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South London Driving Test Centres: Your Essential Guide

South London Driving Test Centres

Welcome to another edition of our Essential Guide series! In this series of articles, we profile every test centre we cover across the UK. Here, we’ll take a look at the test centres across South London. This region stretches from Surbiton in the west to Orpington in the east, with its six boroughs being home to more than 1.6 million people. Those living here have five driving test centres to choose from—so, let’s find out some more about each of them.


Test Centres

Croydon
Mitcham
Morden
Tolworth
West Wickham

Croydon

Croydon street view image

CROYDON FACT FILE
Address 111 Canterbury Road
Croydon
Greater London
CR0 3HH

Parking? Limited parking is available at this centre
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 37.6%

Kicking off this Essential Guide is Croydon. The Croydon driving test centre played host to over 6,000 car driving tests between April 2017 and March 2018. Remarkably, though, this is still fewer than any of the other South London driving test centres. One reason for this may be its pass rate; 37.6% is hardly the worst percentage in London, but it is lower than many of its near neighbours.

It’s not too surprising that some learners have struggled here, though, as many test routes pass close to central Croydon, where roads can be busy throughout the day. After taking the A235 north, candidates are likely to then head to areas such as Thornton Heath and Pollards Hill, which offer a different set of challenges in the form of residential streets.

Despite these potential setbacks, this remains the obvious test centre of choice for anyone living in the Croydon area. Meanwhile, those looking to travel to their lessons from locations in central London may well find Croydon an attractive choice due to its fast rail links. The same applies to those living in Wandsworth, the only one of South London’s six boroughs without its own test centre.


Mitcham

Mitcham street view image

MITCHAM FACT FILE
Address Driving Test Centre Mitcham
Redhouse Road
Mitcham
Greater London
CR0 3AQ

Parking? Limited parking is available at this test centre
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 41.2%

The Mitcham driving test centre made it into the top ten test centres in 2017/18 when it came to the number of tests that took place there. Indeed, 11,980 practical tests started right here in just 12 months! Pass rates here are virtually identical to the London average—so, while the figures may appear a little shabby on the surface, you can rest assured that candidates across the capital are going through the exact same thing.

This test centre lies close to the A236, and this busy road linking Croydon to Mitcham will certainly feature on your test. This is one instance where the time of your test may well come into play: someone taking an 8am test will see very different conditions to someone driving outside of rush hour! Tests here won’t necessarily stick solely to Mitcham: Beddington, Wallington and Thornton Heath may all appear, including an unusual roundabout at Thornton Heath Pond.

Despite being named after Mitcham and having a Croydon postcode, this test centre lies (just!) within the boundaries of Sutton. In fact, since the closure of Carshalton test centre, this is the last one standing in the borough. For those travelling to the test centre by rail, nearby Mitcham Junction’s connections to Victoria and Surrey will make this a convenient option for those from across a wider area.


Morden

Morden street view image

MORDEN FACT FILE
Address 10 Tudor Drive
Morden
Greater London
SM4 4PE

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 45.4%

The third destination we reach in our whistle-stop tour is the Morden driving test centre. 14,684 driving tests were taken here in 2017/18, making this the fifth most popular test centre in the entire country. By the same token, it’s the most frequented of the South London driving test centres. It might not look the part on first glance, though—we bet you didn’t expect it to be right above a barber’s!

This isn’t the time to pop in for a new do, though—you’re here for your test! Practical test routes starting here take in areas such as Morden itself, as well as nearby Sutton, Cheam and West Barnes. Major A roads you’re likely to encounter along the way include the A24A217 and A297, mixed with a variety of suburban and residential areas.

Morden is the only driving test centre found within the London Borough of Merton, an area also encompassing nearby Colliers Wood and Wimbledon. The closest train station to the area, St Helier, also provides regular connections to parts of Southwark and Lambeth, making this a good option for virtually anyone living to the south of the Thames.


Tolworth

Tolworth street view image

TOLWORTH FACT FILE
Address Douglas House
1B Douglas Road
Tolworth
Greater London
KT6 7RZ

Parking? Limited car parking space available
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? You can get into the test centre in a wheelchair
2017/18 pass rate 49.5%

If our other South London driving test centres didn’t quite do it for you, Tolworth driving test centre is sure to get your pulse racing. That’s because this unassuming building actually houses two test centres in one! We’ll get into the specifics in a minute—but first, let’s look at the stats. There’s good news here: Tolworth is one of only five test centres in London with pass rates above the national average. It was a popular venue in 2017/18, falling just short of five figures with 9,859 tests taken here.

Despite the relatively high pass figures, you shouldn’t expect your test here to be a cakewalk. You’ll have to conquer dual carriageways such as the A3 on your route, with a good chance that you’ll hit the tricky Tolworth Roundabout. Aside from this, you can expect to face roads in the areas of Surbiton and Long Ditton in addition to Tolworth itself.

Lying close to the border between Greater London and Surrey, Tolworth is a great option for anyone living in Kingston upon Thames. However, it also plays a secondary role. That’s because Tolworth has absorbed all tests from the Carshalton test centre, with all staff now based here until a replacement test centre is established. Those living in the Sutton area therefore have a choice between Tolworth, Mitcham and Morden.


West Wickham

West Wickham street view image

WEST WICKHAM FACT FILE
Address 56 Glebe Way
West Wickham
Greater London
BR4 0RL

Parking? No information
Toilets? Yes: male and female
Disabled access? No information
2017/18 pass rate 50.7%

While it’s difficult to compare test centres objectively, it’s certainly possible to make the case that we’ve saved the best of the South London driving test centres for last. That’s because West Wickham driving test centre has the highest pass rate of any test centre in Greater London, and the only one above 50%! That was great news for the 9,823 people who took their test here in 2017/18—or, at the very least, the 4,984 of them who got their licence.

The West WickhamAddington and Bromley Common areas all make appearances on test routes from this test centre, with prominent A roads including the A232. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for the Coney Hall Roundabout, which can get busy at peak times.

As you may be able to guess, West Wickham primarily covers the Bromley area, a relatively rural stretch of south-east London. It’s a part of the city that’s comparatively light on public transport—perhaps explaining its denizens’ motoring skill! Nonetheless, the West Wickham railway station does provide regular connections to central London, for inner-city dwellers wanting to take advantage of the capital’s best pass rates.


That’s it for the South London driving test centres! If you’d like to check out any of the other areas we cover, simply follow the links below.

By Andy Boardman

Andy fell in love with driving while road tripping around Iceland. 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.