I travelled 500 miles to sit UK’s ‘easiest’ driving test

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A WOMAN travelled more than 500 miles to sit her driving test at the UK’s easiest test centre – but she STILL failed.

Constance Kampfner was left at her wit’s end after failing her first driving test – hatching a plan to make sure she would pass the next exam.

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Constance Kampfner travelled 537 miles from London to Mull to sit her driving testCredit: Alamy

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Searching online, the wannabe driver searched online for the best places in the UK to take a test to “optimise” her chances – finding Mull had one of the highest pass rates in the UK.

The Isle of Mull lies off the west coast of Scotland and is the second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides.

And it also has one of the best pass rates for drivers – with Constance finding it had almost a 90 per cent pass success rate over spring and summer last year.

And after being left “paralysed” by the roundabouts in north London, Constance was relieved to see the island has mainly single-track roads, no traffic lights and only one roundabout.

The learner driver then headed 500 miles from London to Mull in December, ready to take and pass her test.

Speaking to The Times, Constance said: “I was determined I would pass my driving test the second time – I simply needed to optimise my chances. A quick Google search told me where I needed to go, the Isle of Mull. I booked for the earliest available date, in mid-December.

“For their lessons residents tend to head to Oban on the mainland, where the ferry to the island departs from. None of the instructors I got hold of fancied the trip, each warning me of high chances that my crossing would be cancelled in bad weather.”

Despite initially struggling to find a car for the test, Constance was offered help from a local, Mairi, who lent her a Mini.

So Constance set off for her test from Salen, a village around 10 miles from Tobermory.

‘I WAS FEELING CONFIDENT’

She said: “I was feeling confident. Especially after learning that Mull’s single roundabout would not be on the route and that there was nowhere to parallel park.”

Despite the emptier roads and lack of traffic lights and roundabouts, she found the island’s stunning scenery a big distraction.

Constance said: “With its craggy mountains and lochs set against bracken and evergreen forests, Mull would be stunning at any time but under the sunlight it sparkled.

“One particular stretch of road along the seafront running towards Tobermory had me nearly toppling into the silvery water.”

After the test, Constance and the examiner travelled back to the mainland from Craignure and she was soon given another disappointing verdict as the boat docked at Oban.

She said: “Taking in the air on the boat going back to the mainland, I noticed the examiner doing his utmost to avoid my gaze.

“But as we prepared to disembark, he had some words of encouragement. ‘I don’t like to talk about people who fail their tests,’ he told me. ‘Think of it as just not passing’.

“He had mentioned a few times that I was straying too far into the middle of the road for his liking, but I had taken it to be friendly advice. Instead, it turned out to be my downfall.”

PASS IT The driving test centres with the best pass rates – how to find your nearest one

FROM checking your mirrors to mastering a three-point turn, passing a driving test can be tricky.

The national UK pass rate is only around 50% – but some driving test centres have higher figures.

The average pass rate across the country between April and September 2021 was 50.5%, according to the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).

The data is skewed by the number of people taking tests at each location but analysis of the DVA data by The Sun shows pass rates are as high as 92.9% in Mallaig, which is based in the highlands of Scotland.

It had just 14 tests during the period – but registered 13 passes.

Other small Scottish islands and towns such as the Isle of Mull, Ballater, Islay Island and Crieff all have pass rates above 80%.

Lee On The Solent in Hampshire is the busiest location based in the top 50 pass rates list.

It conducted 3,316 tests and passed 2,254 new drivers or 68%.

This is followed by Yeovil, which has a pass rate of 65.9% based on 2,225 tests and Dorchester, where the pass rate is 65.4% based on 2,495 tests.

The area with the lowest pass rate between April and September 2021 was Erith in south-east London at 27.5%, based on 2,177 tests and just 599 passes.

Constance added: “Mairi had been the more upset of the two of us and insisted that I come back to the island at the earliest opportunity to try again. But I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to come face to face with city traffic lights and roundabouts once more.”

It comes after Martin Lewis warned drivers to check their driving licences now – with 2million at risk of a £1,000 fine.

And driver have been told they could save cash by renewing their licences online rather than through the post.

Meanwhile motorists should be wary on their roads over their speed – with a driver losing their licence for pottering along at just 10mph in a 60mph zone.

Mull has one of the UK's highest driving test pass rates

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Mull has one of the UK’s highest driving test pass ratesCredit: Alamy
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