Driving tests: Easier or Harder to Pass than 5 years ago?

Where you choose to take your test

Taking your driving test can mean the world, especially if such freedom promises to open up so many doors. But what if the town in which you choose to take your driving test in impacts on your chances of passing?

While on average over half of us need more than one attempt at our practical driving tests, some test centres are seeing pass rates of 84%, meaning less than 2 in 10 learners leave having failed. We’ve teamed up with 4 Wheelz Driving School to source data from test centres around the UK and see if your chances of passing have changed over the last 5 years and where in the country you’ve got the best chance of succeeding.

Map of UK Pass Rates: 2011 vs. 2016 Stats

 

Where more people are passing

Out of the 240 test centres all around the UK, just over half (125) have seen a higher pass rate than that of 2011. Some centres, such as the Scottish village of Golspie, have seen a whopping increase; rising from 59% in 2011, still way above the national average of 47%, to the highest reported pass rate of 2016 – 84%! So, if you’re from Golspie and do fail your test, try not to feel bad, it’s only the easiest place to pass your test in the country!

This also sparks the question of whether tests are more likely to be passed in rural areas, which certainly seems to be supported by the below table.

Down south Worthing (3.4%), Crawley (1.2%) and Hastings (1%) saw mild increases, while Eastbourne failed to follow suit with .1% less passes than 5 years before.

 

Where more people are failing

While Golspie may bolster Scottish success, our findings revealed three of the five biggest decreases in pass rates came from Scottish towns. However, the prize for the biggest dip goes to the Lincolnshire town of Grantham, interestingly a rural place, which went from a 63% pass rate to 49%, meaning 21.7% more failed tests than in 2011. (However, this is still above the national pass rate of 47.4%).

 

Towns Above Average

In 2016 the national pass rate increased by 1.1% from 46.9% in 2011, to 47.9% in 2016, All thanks to the higher average pass rates achieved by most towns in the UK.

We’ve listed the high achievers who scored above the national pass rate, so how well is your town doing? Is now the time to take your test?

 

Town Pass Rate
Lairg 51.9%
Ullapool 73.7%
Kyle of Lochalsh 75%
Rothesay 62.7%
Girvan 62%
Malton 70.6%
Grantham 49.3%
Chelmsford 48%
Stevenage 53.4%
Scarborough 66.3%
Lanark 53%
Duns 73.2%
Dundee 58.1%
Golspie 83.9%
Thurso 69.6%

 

Complete List of UK Driving Test Pass Rates For 2016 vs. 2011

Can’t find your town? Not to worry, here’s a full breakdown of how all UK towns’ pass rates have changed over the last five years.

Town 2016 Pass rate (%) 2011 Pass rate (%)
Aberdeen 48.3 50.8
Aberfeldy 54.1 50.6
Abergavenny 57.8 57.3
Aberystwyth 52.3 56
Airdrie 45.8 45.3
Alness 60.9 58.6
Alnwick 65.2 60.1
Arbroath 58.7 58.6
Ashfield 59.3 54
Ashford (Kent) 47.1 54.6
Aylesbury 45.6 47.3
Ayr 41.4 50.3
Bala 50.3 46.7
Ballater 68.1 72.2
Banbury 53.1 51.9
Bangor 57.8 51.9
Barnsley 51.3 42.3
Barnstaple 49 53.6
Barrow In Furness 56.5 62.7
Barry 56.3 53
Basildon 39.2 40
Basingstoke 43 48.8
Benbecula Island 52.2 60
Berwick-On-Tweed 56.8 60.1
Birmingham 38.2 40.4
Bishops Stortford 43.6 44
Blackburn with Darwen 39.5 46.3
Blackpool 47.6 49
Bletchley 46.6 48.4
Blyth 57.9 54.9
Bodmin 50 53.2
Boston 54.2 61.9
Bournemouth 59.8 53.1
Bradford 41.3 33.9
Brecon 66.2 62.8
Bridgend 50.6 53.4
Bridlington 56.9 52.9
Bristol 49.1 50.7
Brodick (Isle of Arran) 56.8 66.2
Buckie 51.7 54.8
Burgess Hill 49.3 50.5
Burton on Trent 45.6 46.3
Bury St Edmunds 43.2 49.9
Buxton 56.6 60.6
Camborne 50.9 53.5
Cambridge 51.9 51.5
Cannock 53.5 52.8
Canterbury 47.7 44.4
Cardiff (Llanishen) 47.5 53.1
Cardigan 55.3 59.1
Carlisle 58.5 58.3
Carmarthen 51.6 54.1
Castle Douglas 56.2 51.3
Chelmsford (Hanbury Road) 48 39.9
Cheltenham 41.4 48.3
Chester 42.1 46
Chesterfield 47.5 46.5
Chichester 53.9 52.4
Chippenham 48.5 51.3
Chorley 51.8 54
Clacton-on-Sea 43.8 45
Colchester 43.4 38.8
Coventry 36.7 37.9
Crawley 46.4 45.2
Crewe 55.8 52.2
Crieff 65.9 58.1
Cumnock 52.7 60.4
Darlington 47.5 49.3
Derby (Alvaston) 46.6 50.8
Doncaster 46 47
Dorchester 62.3 60.8
Dumbarton 48.3 50.5
Dumfries 47.8 50.4
Dundee 58.1 49.5
Dunfermline 48.9 48.5
Dunoon 67.9 69.4
Duns 73.2 54.1
Durham 60 60.1
Eastbourne 49.2 49.3
Edinburgh 49 46.9
Elgin 54.5 51.9
Elswick 45.9 39.5
Exeter 50.3 51.1
Farnborough 54.1 53.7
Folkestone 40.4 50.6
Forfar 56.9 58.1
Fraserburgh 59.5 54.8
Gairloch 68.2 76.3
Galashiels 64.3 58.8
Gateshead 44.8 43.9
Gillingham 49.3 45
Girvan 62.0 49.4
Glasgow 42.6 41.1
Gloucester 51 50.3
Golspie 83.9 58.8
Grantham (Somerby) 49.3 63
Grantown-On-Spey 57.6 62.3
Greenock 50.3 53.2
Grimsby Coldwater 46.9 45.5
Guildford 53.5 55.4
Haddington 60 58.5
Halifax 43.5 47.7
Hamilton 47.8 40.1
Hartlepool 53.6 53.3
Hastings (Ore) 46.2 45.3
Hawick 59.7 62
Heckmondwike 40.2 38.4
Hereford 57.2 53
Herne Bay 42.8 47.2
Hexham 58.7 50.8
Heysham 50.7 55.4
High Wycombe 52.2 53.1
Hinckley 45.1 52.4
Horsforth 47.2 46.3
Huddersfield 48.4 45.4
Hull 47.6 46.2
Huntly 56.6 60
Inverness (Cradlehall Business Park) 52.6 50.3
Inverurie 58.4 64.5
Ipswich 60.9 54.3
Irvine 52.3 48.6
Isle of Skye 56.5 58.9
Kendal (Oxenholme Road) 64.7 68.7
Kettering 49.7 48.3
Kings Lynn 50.9 50.6
Kingussie 65 56.5
Kirkcaldy 52.5 50
Knaresborough 52.3 53.5
Kyle of Lochalsh 75 52.9
Lairg 51.9 62.2
Lampeter 58.3 62.9
Lanark 53 42.6
Launceston 52.6 56.5
Lee On The Solent 52.9 51.8
Leeds 36.1 35.4
Leicester 46.6 41.3
Leighton Buzzard (Stanbridge Road) 49.9 46.7
Letchworth 50.3 43.8
Lichfield 54.9 52.9
Lincoln 50 53.8
Liverpool 42.2 47.1
Llandrindod Wells 68.4 64.7
Llanelli 50.7 50.6
London 47.1 42.1
Loughborough 55.1 50.2
Louth 61 59.7
Lower Gornal 52.4 48.9
Lowestoft 53.7 49.4
Ludlow 50.8 52
Luton 39.1 39.9
Macclesfield 52.6 52.6
Maidstone 46.1 52.9
Malton 70.6 58
Manchester 48.4 45.3
Melton Mowbray 62.1 60.6
Middlesbrough 52.1 49
Monmouth 50.8 58.2
Montrose (Broomfield Ind Estate) 62.1 60.2
Nelson 53 49
Newbury (Hambridge Lane) 52.5 52.9
Newport (Isle Of Wight) 57.5 52.1
Newton Abbot 57.9 60.2
Newton Stewart 52.4 57.2
Newtown 55.9 62.7
Northallerton 57.1 59.8
Northampton 54 49.2
Northwich 53.6 55.9
Norwich 53.8 54.7
Nottingham (Colwick) 48.1 49.1
Nuneaton 52.4 49.3
Oban 56.5 57.3
Orkney 68.6 60.6
Oswestry 54.4 55.5
Oxford (Cowley) 49.2 50.4
Paisley 45.1 37.9
Peebles 60.6 53.4
Pembroke Dock 53.5 56
Penzance 54 50.7
Perth (Arran Road) 51.5 49.3
Peterborough 54.2 47.9
Peterhead 65.2 57.3
Pitlochry 61.8 68.5
Plymouth 44.5 43.9
Pontefract 43.7 44.9
Pontypridd 54.7 53.8
Portsmouth 41.5 46.6
Preston 50.5 48.6
Pwllheli 60.1 61
Reading 45 48
Redditch 43.8 44.2
Reigate 50.9 52.1
Rhyl 48.3 39.6
Rotherham 49.2 45.1
Rothesay 62.7 73.2
Rugby 50.1 50.2
Salisbury 54.3 51.8
Scarborough 66.3 51.8
Scunthorpe 43.7 44.3
Sevenoaks 52 51.9
Sheffield 48.2 49
Shrewsbury 48.4 51.8
Skegness 59.8 61.4
Skipton 55.8 48.7
South Shields 49.1 47.8
Southampton 47.1 50
St Albans 47.7 39.7
Stafford 51.6 52.5
Stevenage 53.4 36.8
Stirling 42.1 43.3
Stoke-on-Trent 44.8 43.4
Stranraer 65.1 67
Sunderland 45.3 47
Swansea 52.6 52.7
Swindon 54.3 51.9
Taunton 57.6 57.2
Telford 49.6 48.6
Thurso 69.6 53.1
Tilbury 44.4 39.4
Trowbridge 48 53.6
Tunbridge Wells 52.8 58.6
Ullapool 73.7 53.8
Upton 50.3 49.8
Wakefield 45.8 40.1
Wallasey 40.6 46.1
Warrington 47.3 50.6
Warwick 53.6 55.3
Watford 47.3 49.2
Wednesbury 35.6 35.1
Westbury 55 56.5
Weston-super-Mare 53.9 51.7
Whitby 69.7 62.3
Whitchurch 47.1 52.3
Widnes 39.9 45.6
Winchester 45.7 48.7
Wolverhampton 42.4 47.8
Worcester 50.1 49.1
Workington 55.1 51.4
Worksop 56.5 50.5
Worthing 53.3 49.9
Wrexham 44 40.8
Yeovil 59 57
York 52.9 53.7