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Are Scots Britain’s best drivers? Regional driving test pass rates revealed


Learner drivers taking their driving tests in Scotland are far more likely to pass than those in other parts of the country, the latest figures show.

Price comparison experts at Quotezone.co.uk have revealed which test centres across the country have the highest and lowest pass rates.

Every year around 1.6 million nervous Brits buckle up to sit their practical driving test, and the pass rate as a whole falls just shy of 50% – dropping to 47% on average for female drivers.

The data shows that taking their test in rural Scotland gives learners the best chance of passing, while in major urban locations such as London and Birmingham the pass rate is much lower. 

The price comparison experts at Quotezone.co.uk interrogated the most recent 2021/22 statistics from the DVSA for learners aged between 17 and 25 driving a manual car. 

The data showed that Lochgilphead test centre in Scotland had the highest pass rate with an impressive 80% of its pupils passing their test, whereas Erith in London had the lowest with just 32% of learners passing.

Alongside Lochgilphead, the Scottish test centres in Hawick, Peebles, Montrose and Crieff all had a pass rate of over 75%.

Drivers in Scotland evidently enjoyed better pass rates than their English counterparts with 15 of the top 20 centres all being north of the border.

Conversely, all 20 of the bottom 20 performing test centres are in England, with the majority of these test centres located in and around the major cities of London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Founder of car insurance comparison site, Quotezone.co.uk, Greg Wilson, said: “Rural locations appear to be the best places for learner drivers to take and pass their tests, whereas taking your practical test in metropolitan areas like London and Birmingham, seems to make it more difficult to pass.

“This could be explained by the higher number of hazards and road features in cities, leading to more opportunities for driving mistakes and errors.

“London is unquestionably the hardest place to pass a driving test the first-time round – driving test centres in London hold seven out of the 20 lowest pass rates, closely followed by centres in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

“Whether the results show that Scots are the best drivers in GB, I will need to leave that to you to decide.”

The research comes after the news that learners have been warned over long-lasting delays for practical driving tests.  Thousands of learner drivers are having to wait until 2023 for a test space, with some being told to travel elsewhere to a centre with higher pass rates. 

Pupils are becoming increasingly frustrated at wait times as the DVSA struggles to manage the backlog left over from Covid-19 restrictions across the UK, when driving tests were suspended for several months. 

With learner drivers able to select their preferred test centre, the release of the data may cause a surge in bookings north of the border as hopeful English learners head to Scotland and away from urban areas.

Head over to Quotezone.co.uk for competitive insurance prices for both learner drivers and young drivers who have successfully passed their tests.


This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.