Erith one of the worst places to take your driving test

Erith has ranked as one of the worst places to take your practical driving test in the UK after new research has emerged showing ‘immense’ discrepancies in pass rates across the country.

Less than one in three pass their tests in the south east London neighbourhood, whilst Belvedere also ranked as one of the worst in the country.

The research has been released by Temp Cover shows that the chances of learner drivers can vary massively depending on where you live in the UK.

The UK has an overall pass rate of 46% when it comes to learners sitting their practical driving test.

But the 2019/20 findings show ‘immense discrepancies’ in pass rates across the country, with the top performing region boasting more than double the pass rate of the worst performing.

Erith in south east London has ranked as the second worst place to take your test in the country with a pass rate of just 32%.

The Bexley neighbourhood ranks fourth for women with a 29.5% pass rate, and the worst for men with 34.3%.

Erith and Belvedere both appear on the rankings

The worst place in the UK is Rochdale in Greater Manchester, where only three in ten learner drivers passed their tests (31%).

And another local area crops up in Belvedere which has a pass rate for learning drivers of 33.8%, suggesting south east London might not best place for those looking where to take their test.

This is not the first time the region has ranked poorly.

For the highest success rate for learner drivers you have Kendal in Cumbria or Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and the success rate for learner drivers increases to 63%.

Of course, location alone doesn’t determine how likely you are to pass your driving test. However, our research shows that the lowest driving test pass rates in the UK are in urban areas such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds.

In contrast, rural areas such as the Lake District, Dorset, and Somerset have higher pass rates, as they are less likely to encounter heavy traffic, one-way systems, dual carriageways, and many of the other obstacles found in heavily urbanised cities.

When breaking the data down according to gender, men stand a better chance of passing. The national average pass rate for men is 50%.

For women, the national average pass rate is 43%, seven percentage points below their male counterparts and three percentage points below the combined overall national average.

Learner drivers in the UK can take their practical driving test from age 17 onwards, and data from the research showed that the youngest learners hold the highest average pass rate, with 17-year-olds boasting a 58% average pass rate in the UK.

Those with more life experience were found not to perform as well, with almost three quarters (74%) of people aged 50+ failing.

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On a national level, 56% of learner drivers who sat their practical test between 2pm and 2:59pm on Sunday passed – making this the best time and date statistically.

The next best time to book a test was found to be 4pm to 4:59pm on either Tuesday or Friday, where the pass rate is a steady 53%.

This research data was sourced by conducting a freedom of information (FOI) request from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), based on a survey of major UK centres where 1,000 people or more took their driving tests in 2020.

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