One in three learner drivers (32%) fail their driving test in Galway City.
The failure rate is even higher at Tuam’s driving test centre, where two out of every five learner drivers (44%) fail their tests.
Nationally, the overall failure rate for driving tests is 40%.
The figures were obtained by Fianna Fáil and relate to the number of driving tests taken during one week this August.
During the week ending August 18, there were some 106 driving tests scheduled to take place in Galway City. Of these, some 59 drivers passed their test and 34 failed. A further eight didn’t show up and five tests couldn’t go ahead due to problems with paperwork or the vehicle.
In Tuam, during the same week, there were 25 tests scheduled. Of these, 13 passed, 11 failed and there was one no-show.
There were no driving tests in Loughrea or Clifden during that week, according to the figures.
There is some variance in the pass rates at driving centres nationally.
In Gorey 42 people failed the test while just 20 passed, giving an almost 70% failure rate, while in Donegal almost 80% of applicants passed. Also, in three of the major testing centres in Dublin in Churchtown, Finglas and Raheny more people failed than passed.
Meanwhile, learner drivers are waiting on average 12 weeks to get their test in Loughrea, Galway and Clifden. The average wait in Tuam is nine weeks. The longest drivers are waiting for a test in Clifden is 24 weeks; in Galway City it is 21 weeks; in Loughrea 22 weeks; and in Tuam 19 weeks.
The Road Safety Authority said it aims to have an average wait time of 10 weeks across the country but it varies by centre. The longest waiting time for car driver testing was in Skibbereen at 26 weeks, with 25 weeks in Castlebar, Cavan, Gorey, Killarney and Kilrush.
Fianna Fáil Senator Victor Boylan said failure rates was contributing to the backlog in waiting times.
Mr Boylan said: “If Minister for Transport Shane Ross is serious about tackling this issue and also enabling people on a first learner’s permit to progress readily to a full licence, he needs to immediately sanction more testers and resources. “
“The Minister and the RSA need to act on what can be done to deliver a more consistent and higher pass rate in all centres across the country.”