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

Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving
Tired driver
News

Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving

Research produces worrying revelation that four million UK motorists have nodded off behind the wheel at some point
16 Jun 2021
Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained
Joe Finnerty in Hyper G sled
Consumer news

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained

Thatcham studies crashes, rates alarms and sets insurance groups to help cut drivers’ costs. We find out how
11 May 2021
Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know
Executive saloons make popular company cars
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know

Company car tax is bound up in a complex net of emissions, salaries and a car's value; we explain how the system looks for the 2021/22 Financial Year
27 Apr 2021
No new smart motorways to open without stopped vehicle detection
smart motorway
News

No new smart motorways to open without stopped vehicle detection

Implementation of SVD technology to be accelerated, with existing smart motorways getting the system six months earlier than planned
21 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
Exclusive: Jaguar’s luxury reinvention to start from £100k
Thierry Bollore - Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar

Exclusive: Jaguar’s luxury reinvention to start from £100k

New boss Thierry Bollore reveals that Jaguar will be reinvented as a luxury car brand to take on Bentley, with the design of a new family already sign…
22 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging
Opinion

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 - front
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review

The new special edition Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is one of the best cars ever to wear the GTI badge
23 Jun 2021
New 2021 Ferrari 296 GTB launched with 819bhp V6 hybrid powertrain
Ferrari 296 GTB - front
Ferrari

New 2021 Ferrari 296 GTB launched with 819bhp V6 hybrid powertrain

The 205mph Ferrari 296 GTB supercar is powered by an all-new 2.9-litre plug-in hybrid engine
24 Jun 2021
New 2022 Honda Civic hatchback revealed with hybrid power
Honda Civic - front
Honda Civic

New 2022 Honda Civic hatchback revealed with hybrid power

New Honda Civic hatchback builds on almost 50 years of the nameplate with e:HEV electrified drivetrain
24 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback -
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback

New Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 2021 review

Audi has expanded its electric car portfolio with the Q4 e-tron Sportback - is it one of its best EVs?
23 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
24 Jun 2021
Audi will launch final petrol and diesel cars in 2026
Audi petrol diesel
Audi

Audi will launch final petrol and diesel cars in 2026

Audi will phase out petrol power in Europe in 12 years’ time, with a new line-up of “more than 20 e-tron models” scheduled for launch by 2025
23 Jun 2021
New Toyota Yaris Cross prototype review
Toyota Yaris Cross prototype - front
Toyota Yaris Cross

New Toyota Yaris Cross prototype review

We drive a late prototype version of the new Toyota Yaris Cross to see if it has potential
24 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space
Peugeot 308 SW - front
News

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space

The Peugeot 308 SW joins the hatchback in the range and arrives with two plug-in hybrid options
22 Jun 2021
'Bolloré's strategy is already having a good impact on Jaguar Land Rover'
Opinion JLR Thierry Bollore
Opinion

'Bolloré's strategy is already having a good impact on Jaguar Land Rover'

Steve Fowler says JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré's new approach is working wonders
24 Jun 2021
New Ferrari Portofino M 2021 review
Ferrari Portofino M - front tracking
Ferrari Portofino

New Ferrari Portofino M 2021 review

Have updates have made the drop-top Ferrari Portofino M better than ever? We find out...
22 Jun 2021