LEARNER drivers in Cork were waiting up to four months for a driving test in 2017, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Last year, two test centres in Cork had waiting times longer than the national average of 13.6 weeks.
Provisional licence holders were waiting 16 weeks for a test in Skibbereen and 15 in Cork city. Mallow was slightly better than the national average, at 13 weeks.
Wait times in all centres have increased steadily since 2013, when learners had to wait just six weeks for a test in Mallow.
Nationwide, the number of driving tests conducted in 2017 increased by 10% on the 2016 figure. That is still not enough to keep pace with demand, as the number of learners on the waiting list at the end of the year increased by 26.8%.
It appears the waiting times are continuing to grow, with the RSA website advising that the current wait time in Skibbereen is 18.9 weeks. Learners waiting for a test in Cork city, at the Wilton test centre, are waiting 17.8 weeks.
25,867 driving tests were conducted nationwide in 2017 with an average pass rate of 52.9%.
The CSO also released figures showing that more than half of vehicles tested in Blarney, Skibbereen and Youghal in 2017 failed their initial National Car Test (NCT).
The CSO figures showed that almost 1.4 million (1,355,546) cars nationwide underwent the NCT last year. Over half (51.5%) failed the initial test, but 94.8% of cars eventually passed.
The busiest NCT centre in Cork is Little Island, which tested 67,234 cars last year. It bucked the national trend, with almost 52% (34,871) passing first time.
Charleville and Macroom test centres, which tested 16,592 and 15,684 vehicles respectively, also passed just over 50% of vehicles on first inspection.
Blarney is the second-busiest NCT centre in Cork and 22,273 of the 43,250 vehicles checked failed their initial test. In total 174,107 vehicles were tested in Cork, of which 8,431 failed to pass, even after subsequent inspections.