The easiest places to pass your driving test

New figures reveal best and worst places to take your practical driving test in the UK according to pass rates

Learner, driving test, driving licence, pass, l plate

The easiest place to pass your practical driving test is Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, with areas of London considered the hardest, according to a new report by Privilege Car Insurance.

The cover provider analysed Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) data from 2011 to 2015 to reveal that just one in three learners fails in Barrow – much better than the national failure rate of 53 per cent.

• Driving theory test: everything you need to know

Other hotspots for drivers successfully ditching the L-plates are Whitby, North Yorks and Llandrindod Wells in Powys. In general, rural areas are much easier locations to pass a test.

In contrast, cities are much tougher and London accounts for four out of the top five areas where you’re most likely to fail the test. Wanstead is statistically the trickiest test centre, with the route including four major roundabouts. One of those is the Redbridge roundabout which has multiple lanes and heavy traffic.

This can cause particular issue for learners getting in the right lane and make it easy to rack up a number of minors. That's why just a third of people pass when taking the test from the Wanstead centre.

• Cheapest cars to insure

The number one reason for someone to fail a driving test is lack of observation at junctions followed by failure to check mirrors, steering control and turning right at junctions.

Neil Beeson, Privilege driving consultant and driving test  expert, explained: “The data reveals that it is easier to pass in a rural setting than in a city one and this can be put down to a number of factors including; heavier congestion, higher volume of vehicles, both parked and moving, and an increased number of roundabouts in city areas. 

"The downside to learning to drive in quieter areas is that it can put you at a disadvantage when you have to drive in heavy traffic, or in complicated multi-lane situations.”

Top 10 toughest places to take your driving test

 Town or CityAv. % Failure Rate (2011-2015)
1Wanstead (London)67.2
2Belvedere (London)66.9
3Wood Green (London)64.8
4South Yardley (Birmingham)64.7
5Barking (London)64.6
6Leeds (West Yorkshire)64.5
7Kingstanding (Birmingham)63.3
8Heaton (Bradford)63
9Thornbury (Bradford)62.7
10Salford (Greater Manchester)61.9

Top 10 easiest places to take your driving test

 Town or CityAv. % Failure Rate (2011-2015)
1Barrow-in-Furness (Cumbria)33.9
2Whitby (North Yorkshire)34.5
3Llandrindod Wells (Powys, Wales)34.9
4Lerwick (Shetland, Scotland)35.5
5Fort William (Highland, Scotland)35.5
6Kyle of Lochalsh (Scotland)35.6
7Kelso (Argyll and Bute, Scotland)36
8Lampeter (Ceredigion, Wales)36.6
9Pwllheli (Gwynedd, Wales)37.
10Malton (North Yorkshire)37.1

Source: Privilege Car Insurance

First Cars on Auto Express... 

First cars graphic FINAL

Everything you need to know about learning to drive, getting your driving licence and choosing your first car...

Learning to drive

Passing your driving test

Getting your first car

Recommended

Coroner calls for smart motorway review following M1 deaths
smart motorway
News

Coroner calls for smart motorway review following M1 deaths

The deaths of two men in a smart motorway collision could have been avoided if there had been a hard shoulder, coroner rules
19 Jan 2021
Councils to get new powers to issue fines for traffic offences
Box junction
Consumer news

Councils to get new powers to issue fines for traffic offences

Local authorities will be able to fine drivers who commit moving traffic contraventions under legislation being drawn up
18 Jan 2021
UK drivers to escape EU speed camera fines due to Brexit
Citroen DS Eiffel Tower
Consumer news

UK drivers to escape EU speed camera fines due to Brexit

UK’s departure from the European Union puts an end to cross-border directive, leaving EU countries unable to enforce speeding penalties for drivers ca…
13 Jan 2021
Driverless car users may not be liable in accidents
Jaguar Land Rover autonomous testing - static
Consumer news

Driverless car users may not be liable in accidents

Law Commission proposes motorists in driverless cars should be renamed “users in charge” as part of “no-blame culture”
18 Dec 2020

Most Popular

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90
BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90 - main
Car group tests

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90

Can plug-in hybrid power create a clear winner out of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Volvo S90
23 Jan 2021
Best small 4x4s to buy 2021
Dacia Duster ford
Best cars & vans

Best small 4x4s to buy 2021

Need 4x4 capability without big SUV fuel bills? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s instead
6 Jan 2021
New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out
Lotus range
Lotus

New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out

A new look Lotus line-up is teased with heavy influence from Evija hypercar expected
24 Jan 2021