Learner driver insurer Veygo has crunched the latest figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to reveal that Abergavenny is the second best place to take your test in Wales, with 61.7% now passing their test at the centre.
They fall just behind Park Avenue test centre in Aberystwyth which reigns supreme, with a 65% pass rate.
The news comes ahead of changes to driving test rules that aim to improve driving test pass rates across the UK, making it more difficult for ‘unprepared’ learners to take a test before they are ready.
With the changes, if learner drivers need to retake their test, they will have to wait 28 days rather than 10 to book their new test date. The rule change is designed to encourage learners to feel ready before taking a driving test, as they won’t be able to repeat it soon after failing, and to give them adequate time to prepare before retaking their test.
The rule change does not yet have the green light but highlights ongoing concerns around pass rates across the UK. Across the UK, an average of 48.4% of learners passed their driving test in the 22/3 period, down from 48.9% in the previous year. UK pass rates have remained stagnant over the past 10 years, with an average pass rate of 47.3%, with more than half of all learners failing their driving test each year.
Veygo found the top and bottom test centres in Wales are:
- Aberystwyth - 65%
- Abergavenny - 61.7%
- Barry - 61.4%
- Newtown - 58.9%
- Llanishen, Cardiff - 58.6%
Lowest pass rates (%) in Wales
- Newport - 47.4%
- Bala - 49.2%
- Cardigan - 50.4%
- Llanelli - 51.2%
- Bridgend - 51.3%
Stalling pass rates will be particularly concerning for learner drivers amid the cost-of-living crisis, as the cost of learning to drive increases. James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo said:
"Vego recently revealed the average cost of learning to drive hit £1,575 in 2023, with the average driving session now costing £35 per hour, and learner drivers needing 45 hours of professional instruction to pass their tests.
"The pressure to pass is higher than ever and these results show that many learners are still failing their tests each year, suggesting that many learners are under-prepared. We're feeling the pinch, so it's understandable that learners might be rushing into their tests.
"We're hopeful that the changes to driving test will give learner drivers more time to prepare for retakes, reducing the likelihood of repeated failures and easing pressures on test centres across the country."