SUNDAY is driving hopefuls’ most successful day.

New figures released by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency show the pass rate at the West Swindon centre hits around 80 per cent on Sundays, up from an average of around 50 per cent during the week.

The high weekend figure is most likely because fewer candidates take their test on Sundays, insiders say.

DVSA figures, released under freedom of information rules, suggest narrowly more driving test candidates pass between 7am and 8am and 4pm to 5pm than at other times of the day. Around 55 per cent of candidates passed in the first and penultimate hours of the working day, compared to an average pass rate of 50.6 per cent at other times.

Jo Silvester, who owns Swindon-based Driving Academy, said: “My advice to someone booking their driving test is to book a day and a time when they’ll be at their best. If they’re better mid-morning it’s 11.21am.”

The pass rate for driving instructors is a lot higher than 50-50, she said: “The people they’re including are the people who have never had driving instruction before. There are the odd ones who don’t turn up at all.

“There are loads of other reasons why people aren’t successful. We have seen people with international driving licences drive in after the test with learner plates, take the L-plates off and they’re still allowed to drive if they haven’t passed their test.”

Jo said her own pass rate was over 85 per cent.

The driving test changed earlier this year, with new requirements on driving with a satellite navigation device. Manoeuvres, like reversing around a corner and turning in the road, have been axed from the new test.

The changes do not seem to have phased new drivers, Jo said: “I think everybody is pretty au fait with it. That’s been quite an easy transition and we still teach the manoeuvres.”

Twin sisters Becky and Nicky Dodson, both passed their tests on Friday 13. The date may be unlucky for some, but not for this Moredon pair.

Nicky had even dislocated her shoulder days before the driving test.

Father of the 24-year-olds Melvyn Dodson, 55, said: “It was quite a situation to be in, but Nicky got out of the hospital that night and said ‘I still want to do this test’, and so we made sure she was still booked in for it and everything.”

Becky said: “We both felt very nervous on the morning of our test. It was Friday the 13th but we tried not to think about the date too much.”