If you’re looking for a Birmingham driving test centre, you have come to the right place. At Bill Plant Driving School, we prepare learner drivers to take their tests at a number of test centres throughout the West Midlands, which are operated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
It is important to consider where you want to meet your driving instructor, learn to drive, and take your driving test. Not only is this vital from a practical perspective, but it also influences pass rates. After all, you may feel more confident in a location you are familiar with, and some places can be trickier to learn to drive in than others.
With that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to know, from the pass rate to the test routes.
Birmingham Driving Test Centres
If you are looking to pass your driving test in the Birmingham area, here are some of the best places to consider:
Garretts Green Driving Test Centre
Granby Avenue, Garretts Green, Birmingham, B33 0SD
The driving test
The Birmingham Garretts Green driving test will often begin in an industrial area and then extend into different routes. Learner drivers will be taken along various roads, which could include dual carriageways, high-speed ‘A’ roads, and busy town driving. There is also the possibility of rural-type roads.
Of course, the driving test route for Birmingham Garretts Green can differ slightly from test to test, but these are the typical roads you can expect to venture onto. You should expect your driving test to include one of four possible test manoeuvres and an emergency stop.
Rural roads can represent a challenge, especially when there are harsh bends. When you drive through town during your practical test, the examiner will take you through as many different traffic systems as possible.
The pass rate for Birmingham Garretts Green is 42.9 percent.
Kings Heath Driving Test Centre
955 Alcester Road, South Birmingham, B14 5JA
The driving test
Kings Heath is situated five miles south of the city centre and close to the A435, meaning there is a great variety of roads in this area. It is likely that your test will feature country roads, multi-lane traffic and fast-paced roundabouts.
Unfortunately, the DVSA does not publish up-to-date test routes anymore. However, if you take driving lessons with a driving school local to Kings Health, such as Bill Plant Driving School, you can be sure we will introduce you to the roads most likely to feature on your practical test.
The pass rate for Kings Heath Test Centre is 43.6 percent.
Kingstanding Driving Test Centre
205 Birdbrook Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham, West Midlands, B44 9UL
The driving test
You may notice that the pass rate for Kingstanding is lower when compared with the two test centres mentioned so far. One of the reasons for this lower pass rate is that there are a lot of dual carriageways that change from 40 mph to 30 mph and back again.
Taking your driving test here may feature busy city roads or even rural country roads.
The pass rate for Kingstanding Test Centre is 36.2 per cent.
Shirley Driving Test Centre
401 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4AA
The driving test
When doing your driving test in Shirley, there are a number of different roads that you will be tested on, including residential streets, high-traffic density city roads, and possibly some rural country road driving.
There is a one-in-three chance of an emergency stop being required during your practical driving test. You will also need to do one test manoeuvre and approximately 10 minutes of independent driving.
Bill Plant will provide you with the best chance to pass your driving test by ensuring you are familiar with these roads before you do your practical test.
The pass rate for Shirley Test Centre is 51.1 percent.
South Yardley Driving Test Centre
Clay Lan, South Yardley, West Midlands, B26 1EA
The driving test
As mentioned earlier, driving test routes are no longer published. However, you can still access old routes, and your driving school will ensure you are prepared for your practical driving test by familiarising you with the roads in South Yardley.
Some of the roads that were often incorporated into previous test routes in South Yardley include the likes of Shirley Road, Greenwood Avenue, Warwick Road, Clay Lane, Cateswell Road, Shaftmoor Lane, and Olton Boulevard. However, you won’t know the exact route you’re going to be taking until you get in the car that day to pass your driving test.
The pass rate for South Yardley Driving Test Centre is 34.6 percent.
Sutton Coldfield Driving Test Centre
110 – 116 Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 5UB
The driving test
To help you pass your driving test in Sutton Coldfield, we will ensure you are familiar with all the different routes and roads in this area before taking your test.
Some roads often taken in Sutton Coldfield driving tests include Chester Road, Kingsbury Road, Holly Lane, Pype Hayes Road, Springthorpe Road, and Station Road.
The driving test routes in Sutton Coldfield often feature country lanes and nearby villages. This is where you’re also likely to be asked to complete a driving manoeuvre.
The pass rate for Sutton Coldfield Driving Test Centre is 36.3 per cent.
What Does A Practical Driving Test Consist Of?
No matter which test centre in Birmingham you choose, the same elements will be checked to determine whether you pass or fail your driving test.
Every driving test will last around 40 minutes unless you take an extended driving test due to being banned from driving. In this case, the test takes approximately 70 minutes.
To help you get a better understanding, let’s take a look at the four main elements that make up a driving test in the UK today:
1. Eyesight check
You won’t simply hop into the car and get straight onto the road! There are a couple of pre-tests first, beginning with your eyesight check.
This will involve reading a number plate from a distance. The distance is either 20.5 metres for cars with an old-style number plate or 20 metres for vehicles with the newer number plate style.
If you do not read the number plate correctly and fail this part of the test, the driving test will end, and you won’t be able to proceed with your test. You will need to book an appointment with an optician to get the correct glasses before you can retake your test.
2. Show me, tell me questions
If you pass the eyesight test, you will be asked two questions regarding vehicle safety, known as the “show me, tell me” questions.
They get this name because they follow this format:
- A “tell me” question happens at the start of your test, i.e. before you start driving.
- Tell me how you would know if there was an issue with your anti-lock braking system.
- Tell me how you would check the tyres to make sure that there is adequate tread depth and that their general condition is safe for the roads.
- Tell me how you would ensure the head restraint is adjusted correctly so that it provides the best protection should you crash your vehicle.
- A “show me” question, which happens while you are driving.
- When it is safe to do so, can you show me how you would open and close the side window?
- When it is safe to do so, can you show me how you would set the demister at the rear of the vehicle?
- When it is safe to do so, can you show me how you would wash and clean the front windscreen?
3. General driving ability
Now, your general driving ability will be tested in numerous traffic and road conditions, except the motorway. Your instructor will give you directions to follow throughout.
You will be asked to pull over and drive away during your driving test. This might include:
- Routine stops at the side of a road
- Pulling out from behind a vehicle that is parked
- Completing a hill start
You will also be asked to do one of the following exercises:
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road
- Park in a parking bay (either by reversing in and driving out or by driving in and reversing out – the examiner will tell you which one you need to do)
- Parallel park at the side of the road
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop. There is a one in three chance of this happening during your practical driving test.
4. Independent driving
You will also be required to drive independently for approximately 20 minutes. You can do this by following traffic signs or taking directions from a sat nav provided by the examiner. It’s not your choice, though, as your driving instructor will tell you which one you have to follow.
If you are instructed to follow traffic signs, yet you cannot see them because they are obstructed, for example, if a tree covers the sign, your driving instructor will give you directions until you are able to see the next sign.
A lot of people panic about the prospect of following traffic signs or using a sat nav. Don’t worry; you’re not being tested on your knowledge of the local area. You won’t be given a fault if you take a wrong turn. In fact, your instructor will help you to get back on the correct route.
If you make an error during your test, try to breathe and avoid getting flustered. Not all mistakes impact your test result. If the error is minor, you still may pass your driving test. Your driving instructor will only stop your test if they believe your driving is a danger to other people on the roads.
Pass Your Practical Driving Test In Birmingham With Bill Plant Driving School
At Bill Plant Driving School, we prepare students for their driving tests at many test centres across Birmingham, including Kings Heath Test Centre, Birmingham Garretts Green Test Centre, Kingstanding Test Centre, and more. For high-quality driving lessons in Birmingham, call us today on 0330 555 2254 or visit our website.