UK driving test – here’s where you’re most and least likely to pass

UK driving test – here’s where you’re most and least likely to pass
UK driving test – here’s where you’re most and least likely to pass

New data from the Government has revealed where learner drivers are most likely to pass their test – and where they’re most likely to fail.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) releases regular information on the pass rates at every test centre in Britain, giving an insight into the huge differences between different parts of the country.

This month it published the figures for April to September 2018. They revealed that across the nation, more than half of candidates failed the practical portion of the test.

Ten highest pass rates (overall)

  1. Gairloch – 81.3%
  2. Mallaig – 80%
  3. Inverary – 77.8%
  4. Isle of Mull – 76.9%
  5. Pitlochry – 76% 75
  6. Llandrindod Wells – 75.6%
  7. Islay – 75%
  8. Lochgilphead – 73.3%
  9. Crieff – 73.1%
  10. Campbelton – 72.2%

Overall, the national pass rate was 45.8 per cent, down from 46.3 per cent in 2017/18, which itself was a drop from the 2016/17 figure.

Miles apart

However, the figures showed huge regional differences, with a more than 50 per cent gap between the best and worst pass rates.

Gairloch, in the Scottish Highlands recorded the highest proportion of passes, with an 81.3 per cent success rate. It was closely followed by Mallaig (80 per cent) and Inverary (77.8 per cent), with Llandrindod Wells (75.6 per cent) the only non-Scottish centre in the top 10.

Read more: Driving test changes: the tough new questions you’ll now face

At the opposite end of the table, Birmingham’s Pavilion test centre saw just 29.4 per cent of candidates pass the test. It was one of two Birmingham test locations in the bottom 10, with London, Manchester and Leeds also experiencing particularly low success rates.

Ten lowest pass rates (overall)

  1. Birmingham (The Pavilion) – 29.4%
  2. Enfield (Bancroft Way) – 30.4%
  3. Birmingham (South Yardley) – 32.7%
  4. Leeds – 33%
  5. Belvedere – 34%
  6. Erith (London) – 34.1%
  7. Barking (Tanner Street) – 34.2%
  8. Leicester (Cannock Street) – 34.4%
  9. Bury (Manchester) – 34.7%
  10. Greenford (Whitton Ave East) – 34.9%

Enfield’s Bancroft Way centre, which only opened in August 2018, saw the second lowest pass rate (30.4 per cent) followed by South Yardley, in Birmingham (32.7 per cent).

The results reflect huge differences in the number of learners sitting their tests at the centres. Only 16 candidates were tested at Gairloch between April and September 2018, compared with 3,097 at The Pavilion, Birmingham. On average, the ten best performing centres tested 75 candidates in the six-month period while the 10 worst saw 2,932 each.

For test centres with more than 1,000 candidates, Haddington in East Lothian performed best, with a pass rate of 66.5 per cent, followed by North Yorkshire’s Northallerton (62.7 per cent) and Yeovil, in Somerset (62 per cent).

Equal testing

Pass rates range from 81% to 29% across the country. Picture: Shutterstock

Ten highest pass rates (more than 1,000 tests)

  1. Haddington – 66.5%
  2. Northallerton – 62.7%
  3. Yeovil – 62%
  4. Kendal – 61.7%
  5. Durham – 60.9%
  6. Ipswich – 60.6%
  7. Hereford – 58.3%
  8. Poole – 58.2%
  9. Aberdeen North – 57.6%
  10. Barry – 57.3%

DVSA chief driving examiner, Mark Winn, said: “The driver testing and training regime tests candidates’ ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.

“All candidates are assessed to the same level and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.

“We constantly monitor our examiner’s performance so they conduct and assess driving tests in accordance with the standards set. This includes the supervision of live tests.”

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