Top tips for passing your driving test

Published on 29 July 2019

Your driving test is looming, and you’re not sure if you need to fix that broken indicator light or just how important reverse parking is. To clear up any questions you may have, we spoke to Matthew Connor, General Manager at the Airport Driving School, so you can be fully prepared on the day.

“It’s very important that people are aware of the important points, as it’s easy to make a simple mistake," Matthew said, "People often fail a test if they park incorrectly or if they are coasting. Also, it’s important to have your Learner Permit, tax, insurance and NCT in date. It’s very common for people to fail the test if these are out of date.”

Matthew has been an instructor since 2005, and below he offers us the benefit of his experience with a list of tips to help you pass your test (hint: best to avoid doing doughnuts). 

Driving Test Tips:

1) Make sure you're accompanied to the test centre, ideally with an RSA ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) and don’t forget to bring your Learner Permit. Be sure to check that it's still in date. 

2) Make sure your car is in a roadworthy condition and your Tax, Insurance, and NCT (if required) are in date. Also, be sure you have L plates on the car.

3) Be at the test centre at least 15 minutes before your test. Arriving at the last minute will more than likely leave you stressed before you even begin your test.

4) Study the Rules of the Road to ensure you have a good start with the examiner. Also, practise opening and closing the bonnet of the vehicle you're driving for the test.

5) Make sure your car is reversed into a car parking spot as this will make it easier as you begin the test.

6) Check your brake lights and indicators at least 30 minutes before your test time, as this may allow you time to get a replacement bulb if needed.

7) Stay calm and drive the way your instructor trained you. Listen to the examiner’s instructions as they will give you plenty of time before any turn. (Tip: Don’t anticipate a turn even if you recognise it from your lessons, wait for the instruction from the examiner).

8) Don’t give up even if you think you made a mistake as it may not be as bad as you think.

9) When reversing around a corner, don’t get too close to the kerb as this may result in rubbing or mounting the kerb. Clutch control is vital to keep the car at walking pace whilst maintaining all-round observation.

10) The ‘Turn In The Road’ manoeuvre is not a 3-point turn. In fact, it may be completed in as many turns as required depending on the width of the road and the size of your car.

11) Coasting is a very common mistake for learner drivers to make. This means pressing your clutch down too early before you stop or not releasing it once you have changed gear. (Tip: Don’t put your foot the clutch unless you're going to use it and press the clutch down approximately one car length before you plan to stop.)

12) Practise parking because you will be required to park at a spot of your choosing at the end of the test. (Tip: Park in the easiest and most convenient spot once the test is finished).

With all these tips under your belt, you will be well on your way to clutching that coveted N plate. Double-check the list and maybe leave the flip-flops at home!


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