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East London Driving Test Centres: Your Essential Guide

East London Driving Test Centres

Spanning an area from Sydenham to South Ockendon, there’s plenty to see here in East London. If you’re preparing to take your driving test, though, the venues you’ll have in mind are the nine East London driving test centres. In this Essential Guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on all of them, helping you to make an informed decision on where to head. You’ll also get useful stats and info on your chosen test centre, including everything from likely test routes to pass rates.


Test Centres

Barking (Tanner Street)
Belvedere
Chingford
Erith
Goodmayes
Hither Green
Hornchurch
Sidcup
Wanstead

Barking (Tanner Street)

Barking (Tanner Street) street view image

BARKING (TANNER STREET) FACT FILE
Address 84 Tanner Street
Barking
Greater London
IG11 8QF

Parking? No
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? Arrangements will be made at this test centre if you have a disability
2017/18 pass rate 34.3%

Following the closure of Town Quay in late 2018, Tanner Street has stood as Barking’s only remaining test centre. One of the more unusual test centres in the capital, Tanner Street test centre is found in a converted terraced house. Figuring out why the DVSA selected this location, however, isn’t too difficult, as the surrounding area provides exactly the kind of challenging road conditions to put candidates through their paces on the practical test.

To begin with, the test centre lies roughly in between two A roads: the A123 and A124. Then, on the approach to nearby Barking town centre, drivers also come across features such as a multi-lane roundabout, a number of different types of pedestrian crossings, and several bus stops. Not much further away is the North Circular Road, which carries a much faster 50 mph speed limit.

If you’re arriving in the area by public transport, you’ll be happy to learn that the test centre lies just 8 minutes’ walk from the Barking railway station. This makes it easy to reach from across the Barking and Dagenham area, as well as from further afield. If arriving by road, expect to travel along the aforementioned North Circular, or the A13 to the south of Barking itself.


Belvedere

Belvedere street view image

BELVEDERE FACT FILE
Address 33 Woolwich Road
Belvedere
Greater London
DA17 5EE

Parking? No
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? Arrangements will be made at this test centre if you have a disability
2017/18 pass rate 32.9%

A few years ago, Belvedere test centre hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, with the BBC dubbing it the location with “the toughest driving test” in the country. As of the most recent figures, this is no longer the case, with Belvedere having lost the dubious title to Yeading in West London. Nonetheless, it remains the case that candidates taking their test here can expect significantly lower pass rates than the national average—just 32.9% in 2017/18.

It’s not too much of a surprise to see that candidates can struggle here in Belvedere. Drive just a couple of minutes from Woolwich Road, and you’ll find narrow, car-lined streets that will test any driver’s hazard perception. As well as these residential areas, you can expect a number of high-speed A roads to appear on your test in Belvedere, too.

Belvedere is one of three test centres in the Bexley area, together with Erith and Sidcup. Additionally, given its proximity to the Belvedere railway station, this test centre is also well connected to parts of central London and Kent. Also close at hand is the A206, which links the Belvedere area to Greenwich and Dartford.


Chingford

Chingford street view image

CHINGFORD FACT FILE
Address Doric House
128 Station Road
Chingford
Greater London
E4 6AD

Parking? Limited car parking is available
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 35.4%

Lying at the northern end of the Waltham Forest area, and near to Greater London’s borders with both Essex and Hertfordshire, is the Chingford driving test centre. Those heading here won’t need to worry about finding the right location—it lies very conspicuously amidst a row of shops.

The main A roads likely to appear on your test include the A1069, on which the test centre lies, and the A104, which links the Chingford area with Epping in Essex. Given its location at the very edge of Greater London, Chingford test routes are somewhat more likely to encompass rural areas. However, your test will likely focus on areas such as Friday Hill and Buckhurst Hill.

This test centre is one of the easiest to reach by public transport, located directly across from the Chingford London Overground station. This links the test centre to those living more centrally, making this a particularly good option for those travelling from the City and Hackney.


Erith

Erith street view image

ERITH FACT FILE
Address Crabtree
Manor Way North
Erith
Greater London
DA17 6LJ

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 30.6%

If your eyes immediately darted to the pass rate section of the fact file above, you may have let out an inadvertent, audible gasp. It’s true: of the 7,678 tests taken at the Erith test centre in 2017/18, only 2,348 passed. This makes it the second-worst test centre in the capital, after the seldom-used Yeading, and third-worst in the country, behind The Pavilion in Birmingham. Nonetheless, passing here is far from impossible—it just requires a bit more preparation.

So, what can you expect when taking your test in Erith? Well, this test centre lies very close to the oft-maligned Belvedere test centre, and many of the roads you’ll be taking to are likely to be similar, if not the same. The A2016 road will almost certainly make an appearance, alongside the Eastern Way, with a couple of major roundabouts lying close to the test centre likely to trip up some candidates.

If you’ve decided to take your test here, but need to travel from other parts of London, then the nearest railway station is Belvedere. However, this lies around half an hour’s walk from the test centre, and, as such, may not be convenient unless you’re being picked up by your instructor around the station itself. If you need to get closer to the test centre, hop on a bus to the Crabtree Manor Way North stop.


Goodmayes

Goodmayes street view image

GOODMAYES FACT FILE
Address 98 Goodmayes Road
Ilford
Greater London
IG3 9UZ

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? Arrangements will be made at this test centre if you have a disability
2017/18 pass rate 38.5%

One of two test centres in the Redbridge area, Goodmayes primarily serves candidates from around the town of Ilford. Like the Chingford test centre above, the Goodmayes driving test centre can be found on a shopping parade—but you’ll need to keep an eye out for this one. Look out for the “Driving Test Centre Entrance” sign above the door to make sure you don’t miss it!

In 2017/18, Goodmayes was far and away the most popular test centre in the country, with almost 30,000 tests taken here—well ahead of their nearest rivals in Pinner, which saw only 18,000. The tens of thousands who took their test here would have taken to dual carriageways such as the A12, as well as residential estates in the Goodmayes and Seven Kings areas.

The Goodmayes railway station is only three minutes away from the test centre—so, if you need to travel out from a central location to meet your instructor, taking the train will be an ideal option. Driving to the test centre? The A118 is your friend. This road runs pretty straight between Tower Hamlets  and Essex, with the test centre lying close to the middle. (Speaking of this neighbouring county—did you know that PassMeFast offers driving courses in Essex, too?)


Hither Green

Hither Green street view image

HITHER GREEN FACT FILE
Address 42-44 Ennersdale Road
Hither Green
Greater London
SE13 6JD

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 46.6%

With the DVSA having wisely avoided siting any driving test centres in the central London, Hither Green is one of the nearest you’ll get to the heart of the capital. The Hither Green test centre is located in the Lewisham area of south-east London. Though listed as Ennersdale Road, you’ll need to head down a side road to get to the entrance of the test centre itself. Keep an eye out for signposts marked with “Driving Test Centre” to get on the right path.

On your test, there’s a strong chance that you’ll encounter the A20, which runs to the north of the Hither Green area, or the A205 to the south. There’s also an unusual oval-shaped roundabout at the junction of the A205 and A210 that you’ll need to acquaint yourself with. Nonetheless, despite the urban conditions, pass rates here are some of the highest in East London, at 46.6%.

With Hither Green lying so centrally, this is a great option for those living in nearby Southwark and Lambeth as well as in Lewisham itself. This part of London doesn’t have any Underground lines (Lewisham is DLR territory), but the Hither Green railway station means that connections to Kent and central London are quick and easy. Another great reason to book your test here!


Hornchurch

Hornchurch street view image

HORNCHURCH FACT FILE
Address 75 Station Lane
Hornchurch
Romford
Greater London
RM12 6JX

Parking? No
Toilets? No
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 46.7%

The furthest east of any test centre in Greater London, Hornchurch has a more impressive superlative attached to it, too: its pass rate of 46.7% is the highest in East London. Great news for learners in the Havering area! As the photo above suggests, Hornchurch test centre is found amidst—you guessed it—a row of shops, and lies somewhere between Goodmayes and Chingford in terms of being easy to find.

While far from a quiet area, Hornchurch test routes are firmly suburban rather than urban. You’ll still see major A roads on your test, though, including the often busy A127, or Southend Arterial Road. You’ll also have your hazard perception put to the test in residential estates, with nearby Upminster, Harold Wood and Romford all possible areas to visit.

Interested in directions? Well, this test centre is found on Station Road—and, in that respect, it lives up to its name. Indeed, it lies within a short walk of both the District line of the London Underground (alight at Hornchurch) and London Overground services from Emerson Park.


Sidcup

Sidcup street view image

SIDCUP FACT FILE
Address 2 Crayside
Five Arches Business Estate
Maidstone Road
Sidcup
Greater London
DA14 5AQ

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 45.1%

While two of Bexley’s driving test centres have made something of a reputation for themselves with poor pass rates, Sidcup has established itself as the best option of the three. Its 45.1% pass rate may not be much to shout about in certain parts of the country—but it sits around 15% ahead of the figures in Erith!

Tests here start from the Five Arches Business Estate, and are likely to proceed onwards to the Sidcup Bypass Road (A20). You’ll experience busier conditions if your test route includes Sidcup town centre, while your test may also encompass nearby areas such as Chislehurst and Foots Cray.

Getting to the Sidcup driving test centre by rail isn’t the most feasible option, with Sidcup railway station, the closest available, lying 35 minutes away by foot. No worries, though—your instructor will typically be able to pick you up at home, work, or another location of your choosing. It’s all included as standard with a PassMeFast course!


Wanstead

Wanstead street view image

WANSTEAD FACT FILE
Address 2 Devon House
Hermon Hill
Wanstead
Greater London
E11 2AW

Parking? No information
Toilets? No
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 33.4%

We’ve crossed the Thames plenty of times on our journey though East London’s driving test centres—and we hop back up north one final time as we make our last stop in Wanstead. The Wanstead driving test centre is the second in the Redbridge area, but also lies close to Stratford in Newham, as well as to Walthamstow in Waltham Forest.

We see test pass rates dip back into the thirties here, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise in an urban area such as this. Candidates here will be expected to tackle busy conditions in central Wanstead, and are likely to find themselves on the A12 at some point on their test. There’s even the possibility of a tunnel making an appearance!

The Underground is the best way of reaching this test centre if you need to head here by public transport. You can take your pick of two stops on the Central line, with the closest being Snaresbrook on the Epping branch. Taken the wrong train? No worries—though (somewhat illogically) Wanstead is a little further, it’s still only a 9-minute walk.


Want to learn more about the other test centres we cover across the UK? Check out the other articles in our Essential Guide series.

By Andy Boardman

Andy has been part of the PassMeFast Blog team from the very beginning. He'll provide you with plenty of useful motoring advice, helping you to get the most out of every trip. When he's not writing here, you're most likely to find Andy on the way to his next destination.

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