MONTREAL - New statistics reveal that those taking a driving test in Montreal face a much higher chance of getting flunked than those taking the test outside of the city.

Only 61 percent of those taking the test in Montreal are given a passing mark on their first try, while that number rises to 77 percent in Quebec City, 80 percent in Sherbrooke and 94 percent in the Gaspe.

The SAAQ, the provincial body that conducts the tests, believes that the numbers are the result of more difficult driving conditions in Montreal.

“There's more traffic, more pedestrians, more cyclists and all in all, a lot more challenges than on rural roads,” said SAAQ representative Mario Vaillancourt.

One Montreal driving school instructor theorized that the larger number of immigrants taking the test in Montreal could be the cause of the lower pass rate, as some have drivers’ licenses from their country of origin and haven’t taken lessons locally.

“They might be taking their drivers test to get the equivalence without having the benefit of driving courses,” said Andrew Matthews of Morty's Driving School.

Unlike in many other provinces and states, driving courses are mandatory in Quebec for those who want to get a driver's license.

However drivers who hold licenses from abroad can take a test without taking courses. Drivers whose licenses have lapsed for three year or more are also required to take a new test, although they too are not required to take new courses.

Statistics for those who take the test without having taken lessons also show Montreal to be the hardest place to pass, as only 47 percent of those who in that category pass on the first try.

CTV Montreal interviewed Gabrielle Rimok, 18, who managed to pass her test on her first try this week.

She suggested that some testers can be pretty generous in overlooking errors.

“I know a couple that passed in very strange circumstances like they almost hit a car and they passed,” she said.