Having trouble passing your driving test? Go west, writes Joe Leogue.
Figures released by the Road Safety Authority have revealed the pass rates for the 51 driving test centres in 2016. The top 10 with the highest pass rates are in Connaught, west Munster or west Ulster.
Furthermore, analysis of statistics from the RSA over the past five years show a number of centres repeatedly appearing in the top 10 for highest pass rates — and a number of centres that each year see more drivers fail than anywhere else in the country.
While nationally the overall average pass rate was a little over half (53.65%) in 2016, 34 of the 51 come in with rates above this.
Ennis, Co Clare, had the highest pass rate in the country in 2016, with nearly three quarters (73.25%) of those tested in the Clare town passing the examination.
It was followed in the 2016 top 10 by Newcastle West in Co Limerick; Roscommon; Clifden, Co Galway; Sligo; Kilrush, Co Clare; Tralee, Co Kerry; Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim; Loughrea, Co Galway; and Donegal.
The five hardest places to pass a driving test in 2016 were all in Dublin.
Churchtown, which opened in January last year, had a pass rate of 42.41%, followed by the temporary, and since closed, test centre in Dun Laoghaire.
Tallaght, Raheny, Rathgar (where the test centre closed in January 2016), Finglas, Wicklow, Naas, Shannon and Wexford completed the line up of the 10 test centres with the lowest pass rates last year. Last year was the second time in the last five years that Ennis was found to have the highest pass rate in the country.
Nearly seven in 10 (69.53%) of those who sat their test in Ennis in 2014 passed which compared much more favourably than the overall average of one in two that year (53.35%).
Ennis has appeared in the top 10 for the highest pass rates in each of the five years up to and including 2016 — a distinction shared by Sligo, which had the top pass rates in 2015 and 2012.
Analysis also shows the same locations appearing time and time again among the 10 test centres with the lowest pass rate.
Six centres in and around Dublin consistently post the highest failure rates. For the last five years Tallaght, Rathgar, Raheny, Finglas, Wicklow, and Naas have made the top 10 when it comes to failure rates.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner