Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or email us
Passing your driving test in Pinner is easier
For many, the most exciting thing about turning 17 is not the presents or even the cake – it is the green provisional driving licence that comes through the post.
Passing their test and finally being handed the pink photocard that marks the transition from learner to skilled driver is what many spend their teenage years dreaming about.
Figures seen by seen by the Harrow Times reveal 17 to 25-year-olds taking their test in Watford are more likely to pass first time than in any other centre in the area.
The statistics show 53 per cent of candidates sitting the test passed the test between 2011 and 2012 passed first time.
In contrast, only 49 per cent of people who took their test around Borehamwood – in Radlett, Elstree and Shenley – passed first time.
But test routes through Pinner have a high rate of people passing at 51 per cent.
Instructor Athar Abbas, who owns Dynamic Driving School, believes many candidates are put off by Borehamwood's roundabouts and high speed limits.
Mr Abbas, who has been teaching people to drive for seven years, said: “The roads in Pinner are a lot easier to manoeuvre on, especially if you are quite nervous.
“The maximum speed limit is 50mph and there are no dual carriageways, making the roads so much calmer.
“In Borehamwood, you have all those things and candidates are expected to go right up to 70mph, which is the national speed limit. That can put some people off.
“I am surprised Watford has the highest pass rate as a lot of my students have been put off going there, because the roads are similar to Borehamwood and can be intimidating.
“But then of course there are the students who are just eager to drive regardless of where they pass their test, so they pick the centre with the lowest waiting time.”
In England, people are legally allowed to learn to drive when they turn 17 as long as they pass a theory test first.
Owner of 001 Academy Steven Davis said: “In Barnet, you are faced with heavy traffic at all times, which can be very off-putting to someone who is a bit nervous on the roads.
“Through the Hendon routes, you have to go through the A41 which people who are yet to pass their test may not feel comfortable going through and panic.
He was surprised by the figures for Borehamwood as he believes students find the route more “rural and comprehensive”.
He encourages his students to pick Borehamwood as he actually feels it is one of the easier routes.
University student Lee Klein chose to take his test in Mill Hill.
The 19-year-old, who passed two years ago, said: “There are a lot of country lanes in Borehamwood and that put me off.
“Even failing my test in Mill Hill the first time did not put me off. It just seemed like a route which was much more straightforward.
“Passing second time around taught me to be a more cautious driver.”