Home Driving Licence Does It Matter Where You Take Your Driving Test?
Does It Matter Where You Take Your Driving Test?

Does It Matter Where You Take Your Driving Test?


Every three months, data is published by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency about the pass rates for driving tests. The data that was published this month shows an interesting trend about where people are passing and failing.

Where are people passing and where are people failing their driving tests?

The data collated by DVSA shows that the pass rate of driving test centres across England, Scotland and Wales varies hugely. With some driving test centres having a pass rate of below 30% and more than 80%.

According to the latest statistics for April to December 2018, the top four driving test centres when it comes to pass rates are in Scotland. The driving test centre in Inveraray, in Argyll and Bute has the highest pass rate of 84.9% of learners.

When it comes to driving test centres with the lowest pass rates, the Pavilion test centre in north Birmingham tops the list at 29.6%.  The South Yardley driving test centre which is also in Birmingham has the second lowest pass rate of 32.3%. There are also three London centres: Bancroft Way, Erith and Belvedere which are fourth, fifth and sixth on the lowest pass rates list. Comparing this with the driving test centres with high pass rates, it appears that it is easier to pass your driving test in a rural area than a city.

Is it easier to pass your driving test in a rural area?

It seems obvious why it is easier to pass your driving test in a rural town than a busy city. A rural town has less traffic and fewer hazards but driving instructors don’t think it is that simple. The Pitlochry driving test centre in Perthshire, Scotland has a pass rate of 78.5%. Pitlochry instructor Karen Aycan thinks the pass rate is dependent on other factors beside the rural setting.

Karen told BBC News: “Definitely through the winter it’s an easier place to pass,” said Pitlochry instructor Karen Aycan. “It’s very quiet. But in the summer, it’s worse than driving in the centre of London – which I’ve done.

“Because we are a tourist town, the place is heaving. And driving through the main street is like running the gauntlet. People are not really engaging their brains, they are on holiday. People go out in the middle of the road taking pictures. There are lots of tourists who are driving. They don’t know where they are going. It can be incredibly hazardous.”

Belvedere test centre has a pass rate of just 33.8%. Belvedere driving instructor Monika D’Agate  thinks it’s about more than just the driving test being taken in a metropolitan area.  D’Agate attributes the low pass rate to the attitude of the learner drivers. D’Agate told the BBC: “people simply go to the test too soon”.

D’Agate also says: “We have a very large mix of many nationalities and some people’s beliefs of standards are not the same. You have to make sure you’re at a good enough standard of driving to pass the test.”

DVSA’s verdict on the data

DVSA also don’t think that learner drivers should be flocking to Scotland to ensure they pass their driver’s test.

“All candidates are assessed to the same level and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day,” said chief driving examiner Mark Winn said. “It’s essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely.

“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.”

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