Stevenage v Basildon Test Centres
You might think that all test centres are the same but as you will see from this blog there are some striking differences. These can often impact on the test itself especially on the manoeuvres. As we have discussed in previous blogs the most important part of the test is proper preparation before you even get there. So choosing a local driving instructor who understands the area and who can give you some good advice for test day is invaluable.
Let’s take Stevenage test centre for example
The test centre at Stevenage is based in the town centre where parking up close isn’t possible as it is surrounded by double yellow lines. As a result you must time your trip to the test centre well on the day as you are only allowed to get into the test centre car park 10 minutes early.
This is as all tests are very well timed so that tests going out and coming back do not clash (That’s why test times are seemingly at very random times of day). The car park at the Stevenage test centre has bays to park in but they are slanted so although you start the test there you cannot do any manoeuvres there. As a result the bay parking manoeuvres are done in local public car parks such as the one at B&Q.
Once you are inside the Stevenage test centre you must hope you don’t need the toilet pre test as there aren’t any! Along with this lack of services there are no drink facilities there so if you have a dry mouth please bring your own water. The only amenities you have there are chairs to sit on (these are however quite new).
In total contrast to the test centre in Stevenage you have Basildon. Basildon test centre is found on an industrial estate a few miles from the town centre. You can park extremely locally whilst waiting for the time to enter its car park therefore having more time to relax and go through a final checklist before doing your test. This time is important as being relaxed on test day will help you pass. The test centre car park in Basildon is also quite big (with an extra section for motorcycle tests).
There are many bays to park in and all bays are a standard size. Make sure you reverse into a space pre test so you can start the test by going forward. As these are standard bays you might be asked at the beginning of the test to do the reverse bay manoeuvre. Remember you only get one manoeuvre so if you get this at the beginning of your test you can breathe a sigh of relief where you can just concentrate on the driving for the remaining time.
The reverse bay park at Basildon test centre can also be performed to the left or the right so you have more choice there where to park without worrying about other cars being there. The car park will be empty if you are asked to do this, in contrast to Stevenage where the pubic car park may be quite busy.
Inside the Basildon test centre itself it is also very roomy with seating and even magazines to read. There is also a drinking fountain and male and female toilets. This also contrasts the Stevenage centre greatly.
Whichever test centre is local to you make sure you know what to expect and of course good luck!
So why not book your next lot of driving lessons in Stevenage.