Wanstead driving tests: What’s so difficult?

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Wanstead is back on top of the league table of the place where you are most likely to fail your driving test in the UK.

The Guardian (the actual Guardian) reports that more than two-thirds of learner drivers fail when taking tests in Wanstead, describing it as “highly congested” with tricky features such as the A12 and “a series of complicated roundabouts”.

It was the result of a study done by the Privilege insurance company. A spokesman for that company told the paper:

“Wanstead’s driving test routes incorporate up to four major roundabouts, including the Redbridge roundabout, which is particularly problematic due to multi-lanes and heavy traffic flow. Getting into the correct lane is a problem for lots of drivers and this can cause even bigger issues for learners.”

It´s a dubious return to the top for Wanstead which has previously been rated as the most difficult place in the country. It’s a subject though which is surrounded by conventional wisdom, myth and rumour. One theory we’ve previously reported is that Wanstead is a popular venue for tests because the test centre doesn’t have a car park, meaning learners only have to demonstrate on-street parking ability.

Whether that will be affected by changes to the driving test announced earlier this month which will mean it now includes parking and ability to follow satnav instructions is not clear.

Redbridge roundabout can be tricky to manoeuvre, as plenty of drivers demonstrate each day, but it can’t surely be the trickiest roundabout in the country? Theories about what it is that makes Wanstead tricky are now officially welcome, in comments below.

2 Comments on "Wanstead driving tests: What’s so difficult?"


  1. If as you say Wanstead is the hardest place to past the driving test why is it that the whole area of Wanstead, South Woodford and Woodford is plagued with learners from early morning till late at night every day constantly doing manoeuvres !!!!! Even on Christmas Day !!!!


  2. I passed first time three months ago at wanstead. Nowhere should be too tricky if you learn in the area. If you want to avoid Redbridge roundabout on your test book an 8am test as they won’t take you on it till after 9.30. You will have to do whipps or waterworks roundabout instead!

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