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8 minute read Learner Drivers

The UK’s Toughest (& Easiest) Driving Test Centres

Passing your driving test is a rite of passage, some drivers succeed first time, and others take several attempts to shed their L plates.
Yet, depending on where you are in the country (and who you are), you may be at a disadvantage.

by Louise Thomas

To help learn more about driving tests, Veygo Learner Driver Insurance recently undertook a huge research project. We analysed pass rates from each of the UK’s 345 test centres – from Penzance to Orkney – to determine those where you’re either more, or less, likely to find yourself throwing away your L plates.

The results showed us where’s best in the UK to take your driving test, where you’re better off avoiding and how age affects your ability to pass with flying colours.

The UK’s Toughest Driving Test Centre

Yeading Test Centre in London has been named as the UK’s toughest driving centre.

The test centre in the London Borough of Hillingdon has a pass rate of just 20% – almost 30% lower than the national average. Men fared particularly poorly in Yeading, with fewer than one in five passing their test!

On the other hand, the easiest centre in the country was Golspie, in the Scottish Highlands, with a pass rate of 77.1%, followed by neighbouring Mallaig, with a pass rate of 72.2%. In fact, 17 of the top 20 were all situated in rural Scottish areas.

The Toughest

1. Yeading (London) – 20%
2. Birmingham (The Pavilion) – 28.6%
3. Erith (London) – 30.3%
4. Chadderton – 32.2%
5. Belvedere (London) – 33.4%
6. Cheetham Hill (Manchester) – 33.5%
7. Wanstead (London) – 33.6%
8. Luton – 33.6%
9. Leeds – 33.8%
10. Birmingham (South Yardley) – 34.1%
11. Barking (Tanner Street) – 34.3%
12. Failsworth – 35.1%
13. Basildon – 35.8%
14. Enfield (Innova Business Park) – 36%
15. Chingford (London) – 36.1%
16. Bradford (Manningham) – 36.9%
17. Birmingham (Wyndley) – 36.9%
18. Barking (Town Quay) – 37%
19. Wednesbury – 37.1%
20. Leicester (Cannock Street) – 37.2%

The Easiest

1. Golspie – 77.1%
2. Mallaig – 72.2%
3. Pitlochry – 71.9%
4. Duns – 71.6%
5. Rothesay – 70.8%
6. Orkney – 70.7%
7. Inveraray – 70.6%
8. Malton – 70.2%
9. Isle of Skye (Portree) – 70.2%
10. Huntly – 69.4%
11. Montrose (Broomfield Industrial Estate) – 69.1%
12. Llandrindod Wells – 69%
13. Crieff – 68.3%
14. Forfar – 67.8%
15. Lairg – 67.4%
16. Ballater – 66.7%
17. Brodick (Isle of Arran) – 66.7%
18. Isles of Scilly – 66.7%
19. Gairloch – 65.5%
20. Arbroath – 65.3%

City Drivers Are Much Less Likely to Pass Their Test

If you take your test in a built-up area, your chances of passing fall considerably.

National average (49.9%)
Birmingham (38.3%)
London (42.4%)
Manchester (45.2%),
Liverpool (44.8%)
Sheffield (44.8%)
Glasgow (39.7%)
Edinburgh (48.4%)
Swansea (49.2%).

Cardiff (51%) was the only major city to beat the national average.

Women are 6.5% Less Likely to Pass Their Driving Test Than Men

While 53.5% of men passed their driving tests, only 47% of women did.

2017-18 saw 598,399 males take their test, with 301,182 passes and 691,840 female tests taken with 300,174 passes.

But what does the list of easiest, and toughest, test centres look like when broken down by gender?

 

The Toughest (Men) The Easiest (Men)
1. Yeading (London) –16.7% 1. Golspie – 84.2%
2. Birmingham (The Pavilion) – 31.9% 2. Inveraray – 81.5%
3. Erith (London) – 32.6% 3. Rothesay – 80%
4. Belvedere (London) – 36% 4. Duns – 79.3%
5. Barking (Tanner Street) – 36.3% 5. Gairloch – 77.8%
6. Basildon – 36.5% 6. Ballater – 76.7%
7. Leeds – 36.7% 7. Pitlochry – 76%
8. Wanstead (London) – 36.8% 8. Llandrindod Wells – 75.2%
9. Chadderton – 37% 9. Crieff – 73.5%
10. Cheetham Hill (Manchester) – 37.1% 10. Malton – 73.1%

 

The Toughest (Women) The Easiest (Women)
1. Yeading (London) – 16.7% 1. Mallaig – 75%
2. Birmingham (The Pavilion) – 31.9% 2. Kingussie – 75%
3. Chadderton – 27.7% 3. Orkney – 74.8%
4. Erith (London) – 28.6% 4. Golspie – 72.4%
5. Birmingham (South Yardley) – 29% 5. Huntly – 71.4%
6. Wanstead (London) – 30.2% 6. Thurso – 68.5%
7. Cheetham Hill (Manchester) – 30.3% 7. Isle of Skye (Portree) – 68.1%
8. Luton – 30.5% 8. Duns – 67.8%
9. Belvedere (London) – 31% 9. Malton – 67.7%
10. Birmingham (Wyndley) – 31.1% 10. Pitlochry – 67.4%

Older Drivers Are Less Likely to Pass Their Test

If you’re considering putting off learning to drive, the statistics suggest that might not be such a good idea. Driving test success rates plummet as prospective drivers go into their twenties and thirties.

Age Pass Rate (%)
17 56.8
18 49.3
19 47.1
20 46.6
21 47.2
22 48
23 47.4
24 47.3
25 46.7
26 46.0
27 44.8
28 44.6
29 43.9
30 42.7
35 40.6
40 37.3
45 36.3
40 47.3
45 36.3
50 36.1
55 33.5
60 34.6
60+ 35.9

 

We’ve also pulled the stats together as an infographic which can be seen below:

Fancy sharing our infographic?

Data Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/car-driving-test-data-by-test-centre#history.

Louise Thomas

Hi I'm Louise and I'm a Marketing Executive at Veygo. I've been driving for nearly two years after several "practice" tests! I love the freedom that comes with finally having a driving licence. Road trips with my friends are the best - especially when we've got an awesome playlist going! (check out our Spotify for road trip playlists!)

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