Much as we’d like to think otherwise, it’s a fact of life that the location you choose for your driving test will have a big impact on what you can expect in the test itself. We’ve spoken to some of our top local instructors to get some handy tips on how to pass your driving test in East London.
No matter which of the East London driving test centres you choose, you’ll have high traffic and aggressive driving to contend with. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to change just because you’re displaying your L plates! If you’re taking your test at Goodmayes, take note that the test centre location is very busy, so you’ve got to be on your toes right from the start. One of our local instructors, Haroon, warns, “be careful of the local residents, as they live on the very same road that you’ll start your test on”.
If, on the other hand, you’ve chosen the test centre at Barking Town, you’ll encounter a very different challenge when your test begins. Haroon tells us that “within one minute of driving out on your test, you will instantly face two major roundabouts. One of them requires you to stop and give way to the left which is just because of the way the roads are. A lot of people fail to realise the importance of that roundabout, so if you haven’t taken lessons on the test routes then this test centre isn’t for you”.
At Wanstead Test Centre, the challenge will begin before your test has even started! Another of our popular instructors, James, explains that “there’s no car park at this test centre, so you have to park on the main road or side streets during times when parking is restricted with single yellow lines. Be careful where you park, as camera cars have been known to issue tickets by post for cars parked for driving tests.”
Once you’ve navigated the parking situation, your skills will really get put to the test. Haroon warns, “you will start your test on a busy 30 mph road where it’s narrow, so you have to be extremely careful. I have noticed a lot of learners start off by causing the traffic to slow down for them to move off, which they end up getting a major fault for.”
James adds, “a common mistake that candidates make is inadequate clearance of parked cars, and dealing with meeting other drivers on narrower side roads with parked cars on both sides.”
Although candidates at Chingford Test Centre will also have to deal with narrow roads, our instructor Carina advises that “the benefit of taking your driving test at Chingford is that there’s less traffic and smoother test routes”. However, instructor Abby says, “it’s quite hilly so you should focus on good clutch control during your practice.”
Besides narrow roads and high traffic, it’s the road systems that seem to catch candidates out in East London. One common reason for failing, according to James, is “incorrect procedures for changing lanes on dual carriageways and roundabouts.” If you’re taking your test at Wanstead, get plenty of practice on the Charlie Browns Roundabout, the Redbridge Roundabout and the A12 towards Grant Hill.
Loughton and Buckhurst Hill would be wise practice spots if you’re going to be heading to Chingford Test Centre, whereas we recommend taking the time to nail the Ilford roundabouts if you’ve chosen Barking Town, or the Winston Way roundabout if Goodmayes is your pick. It goes without saying that practice makes perfect, so make sure you put in the hours near your chosen test centre to give yourself the best chance of passing first time.