Revealed: These Are the Best Places to Learn to Drive in Great Britain

< Back to blog

Getting behind the wheel and learning how to drive is one of life’s many milestones and taking your driving test can be a nerve-racking experience, with lots of factors taken into account as to if you pass or fail. With some test routes deemed more tricky than others and the pandemic causing a huge backlog of driving tests, we reveal the best and worst to learn to drive in Great Britain.

Best and worst places to learn to drive

The study used the most recent data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to create a total driving test score for each test centre in England, Scotland and Wales using four factors: pass rate percentage, first time pass rate percentage, number of cancelled tests and the wait time for getting a practical driving test. 

There are still massive delays across Great Britain for booking a driving test, with the study revealing that the average wait time for a test was over 19 weeks, with 48% of test centres having no tests available at the time of looking. 

The study also revealed that the average pass rate for driving tests is 53.08%, with the average first time pass rate also just over half at 53.77% and the number of cancellations resulted in an average of 12.73% of all tests taken.


10 best places to learn to drive

Young man passes his driving test
  1. Isle of Skye (Portree), Scotland
  2. Newtown, Wales
  3. Chichester, England 
  4. Alness, Scotland 
  5. Peterhead, Scotland 
  6. Pembroke Dock, Wales
  7. Bristol (Kingswood), England
  8. Barnstaple, England
  9. Cardiff (Llanishen), Wales
  10. Eastbourne, England 

The top driving centres are evenly located across Great Britain and scored above average on almost all factors, with them all having a short wait time for getting a driving test. 

Taking the top spot is the Isle of Skye (Portree) test centre in Scotland, which out of the 115 tests conducted across the nine-month period analysed, had a 68.70% pass rate and a 70.59% first time pass rate. The test centre also had only 1 cancellation during this period as well as a short two-week wait time for a driving test at the time of looking.

Coming second is the Newtown test centre in Powys, Wales. Out of the 666 tests conducted, they achieved a 75.98% pass rate, 64.21% first time pass rate and had cancelled only 2 tests. The test centre also only had a three-week wait period for a driving test. 

In third is the Chichester test centre in England, which conducted 2,581 tests over the nine months, resulting in a 66.87% pass rate, a 60.98% first time pass rate and had cancelled 107 tests, or 4.15% of tests taken during this time. They also had a very short wait time of just one-week at the time of looking.


10 worst places to learn to drive

Woman frustrated at the wheel of a car
  1. Belvedere (London), England
  2. Erith (London), England
  3. Birmingham (South Yardley), England
  4. Birmingham (Kingstanding), England
  5. Blackburn with Darwen, England
  6. Crewe, England
  7. Southall (London), England
  8. Stoke-On-Trent (Cobridge), England
  9. Birmingham (Kings Heath), England
  10. Wednesbury, England

All of the lowest scoring driving centres are located in England, with all ten marked low on numerous factors, including having no driving tests available or a very long wait time. 

Taking the bottom spot is the Belvedere (London) test centre which is difficult to pass with a 30.99% pass rate, and a 33.89% first time pass rate across the 3,307 tests taken. The test centre also had 518 cancellations across the nine months analysed and at the time of looking, there were no driving tests available.  

Following in second is the Birmingham (South Yardley) test centre, with two other Birmingham test centres also placing in the bottom ten. Out of the 5,804 tests taken, the test centre has a low pass rate of 36.41% and a first time pass rate of 36.72%, as well as having cancelled 768 tests during the nine-month period. They also had no driving tests available to book.

In third is the Erith (London) test centre, who out of the 3,484 tests taken scored a low 28.30% pass rate, and 30.25% first time pass rate. The test centre also had 300 cancellations and at the time of looking, there were no driving tests available.  


“Driving tests can be a daunting prospect, particularly if it’s your first time taking one. Our study shows that nearly half of all learners fail their driving test on their first attempt.

With long delays for driving tests across Great Britain, it is important to be as well prepared as possible to avoid having to wait potentially months for a second attempt. Ensure you have had enough lessons to feel confident driving, as well as practicing the mock test routes at your test centre.” 

Eben Lovatt, Moneyshake CEO

Looking for the best deal on a new car? Moneyshake gets providers competing to get you the best car lease and finance deal. We don’t just show you the deals, we lower the deals. Start by searching for your perfect car today and see how you can get the best offer on popular new models.


Find your perfect car today


Want to keep up to date with the latest car news, reviews and entertainment? Head over to the Moneyshake blog for more.