6,264 tests were conducted, down from 393,428 for the same period last year. Interestingly the pass rate for Critical Workers increased to 55%. This is 8.6% percentage points higher than the same time last year.

Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School, said: “The DVSA’s driver testing data for Q2 2020  – the lockdown period where only Critical Workers were permitted to take practical driving tests – shows that the average pass rate increased by 8.6 percentage points in comparison to Q2 2019.  The average driving test pass rate for Critical Workers achieved during lockdown was 55% compared to just under 46%, which was the national average pass rate for all tests conducted over the previous 12 months.

“This is a material increase but can be explained by the fact that these critical workers were totally focussed on learning to drive in order to pass their test and get into their own car as quickly as possible. The roads during lockdown were also noticeably quieter, which allowed learner drivers to build their confidence levels and meant there was less likelihood of encountering highly complex or difficult traffic situations on the day of the test.

“We were delighted to help hundreds of Critical Workers learn to drive during lockdown. It was vital that these individuals could continue their jobs with ease during a period of national crisis, and we worked incredibly hard to ensure we provided a safe and supportive environment in which to teach.”

The report in full here.

And here’s a great case story from a critical worker who passed during lockdown.

Rahul passed his driving test with RED Driving School in July. As a critical worker training NHS staff how to use medical equipment, he was allowed to continue lessons with RED instructor Emily Amoss, and was able to book an emergency test. Rahul’s wife gave birth two days before the test, and both mum and baby were in the ICU after a traumatic emergency c-section. Emily and Rahul practised driving to the hospital before his test to drop off supplies for his family – and on the day of his test, Rahul found out his wife and baby could be discharged that evening. Rahul passed his test with five minors, and was able to bring his wife and child home that evening

Rahul said: “Nothing made me feel more satisfied and delivered the responsibility of being a daddy than driving my baby home for the very first time. All thanks to my instructor, Emily, for being so incredibly helpful, a brilliant instructor, and the kindest person I have ever met, in all the steps of my journey.”

Emily Amoss, Rahul’s instructor, said: “I burst into tears when they got back to the test centre – he was in so much shock he’d managed to do it! This was Rahul’s fourth test, and when I first met him he was petrified. His confidence has grown massively over the past few months. People don’t realise the emotional journey learners go on.”