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WHAT HAPPENS ON YOUR DRIVING TEST

Its the most nerve racking thing you will probably ever do, even compared to all your GCSE's, starting a new job, etc - many people are more nervous and anxious over their driving test. Our instructors train you to the best of your ability to ensure you feel confident and safe driving independently. Read on to see what happens on driving tests, and common myths and questions.

 

COMMON MYTHS ANSWERED

Some of the common things people think about driving tests

WILL I PASS FIRST TIME?

Although it is great to pass your driving test first time, DVSA official figures are that only 48% of the learners pass first time. One of the main reasons for failing a driving test is nerves. Our instructors ensure you have all the necessary skills required to pass your driving test, but on the day nerves tend to get the better of some people, which can result in temporary lapse in concentration - which can ultimately cause a fail.

WILL I FAIL FOR TAKING A WRONG TURN?

You won't fail your driving test for taking a wrong turn or missing a turn - providing that you do it correctly and safely. The worse thing to do is cut across lanes to get to your destination or take drastic action - such as jumping on the brakes to make the turn. Best thing to do is carry on, or go the direction your lane is for - and the examiner will redirect you back onto route.

DO EXAMINERS WORK TO STATS?

Examiners don't have 'stats' for pass/fail results. They are looking to ensure that you can demonstrate a safe and competent drive.

DOES THE TEST CENTRE PROVIDE THE CAR?

No. Believe it or not, many people have turned up for their driving test without a car, expecting the examiner to provide one. Usually, you will use your driving instructors car to take your test in. You can use your own car, provided it has L plates displayed, is correctly insured for a driving test and an interior mirror for the examiner to use.

 

TOP 10 REASONS PEOPLE FAIL

Our instructors will not let you go for a test if they don't think you are ready.

However, even once you are ready the nerves on your test can cause you to take small mistakes - often referred to as 'brain farts' - where you know what you should be doing but your brain doesn't let you do it. Here are the top reasons for fails - and mainly caused due to nerves and trying to rush what they are doing.

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1. OBSERVATIONS AT JUNCTIONS

Looking too late  when you emerge from a junction, you look too late (either left or right) for the observations to be effective, as you're already partly into the next road.

You MUST

  • Make effective observations before moving into a new road

  • Make sure it is safe before proceeding

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2. MIRRORS - CHANGING DIRECTION

Not using mirrors when changing direction.

Trying to change lane on a roundabout when a car is directly alongside you. 

When you are driving on a roundabout, you try to change lanes when there is a vehicle directly alongside you. The examiner at this point has to take control of the steering wheel to avoid a collision.

Exiting a Roundabout 

When you exit a roundabout, you do not check your mirrors and cut across the path of a closely following vehicle to the left side of you.

You must ensure that when changing lanes, you check you mirrors and surroundings BEFORE moving across, and when coming to an exit to a roundabout, check your mirrors BEFORE you move across. If you time your mirror checks correctly, you won't miss your exit or turn off too late. 

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3. NOT HAVING PROPER CONTROL OF STEERING

Not steering enough when going around a bend.

When driving around a bend at an appropriate speed, you do not apply enough steering. This causes the passenger side wheels to mount the pavement. 

Steering late when moving out to pass parked cars.

When approaching parked vehicles, you steer too late and then get too close to the parked vehicles. 

When passing parked cars, remember the stand off position - hold back at least 2 car lengths to give you plenty of room to turn out. 

When going around a bend, ensure you have a good position and control your steering to avoid hitting the kerb. If you feel you are going too fast to be able to control the steering come off the gas and if necessary slow down to give better control.

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4. POSITION - RIGHT TURNS AT JUNCTIONS

When turning right at the end of the road, positioning incorrectly towards the left. 

On approach and reaching the end of the road, with no road road markings positioning towards the left of your lane when turning right. 

You should always ensure where possible, that when turning right, you position towards the centre white line.

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5. MOVING OFF SAFELY

Not moving off safely.

Moving off from behind a parked vehicle into the path of an approaching vehicle.

When moving off from behind a parked vehicle, after checking mirrors and blind spots, still moving off when a vehicle is approaching you from the opposite direction, causing them to significantly slow down. 

You must be able to position as close to the centre of the road as possible. If there are oncoming vehicles, ensure you have sufficient space to pull out without causing any hazard to approaching vehicles. 

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6. RESPONSE TO TRAFFIC LIGHTS

Not responding appropriately to traffic lights.

Stopping after the first white line when there are advanced stop lines for cyclists. 

At a traffic light controlled junction with an advanced stop line (cycle box), which is for cyclists to be positioned ahead of other traffic, stopping beyond the first white line and into the area for cyclists. 

You must stop correctly at these cyclist boxes, and you need to stop before the first solid white line. Good forward planning, and anticipating traffic lights changing can prevent you stopping to late and ending up in the cycle box.

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7. NORMAL DRIVING POSITION

Repeatedly driving too close to the kerb or the centre of the road. 

Throughout the test, driving too close to:

  • The kerb, putting pedestrians at risk

  • the centre white line, putting oncoming vehicles at risk. 

You must be able to 

  1. Position your car correctly for your intended route

  2. Position central in your lane where safe and possible

  3. Only change lanes when necessary, such as overtaking or turning right ahead.

  4. Only change your central lane position if overtaking a parked car, or turning left or right ahead. 

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8. RESPONSE TO TRAFFIC SIGNS

Choosing the wrong lane at a roundabout with clear signage.

When approaching a roundabout, getting into the wrong lane when there are clear road markings or signage showing you which lane you should be in. Then going around the roundabout in the wrong lane.

Ensure when approaching a roundabout, you take note of the exit, and look for road markings and/or signs showing you which lane you need. Get into lane in good time. If you end up in the wrong lane, stay in that lane and go the direction for that lane. You WILL NOT fail for doing this providing you do it safely. 

Ignoring a 'STOP' sign or 'No entry' sign.

  • Not stopping at a STOP line and making sure the road is clear - You MUST stop at a stop line. Even slightly crawling is a fail.

  • No entry signs, not recognising a no entry sign and attempting to go down that road, resulting in the examiner stopping you.

Ensure you plan ahead, look for STOP signs or NO entry signs and make sure you adhere to them. 

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9. MOVE OFF - CONTROL

Stalling repeatedly when moving off on one occasion. 

On one occasion, when moving off repeatedly stalling due to either poor clutch control or being in the wrong gear. 

You need to be able to control the vehicle on all gradients, whether flat road, steep uphill or downhill gradient. ALWAYS remain calm, take your time and keep good clutch control. If you stall, check you are in the correct gear, and move off steadily to ensure you don't stall again. 

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10. REVERSE PARK - CONTROL

Wheels ending up on the kerb during parallel park.

When completing the parallel park, either the front or back wheels (or both) end up on the pavement. 

If you touch the kerb, you will only get a minor providing you stop immediately, and drive forward slightly to correct your position, then continue with the reverse. 

Taking too many attempts to correct your position.

You can reposition when doing any reverse, however taking too many attempts will cause a fail. 

 

WHAT HAPPENS ON YOUR DRIVING TEST?

From arriving to the test centre to the end of the test

ARRIVE AT THE TEST CENTRE

You will normally arrive at the test centre around 10 minutes before you are due to take your driving test.

MEET THE EXAMINER

Your examiner will greet you in the waiting area. They will ask to see your provisional license, get you to read and sign a declaration, and ask if you want your instructor present for the test, and there for your results at the end.

MAKE YOUR WAY TO YOUR CAR

The first thing the examiner will do outside, is ask you to read a number plate from 20 meters away. If you fail this, you won't be allowed to take your test. They will then ask you a 'tell me' question as you are making your way to your car.

GET COMFY

Once in the car, the examiner will set up the sat nav if you are using that, and then explain how the test will run. Ask any questions if you are unsure on anything.

DRIVE ON WHEN YOU'RE READY

You will drive for approx 35 - 45 minutes. You will be asked to pull up on the side of the road on a number of occasions, asked to perform one reverse manoeuvre and asked a 'show me' question.

For the independent drive, the examiner will either set the sat nav, or give you a number of signs to follow. The remainder of the test, the examiner will give you spoken directions.

You may also be asked to perform a controlled stop. The examiner will give you notice if they intend to do this. 

ARRIVE BACK TO THE TEST CENTRE

Once you arrive back at the test centre, your examiner will give you your result and any feedback. If you have passed, they will issue your pass certificate that allows you to drive straight away.