If you’re Edinburgh-based, you’re likely to take your driving test at either Currie or Musselburgh Test Centre. We had a chat with Alan Brown - one of our top local driving instructors - to find out a bit about what you should expect when you’re taking your test at either one of these locations. That way, you can steer clear of making common mistakes and avoid any nasty surprises on the day of your practical driving test!
If Currie Test Centre is your centre of choice, there’s one area in particular you should watch out for - and that’s the tricky string of roundabouts on Calder Road. According to Alan, around two thirds of test routes will take you over these, so “make sure you get plenty of practice on them. If you can handle these, you can handle any!”
Similarly, roundabouts frequently catch test candidates out at Musselburgh Test Centre, particularly Old Craighall Roundabout. Lovingly nicknamed ‘the graveyard’ by a few driving instructors, it’s the most difficult roundabout on the test route. Alan explains that “you need to know where the timing points are to shift lane, as there are three on this roundabout. If in doubt, ask your instructor to teach you the timing points for exiting the roundabout.”
Sheriffhall Roundabout is another stumbling block for Musselburgh test candidates. What’s more, it’s on quite a few of the test routes so you’ll need to know how to negotiate it. With six entrances, it’s easy to get disorientated. Alan tells us: “it’s a big, ugly roundabout but it’s got traffic lights so it’s safer than Old Craighall Roundabout. Make sure that you stick to your lane and get lots of practice on it.”
While most learner drivers will choose the test centre nearest them, if you’re based right in the centre of Edinburgh you might have a tricky choice to make. Alan tells us that “there’s not much between them. If I had to help learners choose between the two I might lean slightly towards Musselburgh, simply to avoid the Calder Road Roundabouts.” So, get in some roundabout practice early on and you’ll have every reason to feel confident when the big day comes round!
David, another of our instructors, recommends taking your test at Musselburgh, because the route is a little easier compared to Currie. “There is a nice country road leading to Edinburgh from the Musselburgh Test Centre and it will involve driving at higher speeds, up to 60 mph. Whereas, the Currie Test Centre routes include dual carriageways, a spiral roundabout, busy roundabouts and is generally harder due to being so close to Edinburgh city centre.”