The time has come to take your driving test you’re ready to get behind the wheel and put your abilities to the test.
If you have only had a handful of lessons with an instructor, chances are you’re not quite ready and will be attempting the impossible. Get out on the road and behind the wheel as much as possible, whether that’s with your instructor or a fully qualified driver.
Remember, if you are learning to drive with someone who is not an instructor, they must be over 21 and have held their driving license for over three years – although some insurance policies are different so make sure you double-check with the insurance first.
You should be taking 47 hours of lessons with your instructor and 20 private lessons, as this is considered to be the average number of hours you need to pass.
It’s important you’re well-rested before you take your test. It’s been scientifically proven that those who get a good night’s sleep respond a lot better in reaction tests. Your driving test is a reaction test so you should avoid any caffeine or alcohol the night before as they could interrupt your sleep cycle. Try and get a solid eight hours of sleep for your body to be fully functioning and alert.
Depending on what you eat, your body will respond in different ways. Not eating prior to your driving test could increase your stress level and lower your attention levels. There is a direct link between having eaten a decent meal, having a good break, and getting a good night’s sleep the night before and on the day, so make sure you’re doing all this for the best chance of passing.
Reminding yourself of the highway code and road signs will help massively, and give you the confidence boost you need to be able to drive in a relaxed and safe manner. This is especially handy if it’s been a while since you took your theory test – as you need to be sure you are up to date with the DVLA standards of driving and what is expected of you behind the wheel.
Abiding by the rules of the Highway Code is a legal requirement, so you must make sure you are familiar with them to avoid any serious faults on your test.
Don’t forget to revisit your hazard perception training too as this will prepare you for real-life situations out on the road. The more alert you are to your surroundings, the less likely you are to have an accident.
You might feel like you have many of these down to a T, but on the day of your test everything could change and nerves might get the better of you. We suggest that you remind yourself and practice the most common faults as much as possible.
Failing to check your mirrors before reversing.
Not checking your mirrors when moving off.
Failing to signal.
Stalling due to poor clutch control.
Failing to stick to the speed limit.
Not reacting to what’s going on around you.
Get to know the possible driving test routes at your local test centers
Test centers have a number of approved routes that they have to take drivers on and the chances are if your instructor is local, they will know some of them, if not all of them. In the weeks leading up to your test, ask your instructor to take you out on some of the routes so you can get used to them and understand traffic levels and speed control at different times of the day.
Make sure you have your documents ready on the day.
The night before your driving test make sure you have all your documents ready and by the front door. The important things for you to remember on the day of your test include:
Glasses – if you need them for driving
Your provisional license
The paper counterpart to your license
Your exam invitation letter
Your theory test pass the certificate
Know what is expected of you on the day of your test by researching how practical driving tests work and how they are marked.
You will only be put forward for the exam if your instructor thinks you are ready for it and have a decent chance of passing. If you lack confidence in yourself and your driving ability, there’s a high chance you could not pass. Remember you can do this, be confident in yourself, and don’t doubt your abilities – if you’ve completed all the lessons and passed your theory, you have a good chance of succeeding.
It is completely up to you whether or not you want to dress smart or casually for your test. Of course, you won’t fail based on the clothes you are wearing but you should bear in mind that you want to be comfortable when driving and that your clothing doesn’t restrict your movement when using the pedals or trying to change gear.
Choosing the right footwear for your driving test is essential, as there are many shoes that are not suitable for driving in – such as flip-flops and high heels. Choose a pair of shoes that are flat and stay securely on your feet. You more than likely have a pair of shoes you drive in all the time and have no problems with, so wear that one.