Driving test tips-Priceless tips on common driving test mistakes
So we’ve given you tips on how to prepare for the test, but how about some driving
test tips for the actual 40 minutes of the examination. Some people underestimate
the driving test and think that they will get away with a few mistakes here and
there as long as they don’t do anything too dangerous, however this couldn’t be
further from the truth. The examiner has strict criteria they must follow and they
will not hesitate to fail you if you commit a serious/dangerous error. So don’t
get caught out, below are some guidelines for the test which our instructors have
picked up in the many tests taken with Fineline Driving Academy, and we would like
to share them with you. We spoil you sometimes, we really do!
• You are probably in the habit of selecting second gear on the approach to a roundabout,
but if the roundabout is blind (an obstruction means you can’t see traffic coming
from the right until you are really close to entering the roundabout), or if it
is a mini roundabout and you are turning right, then selecting 1st gear is more
appropriate as it gives you more control at a slower speed. Remember that you shouldn’t
drive completely over the top of the centre of the roundabout however if the centre
is painted on and flat, (not raised) then you may go over it slightly.
• At a roundabout, if you look early enough and you see you will have to give way
to traffic on your right, then select first gear about 2 car lengths from the give
way line of the roundabout and aim to keep rolling without stopping. Remember the
whole point of the roundabout being put there is to keep traffic moving, so don’t
stop if you don’t have to. Sometimes stopping is necessary and in cases where there
is a line of traffic to give way to then you should stop, but be ready to move off
as soon as your opportunity arises.
• MIRRORS, MIRRORS, MIRRORS! Most people fail on mirrors, so ensure you check your
mirrors at the appropriate times. A good rule to follow is to always check your
mirrors when changing speed or direction.
• On the approach to traffic lights which have been green for a while, or a traffic
controlled pedestrian crossing where someone is waiting, when a reasonably close
distance to the lights is reached on the approach, come off the gas and cover the
brake. This will stop any harsh/sudden braking and will show you are planning ahead.
• On a slip road, there is nearly always a speed limit sign showing the speed limit
of the road you are joining. Use the space available on the slip road to speed up
to as close to the speed limit as possible, (for example you are joining a dual
carriageway which has a limit of 50MPH, therefore don’t attempt to join at any less
than 40MPH). Joining at a speed close to the speed limit will make it easier to
slot into the traffic already using the road and thus make this whole process smoother.
Look in your nearside mirror early on to see if there is a space to move over, however
bear in mind that the slip road will run out quite soon. Always signal if your slip
road merges onto a lane in the carriageway before joining the road. Its worth checking
your right shoulder blind spot very quickly before joining to ensure all is clear.
Check out our driving tutorial on how to correctly use a slip road, its got a useful
video showing how to do the most important things involved with slip roads.
• If someone is crossing at a zebra crossing and you are waiting, let them come
off the whole crossing and reach the pavement before proceeding. If you drive on
while they are still on the crossing, even if they are on the other side of the
road then you could be penalised.
• Read the road signs. Although this seems slightly obvious, many people fail their
driving test due to neglecting something which is clearly stated on a road sign.
For example, the sign says that on the approaching bend the speed limit is 25MPH
and if this is missed and you continue at 40MPH, you will most probably not be successful
in your test due to failing to adhere to the speed limit. Remember that these signs
are there to help you so you should take full advantage of them.
• Make sure you are strong with all of the manoeuvres. The examiner can ask you
to carry out any of the four manoeuvres, (three if your selected test centre doesn’t
have bay parking). Don’t be strong at one and weak on the others, ensure you are
equally strong with all of them in order to ace it on the test. Although this is
you driving instructors responsibility, don’t be afraid to ask if you feel you need
more practise on a particular manoeuvre. This will never be the case if you are
learning with Fineline driving academy as our unique instructors will ensure you
can perform every manoeuvre to test standard. You can check out how to perform all
of the manoeuvres in our driving tutorials section.
• Emergency stop, are you able to bring the car to sudden controlled stop as if
an emergency has just arisen. There is a 50% you will be asked to perform an emergency
stop, remember that the examiner will clearly let you know you will be doing an
emergency stop and not just spring it on you out of nowhere! The stop itself should
be practised many times to avoid skidding, and don’t forget to check all around
before driving off. Check out our video tutorial on how to perform the emergency
stop for a complete walk through on how to successfully execute an emergency stop.
• Ensure you are familiar with the surrounding area of your selected test centre.
Although set test routes are a thing of the past, there are various junctions/roundabouts
around test centres which have a large probability of being involved in your test
so make sure you know these inside out. This responsibility lies with your examiner
and it should be up to them to show you these test hotspots, if you are learning
with Fineline Driving Academy then you can rest assured that the popular test routes
are covered sufficiently.
• Are you able to park properly? You need to make sure you can park or you’ll have
no chance on test day, you will be asked to park on at least 2 separate occasions
so ensure you are not clipping the kerb during your lessons or parking too far from
the kerb, make sure you check your mirrors and signal before moving direction to
park and most importantly ensure the parking place you choose is safe and convenient.
This means you are not in front of someone’s driveway or opposite a junction, or
on yellow lines/zig zags and don’t mount the kerb even if everyone else on the road
has parked like this. For a detailed video tutorial about how to correctly park during your driving test, click here.