Written by Graham Cutbill-White
There’s a lot of advice given to learners on how to properly prepare for your driving test but one thing that’s often overlooked is where you’re actually taking your test.
Passing is difficult at the best of times but there are some parts of the UK where it’s especially tricky to get your full licence.
While 52% of all driving tests in 2016 ended in failure, that rate jumped to as high as 70% at some test centres which have been named as the hardest places to pass your driving test.
The figures from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency show the areas of the country where it’s easiest and where it’s hardest to sit your practical test.
If you’re a learner driver in the West Midlands then you may want to think about booking elsewhere as just 40% of those who took their test there passed last year.
Other difficult areas with low pass rates include, as you might expect, areas with large and busy cities such as Greater London (41.2%), Glasgow City (42.2), Merseyside (42.7%), and Greater Manchester (44.4%).
On the flip side, any drivers looking for a helping hand should head up north, and to Scotland.
The quieter roads and less built-up areas seem to have a real impact on how successful your driving test goes as areas such as Northumberland (61.2%), Shetland (69.1%), and the Orkney Islands (70.0%) boasted the highest pass rates.
While you may not be able to avoid your whole area of the country, the data has revealed the specific test centres you may want to dodge.
A test centre in Belvedere, Greater London was named as the toughest with just 28% of wannabe drivers getting their full licence.
Other centres in the top 10 include four more from Greater London and two from the toughest area of the country, the West Midlands.
1. Belvedere, Greater London: 28% pass rate
2. Garston, Liverpool: 30%
3. Wanstead, Greater London: 32%
4. Barnet, Greater London: 33%
5. Erith, Greater London: 33%
6. Cheetham Hill, Greater Manchester: 33%
7. Birmingham (South Yardley), West Midlands: 34%
8. Wednesbury, West Midlands: 34%
9. Salford (Fire Station), Greater Manchester: 35%
10. Barking (Tanner Street), Greater London: 35%
The research also revealed the go-to test centres for anyone looking for a slightly easier ride. Unsurprisingly the specific test centres named the easiest places to pass are predominantly found in the Scottish Highlands.
One test centre in Golspie, on the North Sea coast, had a whopping 80% pass rate in 2016.
Learner drivers from England should be heading to Whitby and Malton in North Yorkshire which both have test centres which saw 70% of driving tests end in success.
1. Golspie, Highland Council: 80% pass rate
2. Mallaig, Highland Council: 77%
3. Ullapool, Highland Council: 76%
4. Duns, Scottish Borders: 72%
5. Thurso, Highlands: 71%
6. Kyle of Lochalsh, Highland Council: 71%
7. Llandrindod Wells, Powys: 71%
8. Malton, North Yorkshire: 70%
9. Whitby, North Yorkshire: 70%
10. Orkney, Orkney Islands Council: 70%
Across the board, less than half (48%) of all tests ended in a pass and figures revealed that the 600,000-odd failed tests cost learners a combined £41.9million.
That being said, pass rates have actually increased in the past decade from 44% ten years ago.
Of the 1.3million driving tests which took place, it was men who had more success overall despite more woman taking the test.
Women did have the upper had on the theory test however with more than 50% passing in the last year.