If you’re going to be taking your practical driving test in North London, you’ll be choosing between a few driving test centres. They all have different challenges, so once you’ve chosen your test centre you’ll need to get familiar with the ins and outs of the area. To help you out, we’ve had a chat with our local driving instructors. They’ve given us some tips on how to avoid making common mistakes, and where you should head to for some essential practice!
Wanstead Test Centre is famed for being a challenging place to take your driving test due to the large number of difficult roads, junctions and roundabouts nearby. Our instructor Haroon offers advice to learner drivers taking their test at Wanstead, “The roads are very busy and congested. Depending on the time of your test, many road users won’t give you the time you need at junctions, roundabouts and even turning into and exiting the test centre.”
In particular, learner drivers often make minor and major errors in their driving tests on roundabouts. According to Haroon, the Redbridge, Leytonstone and Charlie Brown’s roundabouts, in particular, are where a lot of learner drivers become unstuck during their tests at Wanstead. Likewise, James’ advice is to “get some practice on Charlie Brown’s Roundabout, Waterworks Corner at the A12 approaching the Redbridge roundabout from Wanstead, and exiting the Redbridge roundabout on the A12 towards Gants Hill.”
It goes without saying that you should take the time to practise the test routes with your driving instructor before you book your test. However, Haroon would go one step further: “Make sure your driving is at a very high level if you’re thinking of taking your test at Wanstead due to the advanced nature of the test routes. But, if you pass at Wanstead, that means your driving is at a very good standard and it will help you for driving once you pass.”
Hendon, Wanstead and Barnet test centres all have some very narrow roads to contend with, including ones just round the corner from the test centres! Our instructor Shapour warns that “the road leading to Hendon Test Centre is very narrow, so you should make sure to reduce your speed on approach.” Haroon’s advice for those at Wanstead is to “watch out for the 30 mph, narrow road which is near the test centre. If you cause the traffic on this road to slow down to allow yourself to move off you can get a serious fault for this.”
Likewise, Midrive instructor Sabih warns that you’ll need to go slowly when approaching and leaving Enfield Test Centre. He explains that “the test centre is located next to a dual carriageway, but the roads leading into the centre are a 20mph area.” Make sure you don’t let that catch you out!
If you’ve opted for Wanstead Test Centre, one thing you’ll have to contend with will be the parking situation before your test has even started! Our instructor 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.” So, if you’re arriving soon after a lesson with your driving instructor, make sure you leave plenty of time to park your car before your test begins!