Once you’ve passed your theory test, it’s time to start focusing your attention on passing the practical driving test. This is the final hurdle before you can get out on the road, but the problem is that many test centres have long waiting lists and your theory certificate only lasts for two years.
To avoid having to take the theory test again, and to get a test as soon as possible, it pays to plan ahead.
This is the final hurdle before you can get out on the road, but the problem is that many test centres have long waiting lists and your theory certificate only lasts for two years. To avoid having to take the theory test again, and to get a test as soon as possible, it pays to plan ahead.
Book as soon as you can
As soon as you’ve passed the theory portion of your test, book the practical at your local test centre. You’ll find that some test centres have a waiting list of two months or more.
You could also investigate taking your test at another centre, but you’ll give yourself every advantage if you book in a place where you know and feel confident on the roads.
You could also book as soon as you’ve finished your first driving lesson, as this will give you a clear timeframe to work towards and you’ll know just how long you have to master your driving skills and get the theory test under your belt.
Get an earlier test date
Once you have a booking number for your test and feel confident that you could take your test as quickly as possible, you can look for an earlier test date.
Go online and look for dates that have become available. Use your booking number to re-book your test for the new, earlier date.
Thousands of people change or cancel their test dates every day, so it pays to keep looking.
If you don’t have access to the internet or prefer to use the phone, the DSA also has a voice service to let you take advantage of any newly available slots.
Talk to your driving instructor and make sure you’ve worked through the Driver’s Record before you make any decisions. Your instructor is the best person to assess whether you’re ready to take the test.
Take a mock driving test
Taking a mock test is the best preparation for the real thing as it accurately assesses whether you’ve attained the standard necessary to pass your driving test.
Try and take your mock test on the same roads as the real test and at the same time of day.
During a mock test, you’ll drive exactly like you will in the test.
That means your driving instructor will give you clear instructions but they won’t give you any feedback until the test is finished.
You might feel nervous, but it’s the best preparation for the real thing and for driving alone when you’ve passed your test. Being able to keep your nerve when you find yourself on unfamiliar roads is a very useful skill.
Your driving instructor is looking to assess your skill level behind the wheel, and will issue a clear set of commands including move off, turn and stop.
You’ll also be asked to execute manoeuvres just like you’ll face in the test itself.
The mock test will last 40 to 50 minutes, just like the real thing, and you’ll be in charge of the car the entire time.
Make the most of it – this is what you’ve been learning and practising for, and it is your first real taste of proper driving.
When you’ve completed the mock test, you’ll get your feedback. You’d be surprised at the small errors you can commit without failing!
If you can drive for this period of time without committing a serious driver error – something that could lead to an accident without your instructor or another road user taking evasive action – then you’re ready for the real thing.