Learning how to drive is a daunting task but the most rewarding. Your practical test is undoubtedly the most nerve-wracking part of the process, with 2.6 million Brits admitting that they are too scared to get on the road.
Being anxious is absolutely normal but the easiest way to ease your nerves is by being as prepared as possible for your practical. Keep these expert tips in mind and there is no reason your test should be any more difficult than your usual driving lesson.
Find the right instructor
Every instructor has a different teaching style so don’t be surprised if the very first instructor you go with isn’t a match. Before you take your test, you’ll want to spend some time looking for the most compatible teacher. You can find driving schools and instructors near you and research their pass rates to help you pick an accredited instructor with great credentials.
Drive the test routes
Although the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) doesn’t publish test routes, familiarising yourself with potential areas and roads that you might be expected to navigate can’t hurt. If there is a roundabout you’ve been scared to cross, it’s better to give it a go before test day.
You can also take the opportunity to practice driving techniques that fill you with dread, whether that is a reverse park in bay, emergency spot, or parallel parking. This is the perfect strategy for building your confidence and driving skills.
Practice in your test car
Being in a car you’re comfortable with and know well can increase your chance of passing your test the first time. Your instructor will talk through the mechanics of your vehicle but if you’re already familiar with it, you’ll have the advantage of knowing how all the controls work already.
Remember – you need learner driver insurance to drive legally on the road, even to practice so make sure this is in place before you get behind the wheel.
Revisit your theory
Take some time to brush up on the theory before test day as it can put you in a better position to pass. You’ll also find many hints on the safest way to drive and the importance of keeping to The Highway Code. Brush off your apps and revision books to get reacquainted with road signs to settle your nerves and reassure yourself of your ability.
Get a good night’s sleep
Don’t underestimate the impact of a good night’s sleep and a full belly before you take your practical. Though it is easier said than done but going into it well-rested and undistracted can only benefit you. It’s important that you look alert to your examiner and you’ll feel fresh as a bonus.