Can I use an interpreter for my driving test?

Why Can’t You Have An Interpreter

Prior to 2014, anyone who didn’t speak English as their first language was allowed to have an interpreter for their driving test. This interpreter could be someone who was their driving instructor or a family member or friend who spoke the language fluently. You could also pick from a range of languages during your theory test too.

However, these laws changed, and you are no longer allowed an interpreter during your test.

Why Can’t You Have An Interpreter?

The laws changed for a number of reasons. Firstly, the new laws in place help those learn the national language. It can be helpful to communicate fluently in English, not just for the test but beyond.

You might need to communicate with other drivers whilst on the road. There’s also the relevant signs on the road that you’ll need to be able to read.

Taking your practical and theory test in the UK requires you to take the language in English, and that’s your only option. If anything, it’s helpful for non-English speakers to help better their language skills.

One of the main concerns, when it came to interpreters, was that the examiner had no idea whether someone was cheating or not. T

here were restrictions on how often the interpreter could speak, but even then, the examiner wouldn’t know if, during those conversations, they were aiding the learner driver.

Removing the interpreter was an assurance that there would be no cheating at all.

Road safety is obviously very important and when it comes to learning signs, it’s important to be able to read them when they’re in English or Welsh. Driving in the UK for a non-English speaker would be difficult if they didn’t have much knowledge of the English language.

It could put them at risk and risk other driver’s safety too. It makes sure that every student who passes knows exactly how to read road signage properly.

Fewer costs are an advantage when it comes to removing the voiceover element of the theory test. It costs a considerable amount of money to translate exams tests and so saving money is clearly a pro for getting rid of the multiple-choice languages.

Can I Take A Foreign Language Driving Test?

Knowledge and understanding of the English language are essential for taking the theory and driving test. However, it is possible to organise driving instructors in your native language if necessary. It can be easier for you to relax into driving if you have someone who speaks your language and can explain all the manoeuvres properly. Depending on where you go for your driving test, there can be a difficulty when finding a native speaker.

It’s worth enquiring about this before booking in your test, and to explore the areas where you would prefer to take the test too. You should also take note that it shouldn’t cost you any more money to take the test with a foreign language instructor.

What Are The Alternatives To An Interpreter?

Although there’s no getting around having an interpreter during your test, you can still have a friend or family member with you in place of the instructor. This can be really helpful if you’re someone who gets quite nervous and needs that element of reassurance. Having a family member or friend can give you that familiar face when you’re stepping into the car with an examiner. Every examiner will want to put your mind at ease, but even though that’s the case, it’s still nice to have someone you know that’s there silently cheering you along.

It’s also good to have your instructor there if you want them to as an alternative. It’s up to you whether it’s going to mean more pressure or if it puts you at ease. It’s worth talking to your instructor about it to figure out if it’s something that you want to do. You could also make a preference of whether you want a man or woman examiner for your driving test if needs be. If you’re not fussed, then there’s no issue, but if you’d feel more comfortable with a man than a woman or vice versa, then this can be arranged.

Be confident in your driving test, and be sure to take a breather. It’s going to be nerve-racking, but if you take your time and believe in yourself, you’re more than likely to pass the first time. If not, then don’t get yourself down in the dumps. It’ll happen eventually, and everyone is different and acts differently under pressure.

10 Awkward Driving Lesson Moments

Awkward Driving Lesson Moments

When you are learning to drive, you are bound to make some mistakes. Everybody does it, and most of the time, it’s fine. But every driving instructor has plenty of stories about serious blunders that some of their students have made.

The dynamic between a driving instructor and a student can be a little strange at first as well because you are in such a confined environment with somebody that you barely know. That means that there is a lot of potential for awkward moments during driving lessons.

These are the 10 most awkward driving lesson moments you will have to deal with.

Small Talk 

It’s always awkward trying to hold a conversation with somebody that you don’t really know that well, but you usually have a quick escape route if you bump into them in the street. But when you are having a driving lesson, you are stuck in the car together with no way out.

After a few lessons, things will get easier once you get to know them a bit but it’s going to be awkward to begin with. Driving instructors are used to this so it’s likely that they’ll have a stock of questions that they ask to move things along a bit. 

Getting The Wrong Name 

This one can happen on either side, but it’s less likely that you’ll forget the driving instructors name because it’s usually written on the side of the car. The instructor, on the other hand, gives a lot of driving lessons each day and it’s likely that some of their students have similar names, which means they might get yours wrong. It’s always a little awkward to correct somebody for the first time, but it’ll be way more awkward if you let it slide and they continue calling you the wrong name for months before eventually seeing your real name on some paperwork. 

Picking Your Nose 

Most of us don’t like to admit it, but when nobody is around, we sometimes like to have a little scratch around in our nose. We’re not like little kids with a finger buried up there, but we’d still rather that nobody else saw us. The problem is, when you are concentrating on the road, you might forget that somebody else is sitting right next to you and decide to have a dig around. 

Forgetting Your Lesson 

Picture the scene, you’re all tucked up in bed enjoying a relaxing Saturday morning and suddenly, the doorbell goes. So, you get up and drag yourself to the door in your pajamas, only to find your driving instructor on the other side. You’re embarrassed because they’ve seen you in your pajamas and they’re frustrated that you’re late. Next time, just set a reminder on your phone. 

Not Knowing Left And Right 

When you’re driving and your instructor starts giving you directions, it’s always a bit awkward if you don’t know left and right. The first few times, they might put it down to nerves, but eventually, you’ll just have to admit it and ask for help. 

Driving Past Your Ex 

Bumping into an ex is always awkward, but it’s so much worse if you drive past them on a driving lesson. They’re watching you, hoping that you’ll stall the car so they can laugh at you. Your driving instructor will probably notice that something is up, which makes it all the more awkward when they ask if you know each other. The best thing to do is just focus on the road and try to ignore them. 

Driving Past Your Friends

Driving past your ex is bad, but driving past your friends can be even worse. They’ll all be trying to distract you and you want to make sure that you look cool in front of them, which is never going to happen. Again, the best thing to do is try to ignore them.  

Repeatedly Stalling

Everybody stalls from time to time, that’s normal. But things get awkward when you’re sitting at a junction with a long line of traffic building up behind you and you keep stalling over and over. Eventually, your driving instructor will have to take over so they can get the flow of traffic moving and you’ll be left feeling embarrassed. 

Needing The Toilet

Rule number one, always go to the toilet before your lesson. It’s always an awkward situation when you have to ask your driving instructor if you can stop the lesson and find somewhere to go to the toilet halfway through. It’s even more awkward if they’re the one that needs to go. 

Failing Your Test 

It always feels awkward when you have to tell your instructor that you have failed your test and you need more driving lessons. But you’ve got to remember that driving instructors have a lot of students, and a lot of them fail, so there’s no need to worry about it really. 

You’re going to experience some of these awkward moments at some point during your driving lessons, so prepare yourself. 

 

What to expect on your first driving lesson

What to expect on your first driving lesson

Your first driving lesson is a big milestone and you’re probably pretty excited about it, but it’s also very nerve wracking. Taking control of a car is a big deal, and it’s a lot of responsibility to take on. In the lead up to your first lesson, you will invent so many hypothetical scenarios in your own head, most of them bad. What happens if I crash the car? What if I accidentally run somebody over? What if I can’t even get it started in the first place? It’s so easy to think of the worst case scenario and get worried about your first driving lesson, but the reason that you have driving instructors is so you are safe and you don’t make any of these dangerous mistakes. 

If you are concerned about your first driving lesson, it helps if you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself properly. That way, you are not in for any surprises and you will be less worried about what might happen. Here’s what you can expect from your first driving lesson. 

Preparing Yourself 

Before you start the first lesson, there are a few important things you should do to prepare. First off, make sure that you get a good night’s sleep the night before. You need to be alert when driving, so being tired will make things difficult for you. Secondly, make sure that you are not drinking the night before your first lesson. Even if it is just a few drinks, this can still affect your cognitive ability and your reaction times in the morning. Finally, eat a good breakfast before you have your lesson because you will find it harder to concentrate if you are hungry. 

There are also a few things that you should bring with you on your driving lessons. You will need your provisional driving license, some comfy shoes that have good grip, and glasses if you wear them. Don’t forget to bring cash or a cheque to pay for your lesson as well. Driving instructors won’t work for free, but if you do happen to forget, they’ll probably let you off until next time. 

Getting Picked Up

You need to arrange the pick up with the driving instructor before the lesson because some instructors will wait in the car while others will come to the door. When they do pick you up, you won’t have to get in the driver’s seat right away, so you can just relax. You’ll get in the passenger side and they will drive you to a safe location. 

The Cockpit Drill

Most driving instructors will take you to a specific place that they know is quiet, before switching seats with you so you are in the driver’s seat. Before they let you loose on the controls, they will take you through the cockpit drill. This is the set of checks that you need to do every time you get into the car. 

You can remember these checks using the acronym, DSSSM: 

  • Doors – Are the doors securely closed? 
  • Seat – Is the seat in a comfortable position? 
  • Steering – Is the steering position correct? 
  • Seatbelts – Does everybody in the car have their seatbelt on?
  • Mirrors – Are all of the mirrors adjusted correctly? 

It’s a good idea to try to memorize this before you have your first driving lesson so you already know what you’re doing, but all driving instructors will take you through it step by step anyway. 

Learning The Basics 

Once all of your checks are completed, your driving instructor will start taking you through the basics. They will run through the clutch, accelerator, and brakes, and show you how to use the handbrake and change gears. If there is anything that you are unsure about here, it’s perfectly fine to ask if they can run through it again. It’s important that you know what you are doing before you set off because, even if you are only going 20mph, it’s still going to be scary if you don’t feel in control of the vehicle. It’s a good idea to make your first driving lesson 2 hours long, so you have enough time to get to know the controls and get some driving in. 

Hitting The Road 

Now that you know how all of the basic controls in the car work, it’s time to put it into practice and hit the road. This is the most exciting, but also the most nerve wracking part of the lesson. But don’t worry, your instructor will be there every step of the way. 

In your first driving lesson, you will learn a few key procedures that your driving instructor will explain before you set off. These will include: 

  • Starting the engine. 
  • Clutch control. More specifically, finding the biting point. 
  • Checking your mirrors and your blind spot. 
  • Using indicators to signal. 
  • Changing gear. 
  • Bringing the car to a safe stop. 
  • Curb side parking. 

These are the basics of operating a car and, hopefully, you should feel confident enough to move onto the road and try some real driving by the end of your first lesson. Keep in mind that your driving instructor will have their own set of controls for the car, so you don’t need to worry if you feel overwhelmed and they need to take over. 

After Your First Driving Lesson 

When the lesson is over, your driving instructor will drop you back at home. At this point, they will have a discussion with you about how the lesson went, and tell you some of the things that you can improve on next time. Make sure that you listen carefully and take note of everything because you may be able to study up on some of these things at home between lessons. 

Before you leave, it’s time to book your next lesson. Ideally, you should minimize time between lessons and try to have 2 or 3 a week if your schedule allows it. 

 

Congratulations, you’ve successfully made it through your very first driving lesson and you are well on the way to passing your test. 

How Two Seconds Could Save Your Life

How Two Seconds Could Save Your Life

Analysis of more than 100,000 miles of driving of British drivers has shown that there is a cause for concern for safety on the road. During the 8,500 hours of driving, many drivers were found not to be keeping safe distances from the vehicles in front.

Or worse, the drivers were cutting up other drivers, dangerously close.

The report highlights that many British drivers are putting their lives on the line with these dangerous driving practices. Other reports have shown that more than 6000 accidents a year are because drivers haven’t kept to sensible ‘breaking distances’. This figure doesn’t include accidents where other factors (like distracted drivers, icy road conditions or excessive speed) could also be blamed for an accident.

A result of an accident can be life-changing, and some 30 drivers lose their lives on British roads every year. So, how much space should you be leaving between you and the car in front?

What the Highway Code states

Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that you need to leave enough distance between you and the vehicle to your front so that there is enough time to pull up safely if the vehicle in front suddenly stops or slows down.

This safe rule states that you should never be closer than the total stopping distance, which is the total distance it takes for you to react and the car to stop.

The Highway Code does state that a two-second gap should be adhered to between you and the vehicle to your front when you’re on roads with fast-moving traffic or in a tunnel.

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If there is water on the roads, this should be doubled (at least). In icy conditions, you should increase this distance even more.

The report found that when driving in icy conditions, the gap between cars should be about 20 seconds. Yet many British drivers don’t follow that basic rule.

Are drivers sticking to these rules?

Despite the obvious dangers of an accident, British drivers aren’t complying with the Highway Code. One in five drivers will cut between cars when there is insufficient space to allow for a one-second gap between them and either the car in front or behind them. This is really dangerous as this is shorter than the reaction time of a human.

The average gap being left by many drivers is in fact just 1.35 seconds and this has been recorded at any speeds higher than 25 miles per hour.

Sticking to the two-second rule

Sticking to the two-second rule is something challenging for drivers. Mostly because there are few ways to determine what distance that is on any given road. However, there is a simple way to measure the distance between you and another vehicle. You simply pick a stationary point on the side of the road, or on the road, and count the time it takes between the two vehicles to reach that point.

This simple method of determining the distance between vehicles could be a life-saver

You should also be on the lookout for drivers around you who aren’t paying attention to their distances. On motorways and dual carriageways, use your mirrors to see if there are drivers who are too close or are regularly cutting other drivers up. Be more prepared to break around these drivers to protect yourself.

Finally, remember your driving lessons. If you had cut someone up or changed lanes in your driving test, then you would not have passed.

That rule is there for a reason, it is to get you into a good habit of keeping you and other drivers around you safe. Don’t be tempted to pick up the bad habits of other drivers and put yourself in unnecessary danger by being careless with your distances.

New Road Laws & Crackdowns For Summer

Summer is one of the best times to be on the nation’s roads. Long nights and warm weather make it perfect for a romantic drive or trip out with friends. If you have a convertible to get behind the wheel of, then the experience is even better!

However, new road laws and police crackdowns could spoil all that if you do not know about them. If you need to find out more about this, the below should help.

Don’t ignore ‘X’ signs on motorways

Anyone who heads out onto one of the UK’s motorways will have noticed a red ‘X’ appear over certain lanes at some point. These are not simply for show – they are used to signal that the lane it appears over is closed and you need to move lanes as soon as safely possible. The problem is that around 1 in 20 motorists are simply ignoring them currently! This has seen the authorities bring in a new penalty which took effect as of 10th June 2019. Now, overhead motorway cameras will take a photograph of the offender’s car if it stays in the wrong lane.

This will then trigger an automatic £100 postal fine before 3 points are put on your licence.

Crackdown on litter

Another area of concern for the authorities is more and more people throwing litter from cars. Existing laws stated that it must be proved who threw the litter from the vehicle before any action could be taken.

A new update, however, has seen this change. If any person travelling in a vehicle throws any litter out of the window, the driver will be fined £150 and held responsible. It is hoped this will cut down greatly on the unsightly litter that clogs up the UK’s roadsides.

Don’t drink and drive

Did you know that the amount of people killed in accidents on the road which involved a drunk driver has risen by 45% in a couple of years?

This and the fact that it is summer has seen the police carry out their annual crackdown on drink driving. As well as people driving straight after drinking alcohol, it seems many are still getting caught out the morning after a big night out.

The simple advice is not to have any alcohol before driving and make sure it is out of your system before you do the next day. Penalties for this crime can range from prison to large fines so it is just not worth it.

Police targeting tailgating also

Drink driving is naturally very dangerous to other road users but tailgating is just as bad. This is the practice of following the car in front of you too closely. Not only is this aggressive in its intent but it can also lead to accidents. Police on the M6 are now clamping down on this in a bid to make it safer for all. Those caught tailgating in this operation will be penalised £100 and be given 3 points on their licence.

To avoid this, simply leave a couple of seconds gap between you and the car in front at least.

Stay safe on the Summer roads

As you can see from the above, there is a range of new rules and clampdowns that UK road users will see this summer.

To stay safe and stay out of trouble, it is worth not only knowing about them but following them too. Hopefully, this post has given you enough information to do just that!

How To Reverse Bay Park

How To Reverse Bay Park

Reverse parking in a bay is considered the safest way to park and offers greater control of your vehicle, so making sure you can do this effectively is beneficial.

Many people find it easier to just drive forward into a parking space, but this can cause problems when you come to leave as your visual space can be compromised by other cars and blind spots.

It can also be dangerous to reverse out onto oncoming traffic and you risk hitting other vehicles or a passerby.

Taking the time to reverse park into a bay properly means you can simply drive out of the space once you return to your vehicle, which makes it quick and easy as you can see all the obstacles around you.

December 2017 saw the reverse bay park remain as one of the possible manoeuvres that could be asked of you in your driving test after it was revised, so it’s important that you master it and are confident parking in this way.

Here are some simple steps to help you learn and perfect your bay parking skills:

 

Assess Your Space

 

Firstly, check the bay has sufficient space for your vehicle. If other vehicles are overhanging their bays, you may want to reconsider this space until you have more confidence.

Also, make sure you look around where you are parking.

Are there lots of stationary cars, traffic or pedestrians?

Only begin your reverse parking when the area is free of obstacles. Use your mirrors to check around you and don’t forget your blind spots. If any pedestrians or vehicles come towards you, make sure to stop your manoeuvre until they have moved on.

Parking Using Your Reference Points

 

Once you have indicated your intention to park, you need to begin your manoeuvre using unique reference points.

There are four main points you need to look at to help you work out where your car needs to be. Once you’ve indicated and approached the space, come to a stop slightly beyond your chosen parking bay. At this stage start to reverse until you line up the middle of your passenger door with the closest side marker of the bay.

This is point 1. Once you have found this, start to reverse with your steering wheel fully locked to the left.

As you begin to reverse slowly, you’ll start to see the bay appear in your left wing mirror which will be point 2. Continue on, checking your mirrors until the bay appears in your right wing mirror, point 3. At this point, you should straighten up your steering wheel to park parallel with the lines of the bay. Edge backwards, keeping an eye on all your mirrors while making sure you avoid hitting any obstacles at the rear of the parking space.

Leaving The Space

 

Once you wish to leave the space, check all your mirrors and blind spots to make sure it’s safe to proceed. Begin to move forward slowly until your car is around a third of the way out of the space before steering in the direction you wish to leave in.

Should I Get A Black Box? – The Pros And Cons

Should I get a black box

If you are a learner driver or have just passed your test, then finding reasonably priced car insurance can seem like a real challenge.

For many new drivers, a black box insurance deal may be a more affordable option, and the high cost of car insurance for new drivers means that many decide a black box will save them money.

However, your black box will come with some restrictions, fees and penalties which may mean that your insurance is actually more expensive than a traditional policy.

We look at the pros and cons of getting a black box, so you can see whether this is the best choice for you.

What is a black box?

A black box is a small device which is installed in your car to monitor your driving. Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance, is a way of insuring your vehicle based on your driving behaviour. There are a number of different things that a black box will record, including location, mileage, braking, speed, acceleration, when you drive and how regularly you drive.

Benefits of black box insurance

There are several benefits to having a black box insurance policy, including

– Cheaper insurance

This is perhaps the most important benefit of a black box. Black boxes can save you as much as £500 a year, and for new drivers who are struggling with high insurance costs, this can be a huge factor.

You may also get rewards from your insurer if you are driving well, safely, or you have low mileage.

If you have driven well, according to the black box, then you might get significant reductions on how much your car insurance costs. Some insurers also offer ‘bonus miles’ or cashback.

 

-Monitor your driving

 

Most black box insurance policies also have a smartphone app where you can track your driving, or you can access your black box information online. This can be a handy tool for learner and new drivers, highlighting the areas you need to work on in your driving. You can share this information with your driving instructor or try and work on specific areas before your test. Having a clear picture of how you drive can be a real advantage.

– Evidence in an accident

Another surprising benefit of black boxes is that if you get into an accident, the black box can be used as evidence. It can prove you were driving at the correct speed limit or whose fault the accident was.

– Improve your driving

In many cases, black boxes can be used to improve your driving, and safe driving gives you real rewards.

Things like heavy braking and driving above the speed limit are monitored and discouraged, reducing your score and increasing your costs.

Safe driving is rewarded, and many drivers actively try and improve their score to lower their insurance costs.

– Track your car

In the unlikely event that you lose your car or it is stolen, you can use your vehicle’s black box to locate it.

Disadvantages of black box insurance

 

– ‘Bad driving’ can mean you pay more

As mentioned earlier, black box insurance is designed to encourage good driving and penalise bad driving.

However, as any learner driver will know, there are plenty of grey areas. There are several driving practices that a black box will discourage, and if your black box says that you have a low score, you may incur penalties.

– Curfews

Some black box insurance policies won’t allow the driver to drive at night or during certain hours, like 9pm-5am. Different insurers have different curfew hours, so if you work late or early, a black box might not be appropriate for you. Your car is still insured during those times, but it might incur a penalty.

– Penalties for area

Another thing to consider is where you live. Some black box policies penalise you for driving on ‘unsafe’ roads, and if you live somewhere where this is inevitable, it will negatively impact your driving score.

– Hidden fees

It is always important to check what fees are added to your insurance policy. For example, some insurers charge around £100 to install the black box in a new car. Some companies charge if you change your car, some charge to disconnect the black box after your term is up and some charge to remove the device from your vehicle. Read the fine print and make sure you don’t end up paying extra costs.

– Frequent driving

For frequent drivers, a black box may work out more expensive, or the money you save isn’t worth the inconvenience. Black box insurance encourages low mileage, so if you drive a lot, if you go on long journeys or if you have to regularly drive during busy times you might end up paying more.

How To Tackle Driving In City Traffic

How To Tackle Driving In City Traffic

When you learn to drive, you’re often taken to quiet suburbs, housing estates and country roads to get the hang of things.

But for the millions of us who live in the city — and the many more who work in one — your real-world, independent driving experience is going to be a lot different. You’ll have no one to tell you which lane to be in, no one to bear the brunt of any hostility or road rage and, perhaps most importantly, no one to tell you which way to go.

But though driving in cities can be tricky, it’s not THAT tricky. UK cities are comprehensively designed and optimised for motorists — it won’t be like Mumbai. With a few tips, you’ll be able to handle them no problem.

Tip #1: know your route

First things first, make sure you know where you’re going. Cities can have confusing one-way systems, dead ends and other tricky things that can send you off in completely the wrong direction.

So, think ahead: trace more complicated bits on your sat-nav, or on Google Street view if necessary. You may also consider doing a trial run of a given route if you have time — it all helps to limit surprises and make you feel calmer and better prepared.

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Tip #2: be cautious

City roads can be busy and narrow, both with parked vehicles and traffic. So when you’re coming out of a junction or turning a corner with a restricted view, make sure you edge, peep and creep slowly until you can see properly.

Likewise, some roads may be busy with pedestrians, or even semi-pedestrianised. Go slowly, even if you think said pedestrians should mind out of your way. It’s also very useful to know the width of your car and don’t be overambitious with tight squeezes.

Tip #3: but be confident!

While it’s important to be cautious, be sure to keep up with the flow of traffic. Not doing so can cause confusion, congestion and many other more dangerous problems. So drive, tackle roundabouts and change lanes with confidence — other cars will let you do so, just as they would elsewhere.

Tip #4: avoid traffic

Finally, it’s better to simply avoid stressful situations where possible, instead of tackling them. So don’t drive in cities when it isn’t necessary, and try to steer clear of rush hour when you do.

ADS driving school ensure that you get the training to tackle any motoring scenario — rural or urban. Get in touch today.

Show Me/Tell Me – Are You Aware Of The Changes?

Show Me Tell Me Are You Aware Of The Changes

The new version of the UK driving test will mean that you will now have a 20 minute independent part of the driving test, instead of the older 10 minute version.

In this, you will be required first to answer questions about driving praxis (tell me) and then to demonstrate them in practice (show me).

This is an introduction to the kind of questions you should expect, and how they have changed in the past few years, to help you arrive prepared and confident when the time of your test comes!

In the previous version of the driving test, you would have been asked two questions before the test.

 

Now, you will be asked one while the car is still, and one while you are driving. For example, you might be asked to show the examiner how you clean your windscreen while you drive, rather than telling them this at the start of the test.

This is aimed at replicating more real-life scenarios, for after this test you will often be in a situation in which you will need to drive competently and also think about other tasks regarding your car (operating the horn, switching on dipped headlights, defrosting your front window, just to name a few).

In light of this, it is essential to make sure you are familiar with where all relevant controls are, and that you feel confident practically manipulating them. Failure to successfully perform in the “show me” part of the test will be considered a dangerous fault.

The actual content of the questions will not change significantly, though they are not exactly the same either. The ‘tell-me’ part of the test has ten new questions, including:

 

  • How to check if your brakes are working before starting your journey
  • How to check tyre pressure
  • How to check if your headlights and tail-lights are working
  • How you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash
  • How to check if your tyres are in safe condition
  • How and when you would switch on your rear fog lights
  • How to know if there is a problem with your anti-lock braking system
  • How to check that the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey
  • How to check if direction indicators are working
  • How to check if brake lights are working.

 

Ensure you’re prepared before your test and you should pass with flying colours!

4 Top Tips To Help You Pass Your Driving Test

Pass Your Driving Test

It’s completely natural to feel nervous about taking your driving test. You won’t have your instructor by your side to guide you on the day and the very nature of the test will make you feel highly scrutinised at all times.

The pressure can often prove too much, which is why it’s not uncommon for people to fail their first, second, or even third test before finally passing!

However, passing first time isn’t impossible: it just requires preparation, focus and calm.

Each time you fail your test could set you back weeks, if not months. Tests can be tricky to book at a suitable date and time, and the lessons needed in-between will add further to the cost.

To prepare, here are four top tips to help you pass your driving test and secure your licence:

1. Don’t try to save time and money by taking fewer driving lessons

It can often be extremely tempting to just take a set number of driving lessons and then immediately apply for your driving test. However, this is an ill-advised plan that likely will end up costing you more time and money in the long run.

Learning to drive isn’t an overnight process. It takes investment, hard work and repetition for safe, confident driving to become second nature. How much time? Everyone is different, but on average approximately 50 hours of lessons will be a definite step in the right direction.

Of course, each lesson will cost money and they do add up. However, you’ll be glad you paid for them when you’re not continually paying to retake your test!

The added benefit of all those lessons is that you’ll also be more likely to pass first time and become a safe, responsible driver.

2. Learn the Highway Code properly

Before you can take your driving test, you must pass a driving theory test. There are a variety of books, DVDs and apps that will help you to prepare for this test and pass with flying colours.

However, you shouldn’t stop practising once you pass this test. It may be several months before you take your driving test and believe it or not, the Highway Code actually does matter!

Knowing it inside out will help you to read signs and the road more effectively, in turn making you a better driver during your test.

3. Make the right decision about your vision

Many people are caught off guard during their driving test by the simple vision test that occurs at the very beginning.

The examiner will point to a car approximately 20 metres away and ask you to read back the licence plate number to them. You’ll only get three attempts to get this right, otherwise you’ll receive an immediate fail.

However, you should be aware that if you wear glasses or contact lenses when taking this test, you’ll be required to wear them at all times when driving a vehicle.

Of course, if you need them at all times anyway this won’t be a problem. However, if you only have a very light prescription and don’t intend to always drive while wearing corrective lenses, make sure to take them off for the test – but only if your eyesight is good enough!

4. Practice, practice, practice

This is the simplest tip, but also the most important. You can be the greatest driver in the world and know your Highway Code off by heart, but without practice you’re guaranteed to make small mistakes that will add up during your driving test and could result in failure.

Remember to keep checking your mirrors, signal where necessary and manoeuvre safely at all times. Once you can observe the roads and traffic around you while avoiding such small mistakes, you’ll be truly ready to take – and pass – your driving test.