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24th time lucky for L-driver
If at first you don't succeed, the old proverb recommends a path of relentless perseverance.
But one young learner driver took the "try, try, try again" mantra to the limit when she passed her driving test - finally - at the 24th attempt.
The unnamed 24-year-old woman secured her status as Britain's most persistent learner driver when she was given the green light to ditch the L-plates at a test centre in Chippenham last year.
The woman was one of eight Britons to have racked-up at least 20 tests by the end of 2013, according to figures obtained from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) by the Press Association.
The data, provided under Freedom of Information laws, stated the ten drivers amassed a total of 200 fails between them before passing. Of them, four were male drivers and six were women.
The youngest were both 24 (a woman from Birmingham and another from Chippenham), while the oldest of the ten was a 47-year old, also from Birmingham.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: "To some extent this data shows that the driving test is doing its job by failing people who are not yet ready to gain a full driving licence.
"It may be that repeated failures are down to not preparing well enough ahead of the test or it could be that they need more specific help on certain aspects of their driving. We'd advise these learners to consider the reasons they are failing and discuss them with a driving instructor.
"For some people, taking a break rather than trying to take the test again immediately might help, particularly if they have got into a mental state of almost expecting to fail because they have failed several times already."
The ten eventually passed at test centres across Britain, including in London, Glasgow, Manchester and West Yorkshire.
Mike Frisby, chief examiner of the Driving Instructors Association which represents 11,000 members across the UK, said gender and age were not factors in passing a test, and said a range of factors aside from driving ability could affect a learner's ability to pass.
He said: "There's a bit of a misconception that people will fail on the manoeuvres, but the reality is driving competence. Emerging from junctions, misjudgments of other vehicles - these are the main concerns.
"Driving is very hands-on, nerves do play a part.
"But we would always say it's vital to get the right trainer and being as prepared as possible for their test.
"It's not about doing it as cheaply as possible, i t's not about passing the test, it's about being a competent driver.
"Many people and trainers will focus on the test as being the end goal. It's important to take the right amount of driving to achieve the end goal of being good."
A practical test costs between £62 and £75, with a theory test costing £31.
According to data published by the Government, 47.3% of all practical driving tests resulted in passes last year.
A DVSA spokesman said: "It's essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely.
"The driver testing and training regime tests candidates' ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving."