driving tests

Testing your patience: ahead of rule changes to driving test re-booking, Go.Compare reveal the hardest places to pass

  • The hardest places to pass your driving test include locations in metropolitan London and Birmingham
  • Less than 3 in 10 people pass their tests at the hardest test centres – compared to 9 in 10 people at the best

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has just announced that as of next summer, learner drivers will have to wait longer before they can rebook their test if they fail.* The move will see the wait period raised from ten to 28 days, and is designed to ensure learners only re-book when they’re ready to pass.

Looking at UK-wide data, the comparison experts at Go.Compare car insurance have revealed that as well as experience and preparation, your choice of test centre might also impact how likely you are to pass your test – as there is a huge difference between the top and bottom pass rates across the UK.

At the test centre with the highest pass rate, Mallaig, Scotland, nearly 9 in 10 learners (87.1%) were judged roadworthy. Meanwhile, Erith in London is currently the hardest place to pass your test – with less than 3 in 10 people (28.4%) getting a passing grade.**

Overall, the ten worst places to pass your test are:





Pass rate


Erith (London)





Belvedere (London)





Speke (Liverpool)





Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham)





Rochdale (Manchester)





Kingstanding (Birmingham)





Stoke-On-Trent (Cobridge)










South Yardley (Birmingham)





Wanstead (London)




In total, four of the driving test centres with the lowest pass rates are located in London boroughs, while a further three are in Birmingham, and one in Manchester. On the other hand, all ten of the test centres with the highest pass rates are located in Scotland, in rural areas. 

Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at Go.Compare, said: “The driving test backlog is affecting learner drivers across the UK, and we welcome efforts to tackle it. It is important to make sure you are as prepared as you can be before you book and take your test, and having a longer wait period after a failed test may give learners time to understand what they need to improve on, and address what went wrong more fully, so they are prepped for success before trying again.

“While there are a number of factors that will affect what happens on the day – and while we all know the importance of choosing a good driving instructor and building up your experience on the roads – our research shows your choice of test centre could make a difference too.

“The average pass rates across the country vary widely, with as many as 9 in 10 people passing their tests in some locations, and as few as 3 in 10 passing in other places. Rural Scottish driving test centres boast the best pass rates across the UK – though they are also some of the quietest, with the number one test centre – Mallaig – only conducting 31 tests in the last 12 months.

“On the other hand, test centres with the lowest pass rates are much busier in comparison – with all conducting well over 7000 tests. Urban areas dominate the lower end of the scale, with test centres in London, Birmingham and Manchester having some of the worst pass rates in the last twelve months. With the added challenges of built-up roads, big intersections and traffic jams, this may not come as a surprise.

“Learner drivers have a lot to think about in the run-up to their test – and insurance is one thing it’s important to get right. Comparing car insurance policies will help you find a great price, as well as making sure you have the cover you need, whether you pass first time or not.”

Read the full Go.Compare driving test report, here: https://www.gocompare.com/motoring/reports-statistics/driving-tests-uk/


Contact Information

Rosie Johns


Notes to editors

* https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1752489/driving-law-changes-learner-tests-dvsa-2023

**Data source: GOV.UK Car driving test data by test centre, 2021-2022

For further information please contact:

Lynsey Walden on lynsey.walden@gocompare.com,  or Kath Chadwick on Kathryn.chadwick@gocompare.com

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

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