Driving school

Driving test failure rates in Ireland and ‘avoid if you want to pass’ centers

Four in 10 people have failed their driving test nationwide so far this year.

And new drivers have a better chance of passing if they take the test in a small rural area than in a larger, busy city, new data has revealed.

The current average failure rate is 44.13% across the 60 test centers.

Read more:Irish learner and novice drivers have been warned of a lesser-known rule which could face them with a six-month ban

But the test center with the highest failure rate is Mulhuddart (Carlton Hotel) near Blanchardstown, west Dublin with 62.9%.

Places you would want to avoid if you want to pass are Waterford, Wexford, Tallaght, Skibbereen, Raheny Dublin, Portlaoise, Nenagh, Navan, Naas, Limerick (Woodview), Kilkenny, Killarney, Drogheda, Cork (Wilton), Charlestown Dublin, Carlow (Hotel Talbot).

In all these centres, one out of two drivers fails his tests.

Towns like Athlone, Ballina, Birr, Carrick-on-Shannon, Cavan, Donegal, Kilrush and Ennis have a much higher success rate than others.

The best places in the country to take your test are Cliften in Connemara, Co Galway, Birr (County Arms Hotel) and Ballincollig, Co Cork which have a 25% to 28% failure rate.



Details on the failure rate for 2022 were obtained by Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd of the Road Safety Authority.

He said: “I would be careful where I take my test, statistics show you have a better chance of passing if you don’t do it in a busy city or market town.

“You better go somewhere quiet in terms of traffic.”

The RSA states that all driving testers receive a seven-week introductory training course.

This is a modular training program where assessments must be passed before the trainee can progress to the next module.

He said: “During the final two weeks of this training course, trainees complete live driving tests where they are accompanied by a trainer/supervisor to ensure the correct standard as demonstrated during the training, is applied.

“After the training is successfully completed, the quality assurance of the test standards is monitored by the supervisor of each driving tester.

“This is achieved by the supervisor accompanying the tester on tests throughout the year in the motorcycle, car and truck categories. A 1:1 feedback takes place after each test between the supervisor and the tester to discuss the specific test.”

The failure rate data for each test center ranges from January 1 to May 14, 2022.

Deputy O’Dowd added: “It’s interesting how many people fail their driving tests, the standards are extremely high and the testers don’t pass drivers on a whim.

“Road safety is something we all need to take seriously to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on our roads.

“Although the numbers have come down over the last decade, unfortunately far too many people die on our roads in Ireland.

“We must continue to strive for a high standard of driving for all road users.”

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