Learning to drive for 100 years

* BSM celebrates its centenary * Top 10 things you didnt know * about learning to drive...

22 July 2010

Learning to drive for 100 years

The British School of Motoring is celebrating 100 years of lessons today.

To celebrate its centenary, BSM has put together 10 things you probably never knew about learning to drive.

See if you knew any of the following:

• BSM began providing driving lessons from 1910, but it took 25 years for the driving test to be introduced in 1935.
• The average amount of driving tuition today is 52 hours. In 1935 it would have been in single figures for some.
• There were no test centres in 1935, so you had to arrange to meet the examiner somewhere like a post office, train station or town hall.
• Candidates no longer had to demonstrate hand signals in driving tests from 1975.
• In 1934, an hours lesson with BSM cost 50p.
• The first edition of the Highway Code was introduced in 1931.
• From 2003, instructors had to start teaching basic vehicle checks as show me, tell me vehicle safety questions were added to the beginning of the driving test.
• The minimum driving age of 17 was set in 1930.
• In 1975-76, 48% of British residents aged 17 and over held a licence. This grew to 57% in 1985-86 and 69% in 1995-97. By 2006 it had grown slightly to 72 per cent but dipped back to 71% in 2007.
• Shetland has the highest test pass rate in the UK with 66%. At 28%, Wood Green in London has the lowest. Overal, the UK pass rate is 44%.