Learning to drive is a big achievement. You can bask in your independence. You can do late-night big Tesco trips. You can drive yourself to training, work, wherever, whenever (with or without Shakira playing).
No pressure, right?
It takes a lot of confidence to take your driving test. So, we’ve put together some tips to help you get in the zone.
Don’t forget your theory
Partly because you can’t take your test without it.
But also, it’s good practice to know the Highway Code. If you’re comfortable with how roads work, you’ll be comfortable on an unfamiliar route during your test.
Give yourself time to go through the most recent Highway Code, which you can find online.
Only compare yourself to yourself
Everyone learns at different speeds, so don’t compare yourself to others.
Some people get to drive every day when they’re learning. Others only drive one or two hours a week during their lessons.
Driving might come naturally to you. It might not. And that’s okay.
Take the time you need to feel confident behind the wheel and only compare yourself to you. If you’re improving, that’s all that matters.
If that means it takes a bit longer for you to do your test, so be it. It’s better to delay it and feel ready, than rush it and not feel right on the day.
Familiarise yourself with your test car
And we don’t just mean get to know how it handles.
Whatever car you’re taking your test in, get to know it well. Check your tyres, engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid level regularly (you could be asked about these in the ‘Show me, tell me’ part of your test).
Unsure how to do the checks? You can check out our blog on them here.
If you’re taking the test in your instructor’s car, they’ll likely get you prepped on how to do these checks, so speak to them for extra help if you need it.
But don’t just learn it for your test. Picture yourself having passed – you’ll have to check your car regularly to help prevent issues or breakdowns.
Drive in a variety of weather conditions
If you’re learning to drive during summer and it rains – get out and drive.
If it’s winter and there’s a warmer day with dry roads – get out and drive.
You want to be comfortable in as many conditions as possible, so you’re prepared for whatever weather your test day throws at you.
So, if it’s sunny, stormy, or somewhere in between, get driving so you can get comfortable.
Practise, practise, practise
Practise until you know your car backwards.
We’re not kidding. Reversing is an important skill.
Then once you’ve done that, practise some more. The more comfortable you are, the better you know the vehicle, the more confident you’ll be in the test.
And the more likely you’ll be to pass, which is the main thing.
Remember, you’ve got this
Learning to drive can be a long process. Take it at your own speed.
Everyone will learn differently, so stay focussed on yourself and get comfortable driving in a variety of scenarios. Know your car, know the Highway Code, and just keep practising.
And when you’re ready to take your test, you can look at our top ten tips on passing here.