Bike test numbers take a tumble

Practical tests down in double-digit percentages so far this year

Bike test numbers take a tumble

The number of people taking their practical bike tests have taken a big hit so far this year according to newly released government figures.

Data covering the first three months of 2018 shows that the number of riders taking their module 1 test has dropped by 14.1% compared to the same period in 2017. And when it comes to the module 2 test, the drop is even bigger at 17.1%.

In real-world numbers, that means just 9612 people took their module 1 tests in Jan-March 2018, compared to 11,185 in the same period of 2017. For module 2, the 2018 figure is 8854 compared to 10,678 in the first quarter of 2017.

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The figures for bikes are also mirrored in the declining number of people taking their car driving tests – down by 10.5% in the first quarter of 2018, to 428,041 compared to 478,061 in Jan-March 2017.

When it comes to test passes, the latest figures show that learner motorcyclists still far surpass their four-wheeled equivalents for competence. Overall, just 45.4% of people taking the practical car test in Jan-March 2018 passed, whereas 71.7% of module 1 bike test candidates ripped up their L-plates afterwards. For the module 2 test, the figure was higher still, with a 73% pass rate, the highest since records began.

While the most recent figures show a decline in the numbers taking their tests, the overall picture for the last 12 months reveals that there are still relatively high numbers of riders starting out. The data show there were 57,237 candidates for the module 1 test and 56,110 for the module 2 from April 2017 to March 2018. Those numbers are just a fraction down on the previous 12 months, and still higher than the equivalent figures for 2015/16, 2014/15 or 2013/14.