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Surrey and Kent Theory Test Centres: Your Essential Guide

Did you know you can book PassMeFast’s intensive courses and fast-tracked practical tests in both Surrey and Kent? Well, you do now!

This essential guide is designed for anyone who is looking to take their theory test in these counties. There are 6 test centres to choose from—so it looks like you have a decision to make! Join us as we shed some light on your options by exploring important info like pass rates, wait times, directions and more. Let’s get stuck in!


Surrey Kent

Surrey Theory Test Centres

Guildford
Staines-upon-Thames

Guildford

Entrance to the Guildford theory test centre

GUILDFORD FACT FILE
Address The Old Magistrates Court
71 North Street
Guildford
Surrey
GU1 4AW

Waiting times (as of September 2019) 2-3 weeks
Nearest railway station Guildford
2017/18 pass rate 55.5%

We’ll kick of proceedings in Guildford—because why not? Along with stunning scenery and historical buildings, Guildford hosts one of only two theory test centres that are located in the county of Surrey. The first impressions are pretty great. A pass rate of 55.5% is well above the national average and a 2-3 week wait for an appointment is fairly reasonable in the context of DVSA wait times.

But how are you going to get there? If you live in the town centre you can probably switch off at this point, but everyone else—listen up. The theory centre actually sits just across the river from Guildford train station. So, if you’re planning to travel by rail, it’ll be a very easy 10-minute walk from the town’s main station. Public transport devotees also have the option of taking a bus. We recommend hopping off at either Friary bus station or Library bus stop, both of which are just 5 minutes from where you’ll be taking the test.

Those travelling by car instead need only note down the postcode: GU1 4AW. Ready for the cherry on the cake? This theory test centre benefits from free street parking out in front! Anyone who knows anything about theory test centres will know that this is EXTREMELY RARE. Make the most of it by arriving nice and early—there are only 49 spaces available and this is a busy town!

Staines-upon-Thames

Entrance to the Staines-upon-Thames theory test centre

STAINES-UPON-THAMES FACT FILE
Address 11-17 Kingston Road
Staines
Surrey
TW18 4QX

Waiting times (as of September 2019) 4-5 weeks
Nearest railway station Staines
2017/18 pass rate 47.3%

Talk about accessible! If you’re travelling to your theory test from the wider Surrey area, Staines-upon-Thames is a savvy choice of location. This is because the centre sits a mere 4-minute walk from Staines train station and a 2-minute walk from London Road bus stop. So, no need to waste time wandering around on foot getting distracted by all the sights and sounds of Staines. Take public transport and you can be there in a jiffy!

The ease of location is actually the silver lining on a big old cloud, though. What we can’t really ignore is that the pass rates here are below average and you might find yourself waiting more than a month for a suitable test appointment. Womp womp. While we can’t really sugar coat the wait times, we can point out that pass rates don’t actually mean much for individual learners. At the end of the day, your fate is in your own hands (no pressure!).

Perhaps we jumped to conclusions before when discussing public transport options—if you’d rather get a lift of someone, that’s fine too! The nearest car park to the test centre (no street parking is available at the centre itself, sadly) is Kingston Road car park. You’ll notice that this is actually the same road the test centre is on. The parking spots can be found a 6-minute walk away and you can expect to be charged £2.30 for 2 hours of parking. Pretty reasonable, if you ask us!

Kent Theory Test Centres

Canterbury
Chatham
New Romney
Tunbridge Wells

Canterbury

Entrance to Canterbury theory test centre

CANTERBURY FACT FILE
Address Invicta House
Lower Bridge Street
Canterbury
Kent
CT1 2LG

Waiting times (as of September 2019) 3 weeks
Nearest railway station Canterbury East
2017/18 pass rate 49.3%

And now we turn to what Kent has to offer in terms of theory test centres. First up is the delightful cathedral city of Canterbury. Steeped in history and benefiting from a solid transport system, Canterbury theory test centre is an ideal choice for anyone travelling from in or around the Kent area. A quick tip, though—the centre itself is located on the first floor of a building with no lifts. If you require accessibility assistance, we recommend that you contact the DVSA for more information before booking your test here.

Getting to your test should be fairly easy if you choose to travel by train, bus or car. The nearest train station is Canterbury East, which is a simple 10-minute walk from the test centre. Busing it instead? Disembark at the Magistrate’s Court bus stop and it should only take you 2 minutes to walk to the centre. Easy-peasy!

If you think sitting in a car is more likely to get you in the zone and someone is willing to be your driver, go for it! The test centre is actually located on the A38, so it should be hard to miss! As for parking, your best bet is to Queningate car park. It’s only 2 minutes away from where you need to be and charges £3.60 for 2 hours of parking.

And as for the juicy stats, everything is looking pretty standard really. Pass rates sit just above the national average and you can expect to wait around 3 weeks for a test appointment. Just enough time to get your study on!

Chatham

Entrance to Chatham theory test centre

CHATHAM FACT FILE
Address 14-16 High Street
Chatham
Kent
ME4 4EP

Waiting times (as of September 2019) Less than a week
Nearest railway station Chatham
2017/18 pass rate 47.5%

Your best bet for taking a test in the north of Kent is going to be Chatham theory test centre. Sure, the pass rate might be ever-so-slightly below the national average, but would you look at that wait time! It’s hardly a wait at all! Given that pass rates don’t really reflect how well you personally are likely to do, we say give this place a chance.

If you pull into Chatham train station, you can expect a fairly leisurely 7-minute walk to reach the test centre. Or, if buses are more your bag, you’ll be pleased to hear that you’ll be spending even less time on your feet. Hop off at either Anchorage House or Hospital Lane bus stop (depending on your direction of travel) and it’s only a 2-minute walk to the centre!

Finally, as always, you can access the test centre by car. Or at least get fairly close. While the journey should be no bother, parking is another story. None is provided on site so you’ll have to head for the next best option, which is the Sir John Hawkins car park. Prices start at a very reasonable £1.50 for 2 hours of parking, but you will then have to walk for 8 minutes to reach your test. Given that public transport can drop you just 2-minutes away, we don’t really see the point, but each to their own!

New Romney

Entrance to New Romney theory test centre

NEW ROMNEY FACT FILE
Address St Marys Village Hall
St Marys Bay
New Romney
Kent
TN29 0SW

Waiting times (as of September 2019) Not currently providing tests (contact the DVSA to get up-to-date appointment information)
Nearest railway station St Mary’s Bay
2017/18 pass rate 41.8%

Now onto one of the more unusual test centres in the south-east…

You see, the New Romney theory test centre only functions on a part-time basis and it’s not exactly clear when tests are available. Last time we checked there were none, but the DVSA’s system is updated regularly, so if this place tickles your fancy it’s worth having a look. It does come with heaps of charm! Theory tests (when available) are actually carried out in the local village hall and the nearest train station just happens to be part of England’s heritage railway. That means you can expect old school trains and excited tourists!

If that all sounds a little much, you can always get a bus or arrive by car. In fact, the Jefferson Lane bus stop pulls in just in front of the village hall, so it couldn’t get more convenient! Opting to arrive by car instead? Expect a bit of a walk from the nearest available parking spot. The closest car park to the test centre is High Knocke car park, which is 14 minutes away. It’ll set you back £2.30 for 2 hours of parking. The choice is yours!

A quick note on the pass rate: it looks fairly low but you have to consider that this is likely down to the fact that it’s based on a very small pool of people. If you’re confident in your driving theory prowess, book in and see if you can give their stats a boost!

Tunbridge Wells

Entrance to Tunbridge Wells theory test centre

TUNBRIDGE WELLS FACT FILE
Address Foundation House, Coach And Horses Passage
The Pantiles
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN2 5NP

Waiting times (as of September 2019) 2 weeks
Nearest railway station Tunbridge Wells
2017/18 pass rate 57.5%

Last up on our whistle-stop theory test tour of Surrey and Kent is the popular town of Tunbridge Wells. We’re not going to lie, we may have saved the best until last. Have you seen the pass rate?! It’s almost 10% above the national average and the wait time for a test is only 2 weeks. Learners, form an orderly queue!

Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, let’s discuss how you can actually get to the Tunbridge Wells theory test centre. Those arriving at the central train station need only walk for 8 minutes before hitting the test centre. Or, if you really want to give your feet a break, take the bus to The Pantiles stop. Your test will be waiting a mere 500ft away!

If we had to come up with one negative about this test centre, it’s that it can be hard to find. You see, it’s tucked away down a passage that leads off one of the town’s main streets. Even Google will struggle to locate ‘Foundation House’, so try searching for ‘Coach and Horses Passage’ and use your noggin to work out the rest…

Arriving by car is also a possibility, but you won’t be able to get your vehicle that close to the centre itself given the whole tiny passage scenario. This isn’t much of an issue though, because the nearest available car park is only 3 minutes away. Head to Linden Park Road, where you can get 2 hours of parking for £2.80.


Surrey and Kent theory test centres

And there you have it! A quick but informative rundown of every theory test centre in the Surrey and Kent area. We hope we’ve made your decision that little bit easier! If you’re looking for an even more detailed account of each of the centres listed above, head over to our complete guides to the Surrey and Kent theory test centres.

Enjoyed reading our essential guide? There are plenty more where that came from! Fill your boots:

By Isobel Robb

Isobel enjoys the freedom of the open road and loves driving to new places. She's here to offer helpful hints and tips to improve your motoring skills. When not keeping up to date with the latest driving info you can find her discovering new restaurants or exhausting her Netflix subscription.

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