Driving tests easier in northern Sweden

Anybody thinking of taking their driving test in Sweden would be best advised to travel to Umeå or Örnsköldsvik.

A new report from the Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen) has found there to be major disparities between driving test results in different parts of the country.

In 2005, 82 percent of applicants passed their driving tests in Umeå and Örnsköldsvik. This can be contrasted with Malmö and Farsta, where just 69 percent made the grade.

The auditors also found that the differences in testing were not purely geographical: pass rate discrepancies of up to 40 percentage points were found among individual inspectors working at the same office of the Swedish Road Administration (Vägverket).

This means that many offices do not meet the administration’s own requirements as to the variation permitted among different inspectors.

According to the author of the report, Lennart Grufberg, the Road Administration has failed to monitor how driving tests work in practice.

“It is up to the government to follow up on this,” he said.

The report also found that people who have applied through driving schools have a much better chance of getting a licence. Between 69 and 82 percent of those who chose the driving school option passed the test.

In contrast, only 33 percent of private applicants passed their test in Helsingborg. Private applicants in Örnsköldsvik fared somewhat better, with 67 percent given the green light by their inspectors.