Passing a driving test can be a breeze for some people and a long and arduous process for others. Nervousness, spatial awareness problems or forgetting all the starting/turning checks necessary are some of the most common pitfalls.
Tricky manoeuvres like parallel or reverse parking and U-turns are other areas that can trip up otherwise passable drivers.
But what’s the average amount of lessons needed to pass a test?
There have been surprisingly few studies in this area, but one carried out by the insurance comparison website confused.com in 2010 showed that UK drivers had 19 lessons on average before passing their driving test, with women needing slightly more and men less, but only showing a small statistical difference (although the majority of people take private help from friends and family on top of professional lessons, and this is hard to quantify).
Around 50% of people required more than one test before passing, despite 60% of men answering yes when asked if they felt natural when driving.
So guys, don’t overestimate your skills!
Meanwhile, everyone should prepare for the possibility of failure at the first hurdle – although many of you will pass eventually, so don’t get demoralised by failure and just pick yourself up and try again.
No matter how many times you fail, take comfort in the fact that you aren’t Janine Mars from Kent, who was dubbed ‘Britain’s worst driver’ after failing her test five times and spending £5,000 on over 200 lessons spanning 14 years.
A string of national media appearances after they caught onto the story probably made up for it in the long run, but you’ve got to think that at some point you’d decide driving wasn’t for you. Either that, or feature on a TV show such as ITV’s Undriveables, which aired in 2014 and chronicled the trials and tribulations of men and women around the United Kingdom who haven’t passed their driving test after five or more attempts; the choice is yours!
But back to you – what if the dreaded happens and you do fail your first test?
Well, it’s not the end of the world. With an average of 1.8 tests taken before passing for men and 2.1 for women, statistically you’re much more likely to pass your second test.
By far the easiest and significant thing you can change, outside of getting better at driving which obviously comes with practice, is to work on your relaxation techniques.
Do some research, have a think and try to find a perfect way of getting into the zone before a test! Studies have shown that 85% of people in the UK would class themselves as ‘scared’ before taking their first driving test, so it’s no wonder that half of them will fail (and that’s just the 85% that admit to it!)
So to sum up: don’t be put off by first time failure, keep practising and stay relaxed – follow these tips, plus all the rules of the road, and, as long as you’re a capable driver, you’ll have earned your wheels in no time at all (or possibly 15 years, but hey – you’ll get there eventually)!