Are you thinking about taking your practical driving test? It is important not to take your test before you are ready. While that may seem obvious, many people are just exciting about getting their driver’s licence and they rush into taking the driving test before they have the skills that they need. There is no practical replacement for practice and learning all of the rules of the road before you take that final test, so take your time and get it right because each time you are not successful with your test it is a blow to your confidence. Here are our tips for success that should help you when you plan to take your practical driving test:
Study the top reasons people fail the practical driving test and avoid doing them yourself.
moving off safely – check all blind spots, look around carefully and indicate which way you are planning to move.
reverse parking – during your driving test you will have to parallel park on a roadway or reverse into a parking spot at your testing center. Practice backing up using your mirrors and parking inside the lines. If you misjudge this movement it will count as a fault against you.
using mirrors properly – make sure you use your rear-view mirror, your side mirrors and react to what you see correctly. If you pull out or change lanes without checking mirrors you can be putting yourself and your tester in danger.
respond to traffic signals correctly – you need to move when the light turns green and stop for a red light. Many people try to run red lights or are not fast enough leaving the intersection when the light turns green.
Steering – do not hit the kerb when you are pulling over or backing up into a parking spot.
Calm Your Nerves
It is a given that you will be nervous when you are taking your driving test, everyone is to a certain degree. If you are prone to panic attacks or anything more extreme, you need a way to calm yourself down. Do not book a time for a test around other stressful times in your life. Get plenty of rest leading up to your test date so that you are not tired at the time of your test. Try to avoid caffeine before you take your test, one cup of coffee is fine, but do not overdo it. If you are a person who likes to chat to calm yourself down, try to remember that your examiner may not be as talkative because they do not want you to be distracted from your test.
Have Everything You Need to Take Your Test
You will need to fill out an application form, complete an eyesight screening or bring an eyesight certificate; have your phot taken and sign for your licence, book the time to take your practical test and pay for your test. The practical test for your full licence takes approximately 30 minutes including a check of your vehicle with feedback at the completion of the test. Your test includes your demonstration of driving competently through many different situations in busy traffic. Bring all current documentation with you including your licence – if it is a temporary one, you need a passport and two other forms of ID. Your vehicle needs a current rego (licence) and a Warrant of Fitness as well as road user charges if you have a diesel vehicle. The passenger seat should be clean and clear of debris for the testing personnel.
Have you Practiced Driving Enough?
While it may sound obvious, it is very important to have confidence behind the wheel when you take your driving test. Make sure you have practice in a wide range of situations so that you have confidence on the day of your test. Check your practice manual and make sure that you have practice all the situations listed in it.
Know When and Where Your Test Will be
Know where the test location is and how long it will take you to arrive there. Try to get to the test location 30 minutes prior to the test and that your vehicle has plenty of fuel for getting to and from the test location as well as for the test itself.
Prepare for the Test
Knowing what to expect and what might happen during the test will help you to be ready for the test. Practice changing lanes, accelerating, stopping, parking, backing up, parallel parking, stopping at a red light, using your mirrors and shoulder checks. Remember to ask your examiner to put on their safety belt when the get into the vehicle and ensure that there are absolutely no distractions – turn off the radio and put your cell phone in the boot.
Do not Follow too Closely
Leave space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. You should not be closer than two car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. As you speed up, be sure to leave more space between you and the vehicle in front of you because it will take longer to stop at higher speeds. Following too closely (tailgating) will usually cause an examiner to fail a driver because they are unsafe.
Always Follow the Speed Limits
Stay at the posted speed limit, do not go above it. If you fail to stay at the posted speed limit you will probably fail your driving test, you must be at the posted speed limit before you reach that sign on the road. If you are more than 10 km/h over the posted speed limit, it will be an automatic fail.
Inspection of Vehicle
The car that you will use for your test will need to have the proper paperwork including a certificate of fitness and a warrant of fitness. The testing officer will conduct a pretest safety check, an in-vehicle safety check, check to see that you have enough fuel to complete your driving test, check to see if the two learner licence plates are correctly displayed, check for a current vehicle registration label and an RUC (road user charges) label if the vehicle is diesel. The examiner will also verify the candidate’s identity before the road test.
If you want to prepare for your driving test, contact a local driving school to book your pre-test preparation appointment. We will get you confident and road-ready so you will pass your test with flying colours!