HPI shares advice for new drivers looking to buy their first car as latest driving test statistics are published.

New drivers are being advised to conduct thorough vehicle checks before buying their first car after passing their driving test.

The advice coincides with the publication of the latest driving test statistics produced by the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

The updated statistics reveal that for 2023-2024, a total of 1,928,373 car theory tests were conducted with 867,667 passes (45% pass rate) and 1,384,678 car practical tests were taken with 668,038 passes, a pass rate of 48%.

It compares with a theory and practical pass rate for 2022-2023 of 44% and 48%, respectively, with the number of theory tests 2,430,653 with 1,075,915 passes and 1,688,955  practical tests taken with 816,775 passes.

The 2023-2024 figures indicate the lowest number of theory and practical tests conducted and passed since 2021. 2021-2022 saw 1,234,013 passes from 2,463,621 theory tests (50% pass rate) and 751,914 passes from 1,528,314 practical driving tests (49% pass rate).

For motorists, including new drivers looking to buy their first car,  HPI Check® gives used car buyers the confidence they need to shop around, knowing they can quickly discover a vehicle’s history.  By checking a car’s history with HPI, peace of mind in terms of condition and mileage can lead to happier and much safer motoring.  The well-known vehicle history check from HPI includes a full MOT history, which is standard on the HPI Check®.

In addition to confirming if a vehicle has been written off, the HPI Check® includes a mileage check and also cross references with the mileage last recorded at the time of the previous MOT. It also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen by the police or has outstanding finance against it.

Leading vehicle history check and valuation specialist, HPI identifies over 2,000 written-off cars every day. Unfortunately for consumers, cars with hidden secrets are often offered for sale by unscrupulous sellers who won’t always declare to unsuspecting buyers that they are insurance write-offs.

HPI data reveals a one in three chance of uncovering another hidden problem with used cars, such as any outstanding finance previously written off or recorded stolen.


Jon Clay, identification director at HPI, said: “With almost 670,000 new drivers on the road this year, it’s often easy to rush into buying the first available car without exercising the necessary due diligence. Sadly, many new drivers are taken advantage of by unscrupulous sellers passing on used vehicles that aren’t roadworthy and could turn out to be a complete money pit or, worse, a potential danger to the driver, passengers and other road users.

“We recommend that buyers considering a used bargain conduct a comprehensive vehicle history check. Checking a car for discrepancies, such as accident data or mileage tampering, is standard in the HPI Check. By building up a comprehensive vehicle history, cross-referenced with MOT records, any discrepancies are highlighted, arming car buyers with the information and confidence they need when buying a  used car.”


It is recommended that an HPI Check is commissioned in addition to any valuation. HPI Checks reveal some shocking statistics that can affect the value of a car, including 2205 cars being identified as write-offs, and 109 cars flagged as stolen every single day.