Driving lesson

The toughest places in the UK to take your driving test

The figures show a drastic reduction in the number of people in the UK taking their first driving test in 2020/21. (Getty/File photo)

The number of people in the UK taking their first driving test has fallen in 2020/21, new data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has revealed.

In 2020/21 – at the height of the coronavirus pandemic – a total of 248,293 people took their first driving test in the UK, compared to 720,490 in 2019/20.

The figures also show that 51% of people passed the test on their first try, meaning another long wait for a second attempt.

New data from the DVLA has now revealed the test centers with the highest and lowest pass rates in the UK.

The regions of the UK with the highest and lowest driving test pass rates.  (Yahoo News)

The regions of the UK with the highest and lowest driving test pass rates. (Yahoo News)

The hardest places to pass your driving test

Erith, in south-east London, had the lowest proportion of people (30%) passing their test on the first attempt in 2020/21.

Many of the hardest-to-success centers are based in London, with six locations in the bottom 20 success rates.

Campbeltown in Scotland is the UK region with the highest success rate (92%).

The 20 lowest success rates (percentage of first passes):

  • Erith (London) 30%

  • Belvedere (London) 34%

  • Bodmin 35%

  • East Kilbride 35%

  • Birmingham (Sutton Coldfield) 36%

  • 37%

  • Birmingham (Kingstanding) 37%

  • Birmingham (South Yardley) 37%

  • Croydon (London) 37%

  • Goodmayes (London) 37%

  • Wolverhampton 37%

  • Rochdale (Manchester) 37%

  • Bury (Manchester) 37%

  • Glasgow (Shieldhall) 38%

  • Bury St Edmunds 38%

  • Speke (Liverpool) 38%

  • Stoke-On-Trent (Cobridge) 39%

  • Wanstead (London) 39%

  • Wednesday 40%

  • Yeading (London) 40%

Areas with the highest success rates:

The number of people taking their first driving tests has plunged during the pandemic.  (Yahoo News)

The number of people taking their first driving tests has plunged during the pandemic. (Yahoo News)

With the country forced to stay at home during COVID shutdowns, the number of driving tests has plummeted and the system is still struggling to catch up.

The DVLA recently said there were continuing delays in processing driving license applications by post and urged people to apply online instead.

The backlog saw almost a million drivers hit by license processing delays in February this year, according to figures from the Commons Transport Committee.

UK driving licence.  Provisional and full license cards isolated on dark background.  Macro.  Selective focus.  Stafford, UK, 30 January 2022.

The hardest place to pass a driving test in the UK is Erith, in South East London. (Getty)

Of these requests, 254,396 had taken more than 10 weeks to be processed.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said earlier this year that learners were being offered tests on weekends and public holidays in a bid to catch up, while also wanting to recruit 300 new examiners to help eliminate the backlog.

Paul Martin of the Public and Commercial Services Union said the DVSA did not offer competitive pay or job security to encourage more people to join.