Nottinghamshire Driving Test Centres: Your Essential Guide

As PassMeFast has grown, we’ve endeavoured to learn everything there is to know about the areas we cover across the UK. In pursuit of this, we’ve assembled Essential Guides on each county’s test centres. In this guide, we focus on the five Nottinghamshire driving test centres.

This county boasts no fewer than five test centres, three of which lie in close proximity to the county’s major city of Nottingham. Each test centre, however, offers a unique set of challenges to the budding learner driver. Read on for the information you need before taking your test!

Test Centres

Nottingham (Chilwell)
Nottingham (Colwick)


Ashfield street view image

Address Ground Floor, Sherwood House
Off Coxmoor Road
NG17 5LA

Parking? Yes
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? You can get into the test centre in a wheelchair
2017/18 pass rate 58.0%

Where better to begin our tour around the Nottinghamshire driving test centres than in the place with the county’s highest 2017/18 pass rates? Yep, this year it was Ashfield‘s learner drivers who took that crown, with a remarkable 58.0% of tests taken here ending up with candidates receiving their full UK driving licence.

With pass rates far outstripping the national average, you may be fooled into thinking that test routes here are a cakewalk. This is certainly not the case. Almost as soon as you leave the test centre, you’ll be driving on the busy A38 road which links the Ashfield area to both Mansfield and Derby, just over the county border in Derbyshire. You’ll also experience more urban conditions in the town of Sutton-in-Ashfield itself.

Found just to the east of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Ashfield is intended to serve as the go-to test centre for a wider area of western Nottinghamshire, including the town of Mansfield. As such, its location is not central: this test centre is over a mile away on foot from the nearest train station, Sutton Parkway. If you’re on a PassMeFast course, however, this won’t be an issue—home and workplace pickups come as standard!

Nottingham (Chilwell)

Nottingham (Chilwell) street view image

Address Unit 24
Eldon Business Park
Eldon Road

Parking? N/A
Toilets? N/A
Disabled access? N/A
2017/18 pass rate 40.7%

Next up is one of the two driving test centres serving the city of Nottingham: Chilwell test centre. Chilwell opened its doors to candidates for the first time in April 2016 as part of an overhaul of Nottinghamshire driving test centres that saw the city’s Beeston and Clifton test centres close. As such, this is Nottingham’s newest driving test centre.

Chilwell made a fairly inauspicious start; pass rates here lagged 6.6% behind those of neighbouring Colwick test centre in 2016/17, though the gap narrowed slightly to 5.8% in 2017/18. It’s easy to see why learners may find roads around here somewhat tricky, though, especially with the presence of the complex roundabout on Brian Clough Way (A52) at Bramcote, which local instructors have railed against.

Nonetheless, the test centre’s location close to Long Eaton, Beeston, and residential areas for students of the University of Nottingham makes this a popular choice—and it’s only eight minutes’ walk from the nearby Attenborough train station for those arriving on foot. (Psst… if you are a student, be sure to check out our student discount to get even more for your money!)

Nottingham (Colwick)

Nottingham (Colwick) street view image

Address Private Road No 5
Colwick Industrial Estate

Parking? No
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? You can get into the test centre in a wheelchair
2017/18 pass rate 46.5%

We move on to Nottingham’s second and longer-established driving test centre: Colwick. Though also an urban test centre, Colwick’s candidates have performed somewhat better than those in other major cities, with a pass rate of 46.5% sitting fractionally above the national average of 46.3%. In an overachieving county, though, this is only good enough for fourth place out of the five Nottinghamshire driving test centres. Learners here seem to take to the road like ducks to water!

If taking your test at Colwick, you may find yourself performing a manoeuvre very early (or very late!) in your test due to the presence of the nearby Victoria Retail Park, where you may be asked to perform a bay park. Other possible manoeuvres you may need to perform are parallel parking, or the newest test manoeuvre: pulling up on the right-hand side of the road and rejoining the traffic.

In contrast to the Chilwell test centre, which serves western Nottingham, Colwick sits on the eastern outskirts of the city. Colwick’s location also makes it a good choice for learners from eastern parts of Nottinghamshire, including Newark-on-Trent, and it lies within walking distance of both the Carlton and Netherfield train stations.


Watnall street view image

Address Driving Test Centre Watnall LGV
Main Road
NG16 1JF

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 49.7%

Though not officially named as a Nottingham test centre, as is the case for Chilwell and Colwick, Watnall lies close enough to the city itself to serve as a third option for local learners. As an added bonus, pass rates here are higher than at the two aforementioned test centres, standing at 49.7%.

The relative quiet of Watnall itself compared to its urban neighbour may give some candidates the impression that this is an easier choice. In truth, however, those learning to drive in the Watnall area will face some challenging scenarios that urban drivers may never have to face, including single track roads such as the appropriately named Narrow Lane. The hustle and bustle of the M1 is just a few minutes’ drive from Watnall itself, though—so, even though it won’t feature on your test, be sure to take motorway lessons with your instructor!

Watnall test centre, like most in the county, lies close to Nottinghamshire’s western border. As such, it serves a wide area, including Nottingham’s northern suburbs, nearby towns like Eastwood and even areas of Derbyshire, such as the town of Ilkeston.


Worksop street view image

Address Unit 4
The Point
Coach Road
S81 8BW

Parking? No
Toilets? Yes: male, female and disabled
Disabled access? N/A
2017/18 pass rate 56.0%

The last stop on our journey around the Nottinghamshire driving test centres is Worksop. This is the northernmost of the county’s five test centres, and rivals Ashfield for the county’s highest pass rate, narrowly losing that battle in 2017/18 by just two percentage points. Worksop test centre actually lies just outside the town that gives it its name, in the smaller village of Shireoaks.

Expecting slower conditions? Think again. The Worksop driving test centre actually lies close to the A57, meaning learners can expect a dual carriageway featuring the national speed limit to appear on their test. Contrasting this are more rural conditions in nearby villages, while test routes may also take in residential areas in the town of Worksop itself.

Worksop test centre may count as one of the five Nottinghamshire driving test centres, but it lies right on the county’s border with South Yorkshire. Indeed, the test centre has become a popular alternative for learners from Rotherham and Sheffield in addition to candidates from Worksop and northern Nottinghamshire. Making the test centre an even more convenient option is the presence of Shireoaks train station just eight minutes away.

With pass rates varying across the county and with each test centre offering unique challenges, it may be tempting to try to game the system by being selective about where you take your test. In reality, though, the smartest move is always to learn close to home. After all, it’s here that you’ll be driving every day. You might be able to escape that pesky roundabout for a little while, but you’ll have to face it at some point!

An even better option is to come to PassMeFast for your lessons. All of our courses are taught by experienced instructors who know the local roads like the back of their hand. These motoring gurus will impart their considerable wisdom to you, helping even a driving novice to gain confidence and pass within weeks.

All you have to do is call us on 0333 123 4949, or book online to get things started. Your driving wish is our command!

Live outside Nottinghamshire? Check out our other test centre guides:

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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