Driving tests: UK’s top 10 highest and lowest places to pass

Teenage girl on driving test reversing and looking back. Examiner with clipboard

New research identifies the UK’s highest and lowest driving test pass rates. Swindon ranks lowest, while Montrose is the highest place to pass.

The study, by Howden Insurance, examined the pass rate percentage of major driving test centres in the UK that have conducted at least 1,000 tests from January 2020 to December 2023; those with the highest rates determined the ranking.

Top ten driving test pass rates

Rank Test Centre Pass Rate 
1 Montrose 74.8 
2 Peebles 74.2 
3 Hawick 73.3 
4 Forfar 72.6 
5 Lerwick 70.1 
6 Girvan 69.7 
7 Kelso 69.3 
8 Stranraer 68.5 
9 Fraserburgh 66.3 
10 Kendal 66.0 

Montrose, Angus came out on top with the highest percentage of pass rates out of all test centres in the UK. This test centre has an average pass rate of 74.8% – of 1,249 tests taken, 934 were passed.

Peebles is second, with a pass rate of 74.2%. Peebles Test Centre has assessed 531 prospective drivers since the start of 2020, deeming 394 of them ready to drive.

Hawick is the third easiest test centre for someone to pass their driving test in the UK, with a pass rate of 73.3%. Males have a higher pass rate than women at 74.8%, and females are not far behind with a pass rate of 71.8%.

Forfar, located in the county of Angus, has been the UK’s busiest over the past three years, completing 1,251 tests and handing out 908 licences – resulting in a pass rate of 70.1%.

In fifth place is Lerwick, with a 70.1% pass rate. Males have a pass rate of 71.1%, whereas women have a slightly lower success rate of 64.8%.

Top ten lowest driving test pass rates

Rank Test Centre Pass Rate % 
1 Swindon 21.5 
2 Speke 32.0 
3 Doncaster 32.5 
4 Erith 32.8 
5 Belvedere 33.5 
6 Wolverhampton 35.5 
7 Featherstone 37.4 
8 Rochdale 37.5 
9 Wednesbury 37.7 
10 Bury 38.0 

The hardest place to pass your driving test is Swindon, Wiltshire where 21.5% of learners have passed their tests, with males having a pass rate of 20.15% and females slightly higher with 25%.

Speke in Liverpool is the second most difficult place to pass a test, with a success rate of 32.0%. Males have a 32.3% pass rate whereas females have a slightly lower pass rate at 31.6%.

Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has the third-lowest percentage of people passing at 32.5% out of 314 tests taken.

The fourth place with the lowest pass rate is Erith, London with 32.8% passes in total out of 12,332 tests taken.

Belvedere, London, has the fifth lowest rate of people passing at 33.5% in total out of 9,481 tests taken.

Between the start of 2020 and the end of 2023, 4,490,298 tests were taken.

A spokesperson from Howden Insurance has commented on the findings: “Taking a driving test is always a daunting task, but perseverance is key when it doesn’t go your way the first time around. It is interesting to see the vast differences in success rates between the different test centres across the UK, with Scotland coming out on top.”

4 thoughts on “Driving tests: UK’s top 10 highest and lowest places to pass”

  1. Richard Wareham

    The next study, I think to make it interesting, would be to compare the number of instructor candidates compared to the instructor school of mum and dad. Are the pass rates lower because of lower socioeconomic factors? Is it the volume of traffic as all test should be the same level of difficulty.

  2. Wouldn’t it be interesting if you could get all the test candidates who passed in Montrose to retake their test in Swindon, and vice versa? I’ve no doubt at all the DVSA will look at these figures and think what brilliant instructors Scotland have compared to the rest of the UK!

  3. Thomas Desmond East

    It should be renamed the ten best and worst prepared candidates taking their tests in the UK.

  4. All this proves is how much more difficult the road systems are in Swindon compared with Montrose. I agree with the above instructor. It would be very interesting to see whether those candidates would pass in Swindon.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top