1: Take your time
So you’ve received your provisional licence and you’re eager to get started ASAP. Be prepared to take your time and try not to put too much pressure on yourself, there is a lot to learn. It’s quite common for people to tell you how few lessons they took, what they don’t tell you is that they had lots of private practice as well. Also remember that the driving test has got progressively harder over the years, lots of experienced drivers would most likely fail a driving test today. Remember what works for one person may not work for another. Take your time and become a good safe driver, taking your test then will just be a formality and you should pass first time very easily.
2: Learn the controls properly
Make sure you understand the basic controls and how to control the car properly. If you can’t control the car in all situations it will make you feel nervous and affect how you do on your lessons. If you intend to get some private practice with friends or relatives then tell them what you find difficult. You might just be far better going onto a car park to practice things that you need, such as, clutch control, steering between obstacles, braking evenly to a controlled stop or at a given mark, also reversing around corners and into parking bays. Remember that driving very slowly and accurately around tight areas requires much more skill than just driving along a road in a straight line. Constructive practice will benefit you greatly and you won’t be wasting valuable lessons learning the basics.
3: Buy some books
You will need to learn the Highway Code, not just because you have to pass a theory test, but because you need to know all the rules of the road. Driving can be very dangerous when you don’t know what to do because you haven’t read or understood the rules. Don’t just learn the theory questions off by heart, there are hundreds of things that aren’t covered in the theory test. Another good book worth reading is ‘Driving The Essential Skills’ this is a DSA publication. You might also call it the examiners bible. And remember it won’t cost you anything on loan from a library.
4: Ask you instructor
Don’t keep things to yourself, all of our instructors are friendly easy going people who are there to help you and teach you to drive safely, but they are not mind readers. If you don’t know a particular routine or manoeuvre please ask them again, they wont mind going over things as many times as necessary. Most instructors will have a few different techniques for teaching a certain skill and if one way is not working for you then they will have another method that might work for you better.
5: Practice on all types of roads
When learning to drive you should practice on every type of road (apart from motorways) You should not just drive around test routes, and then think you can drive. A good driving instructor will take you to areas that are unfamiliar to you with lots of variety of road and traffic conditions. This will definitely make you into a much better all round driver and when you do pass your driving test and buy a car you will feel a lot more confident about going anywhere in it.
6: Driving test myths
Some people who fail a driving test will often blame anybody and everybody before themselves. When you first meet an examiner they will have your marking sheet without any faults on it, your responsibility is to keep it that way. Driving examiners are very fair people who I’m sure would much rather pass you than fail you. All the stories about people failing because the examiner didn’t like them or they had to fail so many that week are total rubbish. Don’t listen to people who say these things, they are just making excuses about why they failed.
7: Take a mock driving test
At an appropriate time in your training your instructor should carry out a mock driving test. This mock driving test should be very realistic and include all things associated with an actual driving test. It is designed to see how you perform under test conditions including, how you drive independently on your own without any help from your instructor. Your instructor will only give you route directions and instructions.
8: Don’t tell too many people
When learning to drive you will often find that people are always asking you, when are you going in for your test. Our advice is to keep it to yourself because telling people creates pressure and pressure can make you worry, worrying too much about what you’re going to tell them can make you take your mind off your driving, which could then lead to a fail. Sometimes in life its far better to keep quiet and this is one of those times.
9. Keep your driving licence safe
When you go for both your theory test and driving test you will need to take both parts of your driving licence. Most instructors will tell you how they have had pupils who cant find their paper part of the licence, often leading to a frantic search of the whole house, followed by a mad dash to the test centre. Not a good way to start a test.
10. Get plenty of practice
If you were to ask most driving examiners why people fail their driving tests they would probably say that the person needed a lot more practice before coming for a test. Work it out financially, a person going in for a test too soon will most likely fail, they then have to have more lessons and pay another test fee, this can add up to a lot of money. It is far better and more economical to use this money and have more practice before your first test rather than fail and have to do it all again.