can take the test. As of the beginning of this month, theory tests have resumed from the centre in Gwardamanga Hill after it was renovated to offer more comfort to customers.

“There are set rules on what to do before approaching a roundabout and on the issue of left and right, sometimes it creates a bit of a disagreement and sometimes people get it wrong.”

In the year of the pandemic, the number of people who took the driving test – both theory and practical remained the same as in previous years. Last year there were almost 5,500 (5,493) people who got their license to drive a car while in the same period there were almost 600 (585) people who got their motorcycle license. In total, there are about 236,000 (235,970) people who have some form of driving license in Malta.