The gap between male and female driving test pass rates narrowed at Hexham Test Centre, new figures show.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show male drivers took 542 tests at Hexham Test Centre in 2023, 319 of which were successful – a pass rate of 58.9%.

Meanwhile, 58.8% of the 592 tests taken by women were passed over this period. It meant there was almost no difference in the pass rates for men and women in 2023.

In 2019, 58.7% of women gained their licence at the centre compared to 65.6% of men – a difference of 6.9. It meant the gap has narrowed since then.

The overall pass rate at Hexham Test Centre for 2023 was 58.8% – down from 61.7% four years before. This was much higher than the average rate across Great Britain of 48.2%.

Camilla Benitz, managing director of the AA Driving School, said: “Learners can only book their practical test once they have secured that all important theory test pass.

“Given the long waits many learners are still facing to book their practical driving test, it is good to see the overall practical test pass rate has risen slightly, meaning fewer will face a lengthy wait to re-book another test.”

However, she added the pass rate for the theory test “is stubbornly low” and has fallen by a third since 2007-08.

Across the country, women proved better than men at theory tests. They had a pass rate of 46.8%, while 43.5% of tests taken by men were successful.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “DVSA's priority is to continue to reduce waiting times, and thanks to the measures we introduced since October 2023 we have reduced waiting times by more than four weeks and are on the way to reaching our target to provide an additional 150,000 tests.

“We continue to urge learners strongly to book their driving test only when they are ready to pass as it’s essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge, and attitude to drive safely.”