Oxford (Cowley)

If you’ve decided to take the plunge at Oxford Cowley test centre, you’ll be heading over to James Wolfe Road, right off Hollow Way. The centre lies in a small residential estate and is a 15 minute drive from the centre of Oxford. If you want to better prepare yourself for the driving test, you can’t go wrong with reading up on everything there is to know about your chosen test centre. Don’t worry, we’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you here. All you’ve got to do is scroll down for our essential test centre guide. We’ve got directionspass ratestest routes and much more below!


James Wolfe Road Cowley Oxford Oxfordshire OX4 2PY

Tests Offered at Oxford (Cowley)

  • Car
  • ADI part 3


A car park is available at the test centre


Male and female toilets are available

Disabled Access

Phone Number

0186 5747734

Check the book your driving test service for availability.

How To Get There

For learners located in the city centre, getting to Oxford test centre should be a breeze. Simply drive down St Clement’s Street, follow Old Road, turn onto The Slade and then, finally, Hollow Way. If you live further afield, there are plenty of convenient A roads like the A4142, A40 and A34 which will get you there easily enough. If you’re taking a sneak peek at Oxford test centre before your lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor, you might want to consider following these directions with a sat nav. You don’t want to get lost on your first visit!

A Bit More About Oxford

The entire purpose of the driving test is to ensure that you’re ready to take to the roads without the supervision of an instructor. As such, examiners will make use of all of the most challenging road features in Oxford. They’ll take you around a mix of residential areas and high-speed A roads—the centre is mere minutes from the Eastern By-Pass Road, so you can be sure it’ll crop up on your test route. (This A road also happens to have a series of roundabouts scattered along its length, so beware!)

As you head closer to the city centre, you can expect a high volume of foot and road traffic, and, as a result, a lot of stop-start driving. Somewhere along the way, the examiner will guide you to a quieter area in order to test your skills at meeting oncoming vehicles whilst driving around parked vehicles, in addition to demonstrating one of the test manoeuvres.

Looking for more information about Oxford? We’ve compiled a list of handy resources that might be just what you’re after:

Oxford Test Route

Try as you might, you won’t be able to find an exact test route for Oxford test centre. The DVSA decided to stop publishing its routes in order to stop learners from getting distracted by them. This pushed learners to stop memorising routes in favour of actually concentrating on adapting to different road and traffic conditions. Don’t worry: you don’t have to go in completely blind! To get an idea of what your test route might look like, try watching videos of Oxford test routes on YouTube, or downloading our sample Oxford driving test routes. If you’re learning with a local ADI, they’ll have you building up your skills and experience on the roads likely to crop up on your test.

Oxford Test Pass Rates

Got a fondness for statistics? Us too! There’s nothing better than taking a deep dive into the DVSA’s latest pass rates and other interesting figures! If you’ve got some time on your hands, you might want to take a look at how age affects your chances of passingwhat pass rates are like in your local area or how many attempts it can take to pass the practical. Of course, if you’re pressed for time, we’ll keep things simple.

Learners in the UK have a 45.9% chance of passing the driving test. As for those taking the plunge at Oxford test centre, see how other learners have fared there in the last five years in the table below…

2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
48.1% 48.9% 49.0% 48.1% 49.3%

With pass rates above the national average, there’s not much to complain about with Oxford test centre. Bear in mind, however, that these stats aren’t indicative of how likely you are to pass your test. Even if Oxford had a pass rate of 99%, if you don’t put in the effort, or you slip up due to a bad habit, you’ll fail. So, pay attention to your instructor and give it your all!

What If I Can’t Go To Oxford?

One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a test date that suits your requirements and preferences is to pick a backup test centre. So, if you’re looking for an alternative, or you simply don’t want to take your test at Oxford anymore, you’ve got other options. If you’re looking to stay in Oxfordshire, then you’ll want to head to Banbury test centre. Alternatively, you can take the plunge at Aylesbury test centre in Buckinghamshire.

What To Expect On The Day

In what seems like the blink of an eye, your driving lessons will be at an end and you’ll be mere days away from taking your driving test. As terrified as you might be, try to keep telling yourself: “I’ve got this!” For starters, you’ve put in the work, so of course you’re ready. Additionally, if your instructor felt like you were going to bomb it, they wouldn’t let you take it! So, chin up!

Though it might seem unimportant, you need to make sure that you’ve got your provisional when you go in for your test. If you forget it, your test will be cancelled and you won’t receive a refund. You’ll also need to get to Oxford test centre 10 minutes before your practical is due to start. This will give you plenty of time to find a parking spot and meet the examiner in the reception area.

Your practical will then follow this format:

  • An eyesight test, where you’ll need to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres
  • Two “show me, tell me” questions covering vehicle safety and maintenance
  • Twenty minutes of general driving, where you’ll be guided by the examiner, and will also need to perform one of the following manoeuvres:
  • Twenty minutes of independent driving, during which you’ll either follow sat nav directions or sign posts to reach a set destination

After around 40 minutes on the road, the examiner will lead you back to Oxford test centre and the practical will finally be at an end. Pat yourself on the back! All that’s left is for the examiner to tot up your faults (unless you’re a new member of the exclusive zero minors club). After telling you whether you passed or failed, they’ll give you a feedback sheet that details any faults you accumulated. This will either be a physical sheet, or an email sent to you through the driving test app.

But What If I Fail?

In case the driving test pass rates didn’t clue you in, not all learner drivers pass their test the first time around. In fact, many need a few attempts to get things just right. So, whether you’ve failed once, or several times, you shouldn’t let it get you down. Though it might not seem like it at the time, it’s really not the end of the world. Instead of dwelling, you need to get back behind the wheel.

Before you attempt to take the test again, you should look closely at your feedback sheet. If you picked up the majority of your faults in one area, it could be indicative of a bad driving habit. If that’s the case, we’d recommend trying a refresher course to ensure you’re test-ready. Ready to take the plunge once more? Get PassMeFast to fast-track your test so that you’re not stuck with long waiting times. Simply give us a call on 0333 123 4949, or contact us online to get started.

Improve Your Chances With PassMeFast

When it comes to learning to drive, you have one big decision to make. Are you going to take hourly lessons or an intensive course? Whilst hourly lessons might seem like a good option, they often extend the learning process by months, or even years. With how short the lessons are, learners often find themselves struggling to get to grips with even the simplest of skills. Intensive courses, by comparison, enable you to build up your experience quickly and efficiently. With PassMeFast, you can fit your course around your schedule and take it at a pace suited to you—with lessons varying from 2 to 5 hours at a time. We’ll even fast-track your test so that you’re not waiting around!

If we’ve caught your interest, you can get a better look at our crash course packages on our prices page. If you’re looking for more detailed descriptions of what each package entails, you can also have a read of our driving courses rundown. Once you’re ready to take to the roads in Oxford, book your course online, or give us a call on 0333 123 4949.

Torn between two of our driving courses? Can’t decide which one would be the better option? You can either talk to one of our sales advisors over the phone, or, answer a few questions with our course recommender tool to find out. It’s just that simple!