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You're more likely to do this after a driving test in Ennis than anywhere else in Ireland. Christopher Elwell via Shutterstock
L plates

Ennis stays top of driving test league tables for 2012

The Clare county town remains just ahead of Sligo as the area where candidates are most likely to pass the driving test.

CANDIDATES TAKING their driving test in Ennis, Co Clare remain those most likely to pass the test, official figures have shown.

Clare’s county town stands top of the 2012 rankings in terms of pass rates – the second year running it has been at the top of the league for successful candidates.

Just under 70 per cent of people who sat the test in Ennis last year were approved for a full driving licence. The equivalent figure for 2011 stood at 67.9 per cent.

Sligo town remains the venue with the second-highest pass rate, with a 69.7 per cent approval rate – up from 66.5 per cent in 2011.

Athlone, Roscommon, Castlebar and Tralee also have pass rates above 65 per cent, according to the official Road Safety Authority figures.

At the other end of the scale, Portlaoise has the lowest pass rate, with only 42.3 per cent of students passing the test in 2012 – lower than a three-in-seven success rate.

The Dublin trio of Raheny, Rathgar and Tallaght follow, with pass rates of 42.7 per cent (Raheny) and 43.1 per cent (Rathgar and Tallaght). Finglas, Tallaght and Churchtown – the other venues for driving tests in the capital – also feature in the bottom seven.

Mild increase in pass rates nationally

Overall pass rates across the country stood at 56.33 per cent – roughly equivalent to four passes out of every seven tests. This is an increase from the 54.56 per cent rate from 2011, and the highest pass rate nationally since 2008.

2012 marked the first year that people would sit the driving test after the introduction of the Essential Driver Training syllabus, which requires candidates to complete 12 mandatory driving lessons on specific topics before they are put forward for the test.

Carlow and Kilkenny showed the highest improvement in pass rates in 2012 – Kilkenny, which was bottom of the table in 2011, saw its pass rate jump from 39.7 per cent to 49.4 per cent. Carlow, meanwhile, went from 41.1 to 51.4 per cent – jumping from 44th to 37th out of 49 venues nationwide.

Newcastle West experienced by far the biggest drop in pass rates, going from 64.4 per cent in 2011 to 56.3 last year. Shannon followed, but its drop was far less severe – from 56.7 to 52.5 per cent.

Nenagh in Co Tipperary has seen its pass rate fall by the sharpest amount of any test centre in the last five years, though its performance in 2012 bucked its trend somewhat. Pass rates there have dropped from 69.1 in 2008 to just 50.0 per cent last year, though they had stood at 44.6 per cent in 2011.

Portlaoise, which now has the lowest pass rate nationally, had seen similar drops – going from 60.4 per cent five years ago to just 42.3 per cent last year.

Conversely, Athlone has seen the biggest jump, going from a 54.5 per cent pass rate in 2008 to 66.7 per cent last year.

In full: Driving test pass rates for 2012

  • Athlone: 66.69%
  • Ballina: 61.86%
  • Birr: 62.91%
  • Buncrana: 62.56%
  • Carlow: 51.37%
  • Carrick-on-Shannon: 64.79%
  • Castlebar: 65.68%
  • Cavan: 54.34%
  • Churchtown: 48.31%
  • Clifden: 64.59%
  • Clonmel: 55.23%
  • Cork: 52.01%
  • Donegal: 59.68%
  • Dundalk: 52.45%
  • Dungarvan: 54.74%
  • Ennis: 69.97%
  • Finglas: 45.28%
  • Galway: 61.52%
  • Gorey: 54.31%
  • Kilkenny: 49.38%
  • Killarney: 59.49%
  • Kilrush: 59.3%
  • Letterkenny: 59.79%
  • Limerick: 56.77%
  • Longford: 64.11%
  • Loughrea: 58.56%
  • Mallow: 57.88%
  • Monaghan: 60.54%
  • Mullingar: 59.72%
  • Naas: 43.44%
  • Navan: 50.98%
  • Nenagh: 50%
  • Newcastle West: 56.3%
  • Portlaoise: 42.26%
  • Raheny: 42.74%
  • Rathgar: 43.08%
  • Roscommon: 66.17%
  • Shannon: 52.51%
  • Skibbereen: 60.09%
  • Sligo: 69.66%
  • Tallaght: 43.09%
  • Thurles: 50.35%
  • Tipperary: 52.42%
  • Tralee: 65.21%
  • Tuam: 64.68%
  • Tullamore: 53.21%
  • Waterford: 57.71%
  • Wexford: 51.58%
  • Wicklow: 48.73%
  • Overall Average: 56.33%

Read: Warning over unofficial driving test websites

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