North-East London is officially the toughest place in the UK to pass your driving test

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According to the DVSA’s official driving test data, learners taking their test in North East London are twice as likely to fail compared to the quiet Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness.

Learner drivers in London face taking their tests on some of the toughest and most congested roads in the UK. Roads including the A12 trunk road in Wanstead and the north circular road in Wood Green (London) are tricky to manoeuvre for the most experienced drivers, let alone learners.

A recent study has also shown that the most common reason for failing a driving test is a lack of observation at junctions, followed by not checking mirrors enough. Learners also show a lot of confusion when turning right at junctions and coming off of roundabouts.

With a series of complicated roundabouts, it’s no surprise that learners in Wanstead have the hardest test in the UK and incur the highest number of fail rates.

At miDrive, a common myth we hear about test centres is that their pass rates are artificially low, due to quotas on the number of students they can pass each day. The truth is test centres are actually under a lot of pressure to reduce queues for test times, which at some centres can be months. The real issue affecting pass rates is the level of preparation students have when they go to the test and the differences in driving conditions surrounding test centres.

GOV.UK have pulled data on the toughest and the easiest places to pass a driving test in the UK (listed below). Our advice for learners in London is to get as much practise on the busier roads in preparation for the big day and remember, use your mirrors! Watch our short video on how to reduce those test day nerves. 

The toughest UK towns and cities to take your driving test

Location and percentage failure rate:

1 Wanstead (London) 67.2%

2 Belvedere (London) 66.9%

3 Wood Green (London) 64.8%

4 South Yardley (Birmingham) 64.7%

5 Barking (London) 64.6%

6 Leeds (West Yorkshire) 64.5%

7 Kingstanding (Birmingham) 63.3%

8 Heaton (Bradford) 63%

9 Thornbury (Bradford) 62.7%

10 Salford (Manchester) 61.9%

The easiest UK towns and cities to take your driving test

1 Barrow-in-Furness (Cumbria) 33.9%

2 Whitby (North Yorkshire) 34.5%

3 Llandrindod Wells (Wales) 34.9%

4 Lerwick (Shetland, Scotland) 35.5%

5 Fort William (Highlands, Scotland) 35.5%

6 Kyle of Lochalsh (Scotland) 35.6%

7 Kelso (Scotland) 36%

8 Lampeter (Wales) 36.6%

9 Pwllheli (Wales) 37%

10 Malton (North Yorkshire) 37.1%

Source: GOV.UK 2016

Last modified: 29th July 2016

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