Welcome to my Driving Test Tips page.
The aim of these next few paragraphs is to give you a better idea into how your practical test will be conducted, and what exactly the examiner will expect from you.
Basingstoke Driving Lessons are no different to any other town.
As a Qualified Driving Instructor I will aim to get you as prepared as possible
This is only as a guide, and all aspects of the Driving Test will be explained to you, by me, in detail during your driving lessons. Here are a few tips to help you understand what the examiners will be looking for on the day of your practical driving test.
Some of this driving test information may be familiar to you from your theory test study, or from talking with friends that have already passed .
The first thing that will happen is that the examiner will ask to see your provisional driving licence, both the photo card and the paper counterpart. The test will not be allowed to take place if either part is unavailable. Your theory test certificate may also be requested, so have that with you too.
Next ,the eyesight test, as mentioned earlier.
Once you are with your car, there will be two safety questions about your car.
One will be a 'show me' question, and the other a 'tell me' question. (I will go through these thoroughly with you well before your test).
The examiner DOES NOT expect you to be a mechanic. These are basic safety check questions that all car drivers should be aware of.
The examiner will expect you to be sitting in a comfortable position so that all of the controls can be used in a safe manner.
This is the 'cockpit drill' that you would have undertaken at the start of your driving lesson, pre test. (DSSSM).
Do remember to secure your seat belt before starting the engine at the begining of your driving test. (This can easily be forgotten in the heat of the moment !)
The examiner will direct you in a clear manner. They will not try to catch you out, or trick you. It is in everybodys best interest that you are calm and understand what they would like you to do. Should you forget any part of an instruction, it is ok to ask for clarification.
Your examiner will be polite with his/her instruction, using 'please' and 'thank you' often.
During your test, the examiner will talk to you to give instructions and may engage in short, general chat when they feel that the moment is suitable, and not at a time when your concentration is at it's highest. They will not want to distract you.
Please remember that it is VERY important that you do not turn to look at the examiner when talking with them if you are driving at the same time.
Keep your eyes on the road at all times.
The section regarding the control of the vehicle will look at how you use the accelerator, clutch, gears, foot brake, hand brake, and steering. All of these, especially the clutch, must be used in a very smooth, co-ordinated way.
Imagine that you have a tall glass of water on your dash board...
Don't spill it..........
All drivers have at some time stalled their cars, even the examiners. This alone is not always a reason for an unsuccessful result. The ability to fix the problem and to continue safely, (good effective observations) is often more important than the original mistake.
There is nothing worse than the examiner getting out of your car at the end of the driving test and feeling sea sick !.
If they wanted to be thrown around, they would have gone to Alton Towers, for a roller coaster ride !
Gear changes should be selected in good time, without keeping the clutch depressed, (this is called coasting, and seriously reduces car control).
The Ford Focus has a very good gear box.
Correct gear selection also helps towards good fuel consumption.
There should not be any need to look down at the gear lever at any time during your driving test.
Braking must be very smooth and progressive, and applied in plenty of time. Take into account how wet weather affects your stopping distances and adapt accordingly. (check your Highway Code for the stopping distance chart).
The hand brake should be applied whenever required to avoid any 'roll back'. It can also assist in a more prompt 'move away'.
All steering must be accurate and not harsh. Avoid crossing your hands or letting the steering wheel 'slide' back through your hands after a turn has taken place. Also, do not hold the inside rim of the steering wheel.
Take extra care when re-adjusting your hand position on the steering wheel, that you do not allow both hands to leave the wheel at the same time.
It may seem obvious, but it does happen.
Before moving away, the 'blind spot' MUST be checked each time, without exception.
Failure to do this during your driving test, could result in failure of the test itself !
Knowing when to move away in to a flow of traffic is as important as knowing when to wait. Do not attempt anything beyond your ability. Do not feel under pressure from other drivers. If in doubt, wait.
Observations during the drive must be frequent and effective. Lots of general looking around is not always best if it is not 'effective observations'.
Pay lots of attention for motorcyclists, especially at junctions.
(The routine of mirror,signal, manoeuvre will be a natural and instinctive technique for you by the time we arrive for the test)
Signals of any kind must clearly show your intentions early,and not be misleading to others.
Only use signals that are shown in the highway code.
DO NOT wave or beckon pedestrians to cross in front of you. You may reduce speed, if safe to do so, and make eye contact, but let them make their own choice.
Be very aware of signals given by others, and make sure that any action you take from these, was in fact intended for you.
Your speed must be safe and within the limits set for that particular road. Speed limits are not targets to aim for. Discretion and common sense must prevail.
You must be able to stop safely within the distance that you can see to be clear.
Progress must be made, and aviod too much hesitation.
Be confident...assertive not aggressive....cautious not hesitant.
Have good judgement at junctions, reading the signs and the intentions of other cars, both approaching and joining. Be able to deal with meeting traffic, overtaking and turning across the path of others.
Keep a good road position and maintain good clearance to obstructions. Avoid 'shaving' past other vehicles. (All will be explained during your lessons in detail).
Keep a very safe distance when passing cyclists or horse riders.
Allow as much space as you would for a car. Horses can be nervous on the roads and jumpy, so turn down any loud music that you have playing,(after your test, not during !), and avoid flicking up stones as you pass them.
Always keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front when in a queue of traffic. Be able to see the 'tyres and tarmac' between you both. This allows you space to drive around if needed.
Plan well ahead and be aware of hazards in plenty of time. Do not trust anybody else on the road, and especially be ready for the unexpected hazards. Position in such a way that you take into consideration the actions of others.
The ancillary controls (wipers & de-misters etc) of your vehicle will need to be fully understood and able to be used if required. These will aslo be fully explained to you, and you will have the oppotunity to practise using them.
All of the reversing exercises must be executed in a controlled and accurate manner. ( We will practise so that you can do these in your sleep, no need to worry).
The manoeuvers are to be accomplished with accuracy, not speed. (Only one will be asked of you on your test, examiners choice!).
Observations during the reversing exercise must be thorough, precise and frequent.
It is ok to make an adjustment to the position of your car if needed, even if that means pulling forward before continuing.
By not seeing a cyclist or pedestrian could be fatal !
During these exercises, try not to 'dry steer', and remember to 'counter steer' when required.
There will be a ten minute section of your driving test, in which the examiner will ask you to drive independently. This would have been practiced with me . It could either be given as a series of instructions, an easy to follow map, or just to follow road signs. Taking the wrong route is not always a major problem, although it is best not to. Be safe at all times.
A emergency stop may be asked of you, at any stage of the drive.
If this is the case, you will be given prior warning by your driving examiner that this will take place. Even if you have started to drive in anticipation for this exercise, and something occurs that will not make it safe to attempt, then your examiner will cancel the request, and may ask again later, or just not bother. We will also have practiced this during your sessions.
The result of the driving test will be given to you in the car at the end of the drive. An explanation of the test result will be offered if you wish, and I can also listen in at your request.
I will not usually sit in during your driving test, the extra weight may affect your hill starts, and I would not be able to be involved in any way, however, you will be asked if you would like me to do so by the examiner at the start, and I will if you prefer.
Further details of your test day and what exactly will be expected from you will be covered by me during your driving lessons leading up to the big day.
Should there be a problem regarding the examiner on the day of your driving test, you will usually be contacted by the D.S.A to advise you if the driving test will still go ahead.
If there is snow on the ground we may still have to try to attend as it is not always clear how passable the test routes are. You will not be expected to drive if conditions are very bad.
A new test date will be issued by the DSA if it has been cancelled by them.
We can cover winter driving as a seperate driving session if suitable.
Thank you for taking the time to read this page, and please contact me if you have any questions.
You can also see me at my next event day.
Basingstoke Driving Lessons
Qualified Driving Instructor.
Manual Driving Lessons