Situated off Paul Waller Avenue, Cardington test centre is a 15 minute drive from the centre of Bedford. Otherwise known as the DVSA Training Academy, Cardington is in close vicinity to the busy A600 and A421, making it easy enough for learners to reach. If you’ve chosen to put your newfound driving skills to the test here, we wouldn’t recommend going in blind. Instead, get to know Cardington properly with our essential test centre below—including directions, pass rates, test routes and more!
There are parking spaces available
Male and female toilets are available
You can get into the test centre in a wheelchair
If you’re heading to Cardington test centre from the centre of Bedford, you’ll want to get onto the A6 and follow it until you reach Cardington Road. Next, you’ll need to keep going until you reach Eastcotts Road and then the A600. All you’ve got to do then is turn onto Conder Boulevard or Harrowden Lane—you’ll be able to find the test centre from there. Not so centrally located? There are plenty of A roads that will lead you to the test centre, including the A421 and A6. Of course, if it’s your first time heading to Cardington, we’d recommend using these directions with your sat nav.
As with every other test centre in the UK, Cardington comes with its own range of challenging, local features that will put your driving skills to the test. Your test route will take you closer to the centre of Bedford, meaning you’ll have to adapt quickly to changes in road and traffic conditions. The proximity of Bedford Hospital and the University of Bedfordshire could have you dealing with heavy congestion or foot traffic during rush hour, so you’ll want to make sure your hazard perception skills are up to snuff. Not a big fan of roundabouts? You’ll want to work on them—there’s a bunch of them scattered across the local area. The examiner will also even out your test route by taking you around quieter, residential roads.
Looking for more general information about Cardington? Read up on the resources below.
If you were hoping to get your hands on your Cardington test route, you’ll be disappointed to hear that the DVSA stopped publishing routes all the way back in 2010! This measure was brought in to stop learners from memorising routes—the test is supposed to reflect real-life driving conditions, so it needs to be unpredictable. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can dispel some of the mystery. For starters, you can watch videos of Cardington test routes on YouTube. Opting to take lessons with a local ADI will also ensure you’re familiar with most of the roads that may feature on your test route.
As a leading provider of intensive courses, we always keep a close eye out for the DVSA’s latest statistics. Did you know, for example, that the current national average pass rate stands at 45.9%? If you’re looking for something a bit more specific and applicable to you, have a gander at Cardington’s pass rates from the last five years in the table below…
If you’ve decided that Cardington test centre is no longer a good fit for you, or you’re just looking for a backup option, you’ve got plenty of potential test centres to head to. The closest centres are Bletchley in Buckinghamshire and Letchworth in Hertfordshire.
Congrats! You’re almost at the end of your learning journey, young grasshopper! All that’s left for you to do is ace the practical test and strike a perfect pose with your test certificate. If you’re not feeling it just yet, remember that your instructor wouldn’t allow you to take the practical if they weren’t sure you were ready. So, relax and take it one step at a time!
On the day of your test, you need to triple check that you have your provisional licence. If you forget it, you will not be allowed to take the test. You also won’t get a refund for the test cancellation, so be aware. Next, make sure you get to Cardington 10 minutes before your test is due to start. (Avoid getting there any earlier, or you’ll end up getting in the way of other learners taking their test.)
Your driving test will consist of:
In what seems like the blink of an eye, your 40 minutes will be up and you’ll be parked back up at Cardington test centre. Phew! You’ll only have to wait a couple of minutes after that to get your results. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll be able to see exactly which areas you picked up driving test faults in (unless you’re a zero minors superstar). You’ll be given this feedback on either a physical sheet, or it will be sent to you by email using the driving test app.
It’s only natural to worry about the worst case scenario—countless learners ask us about what will happen if they end up failing. Well, it’s pretty simple. If you fail, we recommend you take a refresher course with an instructor in order to properly address your weaknesses. (Keep a hold of your feedback sheet or email, as this will be vital in helping the instructor figure out what you need to work on.) Then, all that’s left is for you to try the test again.
If you don’t fancy dealing with long waiting times, might we suggest a better option? Get PassMeFast to fast-track your practical test. We’ll get you one that’s weeks ahead of standard waiting times and meets your availability. To get things started, simply give us a bell on 0333 123 4949, or contact us online.
If you’re a learner driver in the Bedfordshire area, you’re in luck! PassMeFast’s intensive and semi-intensive courses are available for you! What does this mean, you ask? It’s simple. We’ll match you with an ADI local to your area. They will then work with you to help you build up your skills and experience on the very same roads that will crop up on your test route. Your lessons can last between 2 to 5 hours, depending entirely on your availability and preferences. We’ll even assign you your very own CX Adviser who will handle the admin, so you can concentrate entirely on learning to drive!
Not sure how many hours of lessons you’ll need? Answer a few questions from our course recommender tool and you’ll have your answer in minutes!