Barnstaple Driving Test Centre - Credit: Google

Barnstaple named one of the Best Places to Learn to Drive in Great Britain

Joseph Bulmer

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 trickier than others and the pandemic causing a huge backlog of driving tests, new data reveals Barnstaple is the eighth best place 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.

Barnstaple has emerged as the eighth best test centre to learn to drive at, with a final score 37% above average.

Out of the 2,213 tests conducted across the nine-month period analysed, the test centre had a 55.35% pass rate and a 58.51% first time pass rate.

They also had 124 cancellations during this period as well as a short two-week wait time for a driving test at the time of looking.

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 7.86% of all tests taken.

These Are The 10 Best Places To Learn To Drive:

  1. Isle of Skye (Portree), Scotland
  2. Newtown, Wales
  3. Chichester, England
  4. Alness, Scotland
  5. Pembroke Dock, Wales
  6. Bristol (Kingswood), England
  7. Peterhead, Scotland
  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 one cancellation during this period as well as a short two-week wait time for a driving test at the time of looking.

All of the bottom driving centres are located in England, with all ten scoring 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.

Eben Lovatt, CEO of Moneyshake, the company that carried out the research, commented: “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.”