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Test Routes for Nottingham Test Centres

This article was updated in February 2017, following the closure of the test centre at Clifton (on 25th January 2017) and the relocation of the test centre from Beeston to a new permanent location in Chilwell (on 2nd November 2016).


There are currently three test centres in Nottingham at Chilwell, Colwick and Watnall.

All test centres have around 20 different test routes. DVSA have not published test routes since 2010 and, as the test centres at Chilwell and Watnall were introduced since 2013, only test routes for Colwick are published (and available on the Internet) but these are not up to date routes and, besides, examiners can adapt routes at any time (due to traffic, road works, road closures or learners simply going the wrong way!). However, most experienced Nottingham based driving instructors will have an awareness of the test areas covered by the Nottingham test centres.

Chilwell Test Centre is the newest test centre, having been relocated a few miles west from the previous location at Beeston (in late 2016). The test centre at Beeston was introduced in 2013 and many of its established routes feature in routes used at Chilwell.  The general area covered by routes from Chilwell include Chilwell, Attenborough, Beeston, Wollaton, Bramcote, Stapleford, Sandiacre, Toton and Long Eaton.

Watnall Test Centre was introduced in 2014 (it was also used as a temporary test centre in 2013, after the Chalfont Drive Test Centre was closed). With a slightly more rural feel to the location than Colwick or Chilwell, the general area covered includes Watnall, Nuthall, Kimberley, Giltbrook, Eastwood, Moorgreen, Hucknall, Bulwell, Strelley and the outskirts of Aspley, Old Basford, Bilborough and Wollaton.

Colwick Test Centre is the oldest of the three current test centres in Nottingham, situated in an industrial estate with a test area that covers Colwick, Netherfield, Gedling, Mapperley Plains, Stoke Bardolph, Burton Joyce, Lowdham, Lambley, Carlton, Sneinton, West Bridfgord, The Meadows and parts of the eastern outskirts of the city centre. The road leading to the test centre is used by many lorries, on a daily basis, and is in a fairly poor condition (several pot holes), with a new roundabout close to the test centre built in 2016 (it currently only has three exits).

Having experienced tests at all three test centres, I am familiar with the test areas and many of their test routes from either sitting in the back of the car during the test or my learner recounting their route after their test (and do read some of the testimonials of people who have taken and passed their tests after taking lessons with me).

It is important to recognise that, to pass a driving test, a learner needs to have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to drive anywhere in the UK (or the EU for that matter). To simply drive around (and try to remember) test routes is not the best preparation for life after passing the test. However, in preparation for a driving test, I do strongly believe that it is really helpful to be aware of key junctions, roundabouts or peculiar road layouts that might be encountered during the driving test prior to taking the test (it is simply a sensible part of preparing for a test, rather than experiencing them for the first time on the day of your test). Because of this, I always ensure that my learners are driving around parts of various test routes during the latter stage of their learning (or even earlier if they live within a test area) and especially in the month leading up to their test. However, I also plan for my learners to be driving on some unfamiliar roads (away from test routes), to help explore, develop and test their driving skills as part of their preparation (rather than helping them try to memorise every possible route).

If you are taking your driving test in Nottingham soon, ask your driving instructor which test centres they cover and what experience they have had taking learners to tests at those locations. However, please note that I offer a Mock Test Service, which not only gives you an independent view on your driving skills over a typical test route but also includes some guidance on some of the trickier junctions to be aware of on roads covered by your test centre. In addition, a mock test gives you the experience of being assessed by a total stranger (helping to mimic the experience of sitting next to an examiner on the day of your test). However, please be aware that this mock test service is simply offered to help your existing preparation and that I don’t offer the use of my car to learners for their test unless I have provided at least 10 hours of lessons and feel that they are suitably prepared for the test.

If you are looking for some support in a car before a test, either complete the contact form on this website, call me today on 0798 011 1234 (or message me by text or WhatsApp) or send me a message from my Facebook Business Page.

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