It’s important that you feel comfortable with the driving test centre that you’ve chosen. Test centres vary in difficulty level and this is reflected in their pass rates, so it’s imperative that you do some shopping around to find one that is right for you.There is a bewildering choice of driving test centres in Manchester, so it’s only fair that we asked some of our local Midrive instructors for their tips and tricks on what to look out for at some of them, so you can narrow down your options and pick one that’s best for you.
If you’re going to take your test at West Didsbury Test Centre, you’re in luck. Our instructor Ahmed believes this is the best of the Manchester test centres, as the routes are mostly made up of “simple roads”. However, he warns that “one place to watch out for is an area just south of the test centre where there are three roundabouts together. These are quite hard so you need to prepare well for them. I think you have about a 75% chance of passing your test if you do well on these roundabouts.”
Ahmed also tells us that “if your examiner takes you towards Townside, there’s one road where the speed limit keeps changing between 20, 30 and 40 mph, so keep an eye out for speed limit signs!”. There are also some tricky junctions to be aware of if you’ve chosen West Didsbury Test Centre, such as the box junction at the Nell Lane intersection and the Barlow Moor road junction to name a couple.
This is in contrast to the test routes at Sale Test Centre. Ahmed explains that narrow roads make this test centre particularly difficult, as well as a couple of difficult roundabouts: “the Brookwood mini roundabout is very busy and has some blind spots, so it can be hard for learner drivers to negotiate. There is also a double roundabout at Sale, on the Old Hall Road and Rifle Road, which can be busy too.”
The Cheetham Hill Test Centre has a lot of straightforward test routes according to Midrive instructor Sohail. “If the learner has carefully studied the routes then they will be able to cope well during their driving test. Pay special attention to moving off, emerging at junctions and stopping, as these skills are common reasons for learners not passing their driving test.”
Cheetham Hill has its fair share of roundabouts, such as the Broughton Road roundabout, but it also has plenty of quieter residential roads in the Cheetwood area with some mini roundabouts connecting them. These are a particular favourite with examiners. When looking for a good place for a practice run in Cheetwood, why not try out Bromshill Drive, Allesley Drive and Fairy Lane.
Sohail also has advice for Chadderton Test Centre, “I would definitely suggest that learners have some experience driving around Middleton Junction which is famous locally for being difficult for drivers. The Middleton Roundabout which connects to the M62 is also particularly tricky, so it’s worth getting some experience on it too before taking your test.”
Learners thinking of taking their test at Bolton Test Centre should focus on nailing those hill starts, as the area is known to be quite hilly. This test centre has a lot of parking available for learners and has a shop close by should you need to grab a quick soft drink or snack to steady your nerves before your test.