A bonnet and headlight from a red car, with an 'L' plate affixed to it.

Constance Kampfner travelled 500 miles to the Isle of Mull for her second test, which she failed.


When it comes to going the extra mile to pass your driving test, one young journalist from Londontook that a bit too literally – by venturing hundreds of miles to take what is apparently the UK’s ‘easiest’ driving test.

Constance Kampfner, from The Times, booked the £60 test on the Isle of Mull last month. The island, off the west coast of Scotland, had an almost 90 per cent pass rate across the spring and summer last year.

“The island, home to about 3,000 people, is connected by a network of mainly single-track roads, has no traffic lights and – crucially for my purposes – has only one roundabout,” Ms Kampfner wrote, in a piece published on Monday.

Yet with all these benefits – plus the fact the aforementioned roundabout wouldn’t feature on the test route and there’s no opportunity to carry out a parallel park – there were a few downsides, such as there being no driving instructors on the Isle of Mull itself.

Ms Kampfner eventually managed to secure a Mini for the test from a local paramedic Mairi, after posting on a Facebook community page. She went on to help the reporter practice ahead of pulling into the test centre, which happened to be a small car park not too far from the local Spar.

The writer added: “I made sure to ostentatiously check my mirrors every few seconds and felt I was doing quite well. I even attempted small talk.”

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Though despite empty roads, minimal challenging infrastructure and limited manoeuvres, as well as a positive mental attitude about the whole thing, Ms Kampfner noticed that the examiner was “doing his utmost to avoid my gaze”.


According to the journalist, the examiner told her at the end of the test: “I don’t like to talk about people who fail their tests. Think of it as not passing.”

So that’ll be a no, then.

Ms Kampfer explained: “He had mentioned a few times that I was straying too far into the middle of the road for his liking, but I had taken it to be friendly advice.

“Instead, it turned out to be my downfall.”

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