Scared s***less? Passing a driving test is one of the most stressful things out there but there is lots you can do to reduce the pressure and fly through the test.
Here is our list of tips to help you pass your driving test with flying colors.
1. Ensure Your Car Is Ready for the Test.
Your car should be in good working order before you take your driving test. It is not a good idea to change a car in the lead up to your test as it takes time to get used to driving a different car.
2. Get used to driving the car you will use to take the test approximately two months before your test date.
If you are planning to use a driving school car, we suggest you contact them at least two months ahead of your test. If you leave it until the last minute, you may not be able gain access to that particular test car if the driving school is busy.
3. Familiarize Yourself with the Technical Motor Check.
The driving tester will be aware that you have prepared well for your driving test but it is essential that you know the basic technical motor checks as you will be expected to know them as well when doing your test.
4. Know the Hand Signals
There are two sets of hand signals asked in the test:
- Three hand signals for the driver behind your car.
- Three hand signals for the pointsman in front of your car. It is very important to know these as they will be asked in the driving test.
5. Practice the Three Manoeuvres Required
Left reverse: This is a test of your ability to reverse around a corner to the left and your observation skills. Reversing is used every day in driving, which is why it is included in the driving test. Observation is 50% of this manoeuvre.
Turnabout (3-point turn): This is a test of your clutch control, reversing, judgement, and observation skills. It is not essential to do this manoeuvre in three turns any longer, but you will be expected to make the turn in the least amount of turns possible. Again, observation is key to passing this manoeuvre along with judgement and skill.
Hillstart: This is a test of your ability to get the car moving without rolling backwards while on a hill. Newer cars have a hill start assistant so the car helps you not to roll back.
6. Familiarize Yourself with Your Test Route
If you can, you should get to know your driving test route very well and practice it as much as you can. Get to know the area where your test is taking place to establish the hotspots where it will be difficult for you such as roundabouts, traffic lights, schools, zebra crossings, etc. Practice at different times, conditions, and on different days of the week to get a feel for how the traffic flows. The time of your test plays a big part in your performance on the day.
7. Know the Rules for Roundabouts
Roundabouts can be a challenge for any driver and they do require a great deal of observation. Learn the basic rules for roundabouts. They come in many different shapes and sizes such as standard and non-standard configurations (e.g. 2 exits, 3 exits, 4 exits, 5 exits, etc.). Each one will often require different positioning, different signalling, and a good deal of observation. Learn the basic rules and, if you feel unsure, take lessons from a local car driving instructor, preferably several weeks or months ahead of your test and practice at different times of day. Pro tip: The best thing about roundabouts is that if you miss your turn, you can carry on, drive around and take the right turn! See the good in them!
8. Check Out the Test Centre in Advance of Your Test
Check out the test centre that you have been allocated to well in advance. Not all test centres are well marked, in Google maps, nor are custom-built, and many share buildings and/or car parks with other businesses. Be punctual and arrive on time.
Pro tip: Reverse park into your space before your driving test. This way you can start the drive the easy way and without unnecessary stress. In the same way, at the end of your driving test, drive in to make it easier for yourself. Don’t overcomplicate and overthink.
9. Check All Driving and Car Documents Weeks Before Your Test Date
Your license, insurance, NCT (national car test), and road tax should all be up to date. Make sure to check and renew these documents well in advance of your test date to avoid any last-minute issues or delays.
10. Adjust the car to your liking and comfort
If you are not taking the test in your own car, make it yours! Before commencing the test drive, make sure the seat, all mirrors and all controls are adjusted to your liking and easily reachable. It will also signal to the tester that you know what is important and are capable of driving different cars, along with making a good first impression.
Pro tip: Set the car’s AC to a slightly lower temperature that you would typically have in the car, you will be, at least at the beginning a bit nervous, and the last thing you need is to be driving an oven.
10. Calm down
Being nervous is natural, but stressing too much might negatively impact your performance during the test, the same way as in school or before an important presentation. So chill! Take deep breaths and try to relax. Prepare yourself mentally and physically before the test. Ideally, you have been practicing for months and have the knowledge and skills to pass the test. If not, the old “fake it till you make it” might be your friend. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remember that the examiner is there to evaluate your driving skills, not to fail you. They are also human, they have seen nervous people before, so don’t worry too much and focus. What’s the worst that can happen? You will have another opportunity if you don’t pass the first time, it is not the end of the world.
11. Don't show off
Be careful of overconfidence. You might have practiced, studied (maybe even using our list of driving license test questions), can practically drive the test route in reverse blindfolded (hope you have not practiced that one), but don’t show off. If you piss off the one person that stands between you and your driving license, it won’t go well. Be nice, polite, do as told, answer as asked.
12. After You Pass Your Test
While passing the driving test is an important milestone, it is just the first in a journey of a lifetime. Skills will be added every day you are behind the wheel.
Passing the test does not mean you are an excellent driver, but you are well on your way. Remember to continue to practice and improve your driving skills, and always follow the rules of the road for your safety and the safety of others.
13. If You Fail Your Test
Failing the Driving Test does not mean you will never become a competent and capable Driver. You will just need to take more time to learn and practice. Just like every worthwhile skill in life, it just takes time effort and commitment to perfect. Don’t give up!
Bonus - watch videos
Let’s make one thing clear – watching videos will probably help you being a great driver as much as watching Call of Duty being a great soldier, but they can provide you with a good understanding what to expect and how to go about it. Don’t go down the Youtube rabbit hole and invest the time to learn and practice instead but these are worth the watch in our opinion.
We hope your test goes well and these tips helped you prepare. Feel free to share with your friends who are also preparing for the test, you never know, it might help to someone else too 🙂