BRITS have been driving cars since the late 19th century, but the first driving test wasn’t introduced until 1903 - and even then it wasn’t compulsory.

In the 114 years since, the test has undergone a number of changes, the latest introduced last month.

1931 saw the first edition of the Highway Code, with advice for car and motorcycle riders. In March 1935, voluntary driving tests were introduced to avoid a rush of applicants ahead of the test becoming compulsory in June that year. Of the 246,000 applicants sitting the new test, 63 per cent passed.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 driving tests were suspended, with examiners helping out with traffic duties and fuel rationing. In November, 1946, driving tests resumed. In 1947, those with a wartime provisional licence were given a year to have it converted to a full licence without the need to pass the driving test.

By 1950 the pass rate was 50per cent. In November 1956, testing was suspended during the Suez Crisis with examiners placed on fuel rationing duties. It lasted until April 1957. From April 1962, those holding more than seven provisional licences were required to sit a driving test. Two years later a voluntary register of approved driving instructors was established.

From 1970, all driving instructors had to be officially registered. The same year, 3,500 people were prosecuted for driving on forged licences, or for wrongfully attempting to obtain a licence. In 1975 arm signals were removed from the test, while in 1976 full licences became valid until the age of 70.

October 1982 saw provisional licences extended to the age of 70, while in 1988 driving tests were conducted under the provisions of the Road Traffic Act of that year. From 1990, candidates were given explanations of errors made during the examination, and suggestions on how to improve. PassPlus was introduced in 1995 to help young drivers gain skills and experience, while a written theory test was launched in 1996. In January 2000 the touchscreen theory test was introduced. December 2017 saw candidates required to follow directions from a sat nav. Different reversing manoeuvres were also introduced.

It’s a long time since Thomas Finn obtained his driving licence, in 1926. “I read in the T&A almost daily how busy the police are taking cars off the roads for offences such as no licence or insurance,” says Remember When reader Vincent Finn. “My father, Thomas, had his licence issued by the City of Bradford, it ran from May 1926 to May 1927, issued under the Motor Cars Act of 1896 and 1903, the Finance Act 1920 and the Roads Act 1920.”

Adds Mr Finn: “What did it cost in 1926 to take out a licence on an annual basis? How big was Bradford’s police force and was there a division that covered motor vehicles and violations? How many petrol stations did Bradford have in 1926? How much was a gallon petrol? Were there parking regulations? A speed limit? Were there many traffic lights?”

Over to you...