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Hertfordshire Driving Test Centres: Your Essential Guide

In our Essential Guide series, we’re taking you through the driving test centres of the UK, one county at a time. This means you can get all the important details about test centres in your local area, and find out which suits you best. In this guide, we’ll be reviewing the test centres of Hertfordshire.

There are no fewer than six test centres across Hertfordshire, meaning that learners here have plenty to choose from. We’ll go through each of them, providing information about parking, disabled access, pass rates and more.


Test Centres

Bishop’s Stortford
Borehamwood
Letchworth
St Albans
Stevenage
Watford
Note: the Hemel Hempstead practical test centre closed in October 2019.

Bishop’s Stortford

Bishop's Stortford street view image

BISHOP’S STORTFORD FACT FILE
Address South Road
Bishop’s Stortford
Hertfordshire
CM23 3JQ

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes; male and female
Disabled access? You can get into the test centre in a wheelchair
2019/20 pass rate 46.2%

To begin our rundown of Hertfordshire’s practical test centres, we head to the eastern edge of the county and the town of Bishop’s Stortford. Perhaps best known for its proximity to Stansted Airport, we’re staying firmly on the ground as we snoop around the Bishop’s Stortford driving test centre.

The test centre itself lies on South Road, part of the B1529. This links the surrounding area directly to the town centre of Bishop’s Stortford, which lies around half a mile to the north. If starting here, your route will likely head through the heart of the town, with the potential to take in areas such as Hockerill, Thorley Street and Birchanger.

Given the relatively rural surroundings in this part of the Home Counties, Bishop’s Stortford serves as the test centre for a surprisingly large area. Not only does it serve parts of eastern Hertfordshire, including Ware, but it also covers many locations in Essex, including Harlow, Great Dunmow, and Saffron Walden.

Pass rates here in 2019/20 were very close to the national average, standing at 46.2% compared to 45.9% nationally. If taking your test here, you can rest assured that you’re neither at a disadvantage nor an advantage compared to anywhere else. Put in the prep and you can do this!


Borehamwood

Borehamwood street view image

BOREHAMWOOD FACT FILE
Address Unit 1
Stirling Court
Stirling Way
Borehamwood
Hertfordshire
WD6 2BT

Parking? Yes; barrier controlled car park opposite test centre
Toilets? Yes; male and female
Disabled access? No information
2019/20 pass rate 50.7%

Next in our tour of Hertfordshire is Borehamwood. Despite being a fairly modest-sized town, it’s often featured on our screens due to its status as one of the UK’s top filming locations. Perhaps less well known is the Borehamwood practical test centre—but that changes now!

Getting to the test centre is a breeze, as its location on Stirling Way is a mere 5-minute drive from Borehamwood town centre. Even if you don’t live in Borehamwood itself, it won’t be difficult to get here, as the centre lies just off the A1. Just remember that you should arrive no more than 10 minutes before the time of your test, and that you can’t practise on site.

Routes from this test centre are likely to include the aforementioned A1, which is the closest major dual carriageway. Your lessons should cover a wide area, to reflect the possibility for Borehamwood routes to extend outwards to nearby Elstree, Barnet and Edgware.

Lying in a densely-populated area, this test centre is the closest option for only a small number of locations: Borehamwood itself and the town of Elstree. However, it serves as a useful backup for the nearby larger areas of Watford, Barnet and Edgware. And there’s a good reason why they may choose to come here: the pass rate is above 50%, making it the best in Hertfordshire!


Letchworth

Letchworth street view image

LETCHWORTH FACT FILE
Address Jackmans Place
Letchworth Garden City
Hertfordshire
SG6 1RF

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes; male and female
Disabled access? Arrangements will be made at this test centre if you have a disability
2019/20 pass rate 46.6%

This next one is for those of you living in the far north of Hertfordshire, as we arrive in Letchworth Garden City. The Letchworth practical test centre boasts one of the more surprising locations, as it’s found not in a business park or industrial estate, but instead in a residential part of town. Will it have any other surprises in store for those who take their test here?

Test routes here are likely to take in parts of Letchworth’s town centre, which comes with plenty of mini roundabouts to deal with. You’ll also need to be aware of the one-way systems in place in parts of town. Outside of the town itself, your route could extend east towards the Baldock area, or south-west towards Purwell, which lies in between Letchworth and Hitchin.

Letchworth serves a larger coverage area than just the town itself. It’s also the closest option for those living in nearby Hitchin, which you may have expected. More surprisingly, though, learners from as far afield as Royston and Biggleswade should also head towards Letchworth for their practical test.

Pass rates here have been fairly stable in recent years, never straying more than a couple of percentage points from the national average. The figures from 2019/20 showed an overall pass rate of 46.6% compared to a GB-wide average of 45.9%. No reason to despair, then—but no reason to be complacent either. Be sure to read our top 5 ways to impress your examiner for some helpful tips!


St Albans

St Albans street view image

ST ALBANS FACT FILE
Address Beauver House
6 Bricket Road
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL1 3JX

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes; male and female
Disabled access? You can get into the test centre in a wheelchair
2019/20 pass rate 41.8%

The only city in Hertfordshire happens to be the next stop on our tour of the county’s test centres. St Albans has long had a connection with roadways, once lying on the major Roman road of Watling Street. Today things may have moved on from the days of chariots and centurions, but there’s still a Watling Street in town, and getting around remains as important as ever.

Learners hoping to get their hands on a full licence in this area will need to head to the St Albans practical test centre. Conveniently, it’s located in the heart of the city, just around the corner from the main shopping street. This does, of course, mean that you’ll have to deal with busy traffic conditions at virtually any time, with particularly tricky conditions for those taking 8am tests during rush hour.

Given St Albans’ size, and the variety of road types found within the city, any test routes starting from this centre are likely to be contained within the local area. Some drivers may, however, be required to head out towards the Smallford area, close to Hatfield. The A414 (North Orbital) is likely to appear on some test routes; be aware that this road carries the national speed limit in some stretches.

Lying relatively centrally within Hertfordshire, the St Albans driving test centre serves several large towns within the local area. As well as the city of St Albans itself, this should be the test centre of choice for learners from Harpenden, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City. It’s also served as the closest centre for Hemel Hempstead since 2019, when Hemel’s Fire Station test centre closed.


Stevenage

Stevenage street view image

STEVENAGE FACT FILE
Address 3 Drapers Way
Stevenage
Hertfordshire
SG1 3DT

Parking? No
Toilets? No
Disabled access? Arrangements will be made at this test centre if you have a disability
2019/20 pass rate 48.7%

We return to the northern part of Hertfordshire for our next centre, which can be found in Stevenage. The image above may be deceiving: it’s not the estate agent that we’re focusing on, but rather the small entrance just to the right. That’s where you can find the Stevenage driving test centre. Be aware that the waiting room is found upstairs; if you are unable to access the room via the steps, be sure to let the test centre know in advance.

There are another couple of pieces of bad news when it comes to this test centre, as it has no toilet facilities, and no parking spaces. The latter isn’t too surprising when you take a look at the location of the centre, which is on a fairly narrow side road, both sides of which feature yellow lines. Close by, though, you’ll be able to find parking facilities on Primett Road. Note, however, that this is a paid car park.

Your test will start out in Stevenage’s old town, with virtually all routes either starting or ending on the High Street. This features parking spaces on both sides of the road, so you’ll need to pay attention to any emerging traffic. It’s also possible that you could be asked to carry out a bay park here. Virtually any neighbourhood in Stevenage could appear on your test, as well as the Broadhall Way and Martins Way dual carriageways.

There’s no shortage of test centres in Hertfordshire, meaning that this test centre primarily serves just the town of Stevenage and its immediate surroundings, including Knebworth. However, it’s also worth considering for learners living in northern parts of Welwyn, as well as for those in the Hertford area. Pass rates here stand at 48.7%, slightly above the national average.


Watford

Watford street view image

WATFORD FACT FILE
Address CP House
Otterspool Way
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD25 8HU

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes; male and female
Disabled access? Arrangements will be made at this test centre if you have a disability
2019/20 pass rate 48.8%

We round off our Hertfordshire driving test centre rundown with a trip to the largest town in the county: Watford. It’s a case of last but not least here, as, despite being one of the busiest parts of the county, the Watford practical test centre comes with a not-too-shabby pass rate of 48.8%. That’s around 3% above the national average! Not a bad start for Watford, then—but what else is there to know about the test centre?

Let’s start with the matter of arriving to the test. Conveniently, there’s a car park on site reserved for driving test candidates only. You’ll be able to find it on the opposite side of Otterspool Way to the centre itself, which is found in CP House. As you may expect, the car park is on the small side, meaning that spaces are limited. To help keep things as free as possible, don’t arrive here more than 10 minutes before your test’s start time, and don’t practise here between 8am and 4pm.

Test routes here often head towards Watford town centre. If this is the case for you, then prepare to tackle the major roundabout at the Waterfields junction. With the test centre lying close to the A41, you can also expect this busy dual carriageway to feature on your drive. Elsewhere, you may end up in more residential areas, such as North Watford, Bushey or Oxhey.

Watford is the best option for learners from across a swathe of western Hertfordshire, taking in towns such as Rickmansworth and Abbots Langley, as well as serving as a secondary option for candidates from Hemel Hempstead. It’s even a good option for those living in parts of Buckinghamshire, such as Little Chalfont. This is an easy test centre to access thanks to its location close to the A41 and M1, with the latter affording you the opportunity to practise motorway driving with your instructor.


That’s all for the driving test centres in Hertfordshire! We’ve got plenty more guides where that one came from, though. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the centres in different parts of the country, then be sure to check out the articles in the list below.

Be sure to check back as we continue our tour around the test centres of Britain. Maybe your county will appear soon!

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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