Britain's easiest and hardest driving test centres revealed - new 2024 data

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Taking your driving test
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Taking your driving test can be a nerve-racking experience — for many young drivers, it can be even more terrifying than school exams or job interviews!

The most important thing is to get your practice in, nail your manoeuvres, and work on your show-me, tell-me questions. You'll only pass when you're good and ready.

But there are some big differences between the pass rates of different test centres - so, for fun, we've found the 10 hardest and 15 easiest driving test centres to pass at.

Slow down! Before you start, make sure you're insured 👇

First things first: you need insurance to drive, even before you pass your test. Check out our temporary learner driver insurance for everything you need. Getting a quote only takes a few minutes.

And by the way: data for this article comes from the 1,384,681 driving tests taken in England, Scotland and Wales between April 2023 and March 2024 (the most up-to-date stats we have).

Where you take your test can matter

The average pass rate for a practical driving test in Great Britain is 48.2%.

This means that more tests are unsuccessful than successful - so don't be too downhearted if you don't pass first (or second… or third!) time.

But new data this year shows a massive 56% difference in pass rates between the easiest and hardest driving test centres in the country. So some areas have a much higher pass rate than others. Let's dive into the DVLA data 👇

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The 10 hardest places to take your driving test

We’ve crunched the numbers to find the 10 driving test centres with the lowest pass rates in Great Britain.

And, because we’ve always got you covered, we’ll throw in some nearby test centres with higher pass rates 😉

By the way: for fairness, we've only included test centres which saw at least 250 tests undertaken during the dates mentioned above.

Rural areas tend to have a higher pass rate
Rural areas tend to have a higher pass ratee

So, onto the top 10 hardest test centres in Britain!

10. Crawley - 38.0% pass rate

Located on Gatwick Airport’s doorstep, Crawley is more associated with planes than cars - and if the local test centre pass rate is anything to go by, this looks set to continue!

Nearby test centre: Lancing - 61.4%.

9. Grimsby Coldwater - 37.9% pass rate

It’s a 30 minute drive away… but if you’re intimidated by Grimsby Coldwater’s eye-watering pass rate, nearby Louth on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds National Landscape might be a better option.

Nearby test centre: Louth - 57.1%.

8. Leicester (Cannock Street) - 37.4% pass rate

In total, 11,292 people took their driving test at Leicester’s Cannock Street centre during the period covered by this data. Only 4227 passed. A trip across the city might help the odds a little.

Nearby test centre: Leicester (Wigston) - 44.7%.

7. Wednesbury - 36.8%

Let's head to the West Midlands! A busy, populated area means a lot of traffic… but also a lot of possible test centres - so pick wisely!

Nearby test centre: Birmingham Shirley - 52.7%.

6. Norris Green (Liverpool) - 36.7% pass rate

Liverpool is unfortunately a name that will come up again on this list. A trip up the coast to another test centre might be a good idea.

Nearby test centre: Southport - 57.0%.

5. Chingford (London) - 36.2% pass rate

The capital also features heavily on this list, with its traffic and sprawl posing a challenge to new drivers. Luckily, there are also a lot of options.

Nearby test centre: Enfield (Innova) - 52.4%.

4. Belvedere (London) - 35.1% pass rate

Sorry Londoners, another test centre from the capital!

Nearby test centre: Enfield (Innova) - 52.4%.

3. Featherstone - 33.3% pass rate

And we’re back to the West Midlands where exactly ⅔ of applicants fail (or ⅓ pass - if you want to put a more positive spin on it).

Nearby test centre: Stafford - 47.7%.

2. Speke - 32.7%

This Liverpool test centre previously held the title as the hardest test centre in Britain, but now sits at second.

Nearby test centre: Southport - 57.0%.

1. Wolverhampton - 32.4%

Back to the West Midlands for the hardest test centre in Britain, where less than ⅓ of applicants get that coveted pass certificate.

Nearby test centre: Stafford - 47.7%.

Top 15 easiest driving test centres by pass rate

We've also rounded up the 15 driving test centres with the highest pass rates.

Just a reminder, we've only included centres where at least 250 tests took place.

  1. Arbroath - 73.1%
  2. Forfar - 72.3%
  3. Montrose - 69.7%
  4. Kelso - 67.5%
  5. Hawick - 67.4%
  6. Peebles - 67.1%
  7. Newton - 66.7%
  8. Barrow-in-Furness - 66.5%
  9. Lerwick - 66.5%
  10. Kendal (Oxenholme Road) - 65.8%
  11. Dorchester - 64.6%
  12. Chichester - 64.4%
  13. Fraserburgh - 64.0%
  14. Lancing - 61.4%
  15. Skegness - 61.4%

Plus an honourable shout-out for Benbecula Island, off the coast of Scland. Only 80 tests were taken here during this period, so it doesn't count in our official list, but an incredible 88.8% of those tests were successful!

Cities are harder than rural areas

You might notice that many of the 15 easiest test centres are in Scotland, and lots of the 10 hardest are in or near big cities in England.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Scottish driving examiners are more generous, or that drivers there are much better (though we’re sure they’re all lovely people!). It’s because Scotland is home to some of the most rural areas of Great Britain, and it’s usually easier to pass your test in these more remote test centres.

That’s probably because the roads are less busy (and a bit easier to navigate) in rural areas — meaning you’re less likely to come up against more complex hazards that might lead to mistakes, like a traffic jam, an emergency vehicle on blue lights, or a busy junction.

Other things to consider

You might be wondering why any driving instructor would ever allow their students to take a driving test in Wolverhampton, knowing that their chances of passing would be slimmer than in any other test centre in the country. But there are a few important factors that driving instructors (and students) should consider before booking their test at whatever centre has the highest past rates at the time.

Waiting times: You’ll usually have to book your driving test at least a few weeks in advance. Wait times can depend on test centres — and appointments could book up faster at test centres with higher pass rates. So for some students, it’s probably worth choosing a test centre with a lower pass rate, rather than waiting for months and months.

Prior knowledge: If your driving instructor has better knowledge of the roads around certain test centres, they’ll have more tips, and tricks to share with you when driving on those routes. On the other hand, it could be disadvantageous to learn on roads that your instructor is unfamiliar with — even if the local test centre has a higher pass rate.

Distance: You don’t necessarily have to go for the closest test centre to your house. But it may not be a good idea to go too far away. If you pick a test centre that’s miles away, you might end up spending most of your driving lessons travelling to and from the test centre routes, rather than practicing your driving on them.

Also, you ideally want to use your lessons and test as an opportunity to prepare for the types of road you’ll be driving on as a full licence holder. So if you live in central Manchester, we wouldn’t recommend doing your driving test in the Scottish highlands.

Quick and easy learner driver insurance

If you’re learning to drive and want to get in a bit of extra driving practice on top of your lessons, why not give our temporary learner driver insurance a try?

You only insure yourself when you're borrowing the car, and there are no nasty hidden fees, tie-ins or interest. Plus, you can use us for your driving test, too.

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Updated on 16th May 2024