Learner drivers in Leeds have a wide range of centres to choose from when taking their practical driving test. Thanks to the abundance of test centres in the West Yorkshire area, booking an exam within a reasonable time frame isn’t too much of a problem.
Whether you’re based in Bradford, Wakefield or Halifax, you can be sure that there’s a test centre right on your doorstep. Below, we’ve collected the information for the three most popular test centres in and around Leeds. We’ve also provided quick overviews of some other West Yorkshire centres.
Leeds Driving Test Centres
There are several driving test centre locations to choose from. Here is a list of the driving test centres in and around Leeds and where to find them.
Harehills Driving Test Centre
Harehills Driving Test Centre is the closest practical test location to Leeds city centre. For this reason, the centre is super popular all year round. If you plan to take your test at Harehills, it’s best to get your test date booked well.
Hillcrest House, 386 Harehills Lane,
The driving test
The roads around the Harehills Driving Test Centre are mixed and fairly challenging. The A58 and A64 are both busy urban roads, whilst the quieter streets around Harehills Cemetery can be clogged with parked cars and difficult to navigate.
Your instructor should spend plenty of time helping you get to know the area around the test centre during your driving lessons in Leeds.
In 2020, the pass rate at Harehills Driving Test Centre was 34.7%. This is below the UK average of 46% and is lower than many other West Yorkshire centres. On the plus side, if you can comfortably drive around Harehills, you’re an accomplished driver.
Horsforth Driving Test Centre
Leeds-based learners that don’t take their test at Harehills will usually end up at Horsforth. This location is well outside the city centre, but various road types still exist to navigate during the test.
Room 013 Woodside House, 261 Low Lane, Horsforth,
The driving test
This Leeds test centre is close to Leeds-Bradford airport, so it has a slightly more remote setting than Harehills. There are some big dual carriageways to navigate and some narrow country lanes.
Apart from the Harehills Leeds Driving Test Centre, one of Horsforth’s biggest factors is the pass rate. In 2020, 45.1% of drivers passed their tests in Horsforth. This isn’t necessarily a reason to choose Horsforth over Harehills, but it might be something to take into consideration.
Thornbury Driving Test Centre
Thornbury Driving Test Centre is a great option for learners who live towards Bradford. Thornbury has a super accessible location between Leeds and Bradford, attracting learners from a wide surrounding area.
If you’re waiting for a test at Harehills or Horsforth, it might be worth signing up for driving test cancellation notifications for Thornbury.
The Courtyard, Midpoint, Thornbury,
The driving test
The outskirts of Bradford, where Thornbury is located, feature various roads. The test routes typically feature the A647 or A6177, so familiarise yourself with these roads before your test date.
With a pass rate of 45.9% in 2020, Thornbury Driving Test Centre has the highest success rate of the three main centres near Leeds.
Other test centres in West Yorkshire
These three driving test centres aren’t the only ones around Leeds. There are several centres across West Yorkshire that you can book for a practical test. If there’s a long waiting list at your local centre, it might be worth looking further afield for an earlier test date.
Wakefield is a moderately sized test centre that tests a high number of learners every single year. Wakefield is easily accessible via the A638, so it attracts drivers from across West Yorkshire.
The area surrounding the centre features a mixture of urban and residential roads, and you’ll see a range of them during a driving test. Wakefield has a high pass rate compared to other centres in Leeds. In 2020, 43.5% of drivers passed their tests at Wakefield.
Heckmondwike is an ideally-located test centre for drivers learning in Brighouse and nearby areas. Located right in the town’s High Street, it’s a centre that’s very accessible and easy to find.
In 2020, 40.9% of learners passed at Heckmondwike. This is lower than Wakefield but higher than many West Yorkshire centres.
For learners based in Harrogate, Knaresborough is a convenient driving test centre. It can be found on a business park off the A658, meaning budding drivers from further afield won’t have a problem getting to Knaresborough for a driving test.
A wide variety of road types around the Knaresborough centre make the practical test quite challenging. That said, the pass rate in 2020 at this location was 49%, which is easily one of the highest in the area.
Situated in North Bradford, Heaton is a top-rated test centre. Learners taking their driving tests here should take some time to get to know the area since examiners often take you down some busy suburban roads for a challenge.
The pass rate at Heaton was 41.8% in 2020.
Pontefract Driving Test Centre is yet another bust location in West Yorkshire. Located to the southeast of Leeds, Pontefract is a viable test centre for anyone living in and around the city. The test centre is also pretty close to the A1 and M62 motorway, making it more accessible for learner drivers.
43.3% of drivers passed their test in Pontefract in 2020. This seems to be around the average for the West Yorkshire test centres.
What Does A Practical Driving Test Consist Of?
The practical driving test can be broken down into five main parts in the UK. Each of these parts is designed to test a different element of your driving ability. This way, the examiner can get a full overview of you as a driver in the short time they’re on the road with you.
The driving test only lasts around 40 minutes, which flies by when you’re behind the wheel.
1. Eyesight check
The first and most important part of the test is the eyesight check. On your way out of the test centre, the examiner will ask you to read a number plate around 20 metres away. If you can’t make out the plate from there, the examiner will end the test immediately.
The eyesight check is nothing to worry about. If you wear glasses to see at a distance, remember to take them with you!
2. Show me, Tell me questions
The next element of the test is the “show me, tell me” section. This involves the examiner asking you two different vehicle safety questions that you should know the answers to. The first question will be the “tell me”, which happens at the start of the test, and the “show me” question will be asked whilst you’re driving.
Of course, your Bill Plant Driving School instructor will ensure that you have a solid understanding of vehicle safety and know exactly how to answer all the show me, tell me questions.
3. General driving ability
As you probably guessed, your driving ability will be under scrutiny for the entirety of the test. From the moment you pull away from the test centre until you park back up at the end, the examiner will be making sure you know what you’re doing.
You’ll be asked to pull over at the side of the road, and the examiner will give you directions to follow.
4. Reversing manoeuvre
Everyone who takes a practical test will be asked to complete one of four reversing manoeuvres. The possible exercises are:
- Parallel park
- Bay park
- Pull up on the right and reverse
You’ll have practised these manoeuvres many times during your lessons, so you’ll have no trouble showing the examiner what you can do on the test date.
5. Independent driving
The final part of the practical test is independent driving. This is where you’ll have to drive for around 20 minutes whilst following traffic signs or a sat nav. The examiner will let you know which one you’ll follow during the test.
This might sound scary, but in reality, it’s just the same as driving around with your instructor. There’s no penalty for taking a wrong turn – as long as you stay relaxed and calm, the independent drive should be a breeze.
Pass Your Practical Driving Test In Leeds With Bill Plant Driving School
Leeds is a great place to learn to drive. With a wide range of road types to practice in and around the city, budding drivers will be fully prepared for independent driving once they’ve passed their test.
The best way to pass your practical driving test is to team up with an instructor who will build your confidence from day one. Here at Bill Plant Driving School, we offer driving lessons across West Yorkshire and can give you the tools you need to become a safe and competent driver.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services. Our friendly team would be delighted to answer any questions you have about learning to drive with Bill Plant Driving School.