Choosing a Driving Test Centre

There are many ways to choose a driving test centre.

Location. Often learners like to choose the closest test centre to them for convenience reasons and also they may be more familiar with the area as they would have spent time there and may have had their driving lessons there.

Pass rates. Some learners like to research test centres and their pass rates and tend to opt for the test centres within reach that has the highest pass rates, or if you’re feeling brave you can pick the test centre with the lowest pass rates to really test your driving. 

Instructor’s choice. Leaving it your instructor to decide is usually a wise choice as not only would they find you the most suited test centre they will probably be more familiar with the area highlighting all the tricky junctions.

Knowing the test routes. Unfortunately the DVSA have stopped publishing each test centres test routes and there is an average of about 20 different test routes per test centre. To learn or not to learn test routes has been an argument driving instructors have been having for decades but one thing for certain is that it’s always a good idea to practice some of the more trickier junctions, roundabouts, situations that could come up on the test.

Once you have picked a test centre then it’s always a good idea to do some driving in that area so that you become more familiar with that area and that should help ease some of the stress you may have on your test day.

Tests usually start from around 08:00 and finished around 16:00 but in the summer time some test centres start as early as 07:00 and finish as late as 17:00.

Choosing the time of day to suit. Some people prefer to have their test in busy times of the day as they feel that they won’t drive too far. This is perhaps true but driving in rush hour can be more stressful as people are usually late for work or rushing to get somewhere and they are less likely to let you out if you are waiting at a junction plus you may feel under more pressure as people tend to drive too close to other drivers that time of the day. Taking your test between 09:30 to 13:30 is usually when roads are at their calmest and most people prefer to have their test around these times.

Weekend tests are rather rare to find as it’s up to the examiners to choose if they wish to work weekend overtime. Saturdays are much more common than Sunday tests but both are quite rare to find.

Some driving test myths

If I get stuck in traffic for the whole of my test, is it true that I would pass?

The examiner has a checklist of what they need to see from you and if they are unable to complete the checklist then the test becomes void and you will need to sit a next test. (The DVSA will pay for your next test if this happens)

Is it true that I am better off having my test at the start of the day seeing as the examiner has to pass and fail a certain amount of pupils?

No this is not true, the quota you are referring to is done over a quarterly period (every three months) and not daily. You are not more likely to pass just by booking an earlier test time.