So what’s so tricky about driving tests in Wanstead?

Image: Google
Image: Google

The revelation, highlighted by the BBC News website, that Wanstead driving test centre has the third lowest pass rate in the UK is a bit of a shocker for a number of reasons.

Image: BBC
Image: BBC

Clearly there’s no shortage of candidates wanting to take their test here – as is evidenced by the sheer number of L plates and by the Sun’s naming in 2009 of part of South Woodford as being the country’s worst learner driver hotspot. So apparently the Wanstead centre doesn’t have a bad reputation.

Then there’s the generally benign road layout in these parts: no Old Street roundabout round here.

And lastly there’s the trusty old bit of folklore – that people want their tests in Wanstead because it doesn’t have a car park which allegedly means candidates can avoid tricky parking tests.

Other theories are welcome, via comments below.


11 thoughts on “So what’s so tricky about driving tests in Wanstead?”

  1. Maybe it’s because all the instructors are so fed up because they’ve struggled to find a parking spot as there are no car parks nearby?

  2. I took my test in early 1987 in Ilford test centre near Seven Kings’ station, despite living in Wanstead at the time, as my instructor said that it was much harder to pass at Wanstead! Doesn’t seem to have changed much since then….

  3. I passed my test first time in Wanstead and when I mentioned to my instructor how low the pass rate was in Wanstead he told me it was because learners in the surrounding boroughs, particularly more east end, don’t have test centres and therefore test routes on the roads they have been learning on. Therefore when they come to their nearest test centre, Wanstead, and they don’t know the roads, they fail.

  4. I haven’t seen the ‘L2 Pass’ instructor for a while, so perhaps things are changing and it’s no longer so L2 pass.

  5. I took my test 18 months ago at the Chingford test centre because my instructor said that Wanstead had a very low pass rate. This was in spite of the fact that the Chingford test centre car park is a difficult one to park in and is often used as part of the test.

  6. I failed at wanstead several times and my instructor also warned me the pass rate was low. This was in the late 90s! I didn’t think the reasons for falling me were fair really – once i was failed for doing 26mph in 30mph road.

    1. You are right. There is, in fact, plenty of parking. The issue is the number of lazy people who drive to the high street form short distance when quite frankly they should be walking.

      I live 8 minutes walk tot he high st and see lots of my neighbours driving and I doubt hardly any have real reason to do so.

      It is just laziness.

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