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How can I pass my driving test first time?

When you take your driving test the first time it is only natural that you will be a little nervous. However, if you are fully prepared for the test then your nerves should be minimal and you should be feeling full of confidence in yourself.

Arrive at the driving test centre on time.

This is a very important factor as if you are more than a few minutes late it is likely that your driving test will not go ahead. You may have noticed that they have some odd times for the test slots such as 9:37 and 3:02. This is because the tests are set 57 minutes apart which means that there is not much spare time between the test slots.

Arriving early also takes the stress out of parking up at the test centre and means that you can choose a convenient parking spot in the car park.

What will the driving examiner be like?

They are all different, but they all will try to put you at ease. They don’t wear those hi viz jackets any more and they will call you by your first name. They will chat to you a little as you drive but they will be watching what you do.  Remember to them it is just another day at the office and all they really want to see is a safe drive and that you are confident enough to be let loose on your own.

You need to be alert.

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the big day.

Arrange a lesson with your driving instructor before the test.

An hour drive before the test is usually enough to settle into your driving and get you feeling ready to pass your driving test.

Remember to take your provisional licence.

Your driving instructor should check this, but it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct documents. The only thing which you will need is your provisional driving licence. Without this your driving test will not go ahead.

Driving test car with extra mirror and dual controls

Which car do I use for my driving test?

You can either take your test in your instructors’ car or you may use your own car for the test, provided that you have the correct insurance in place.

You are probably best off taking the test in the car in which you have taken your driving lessons in. This is the car which you are most familiar with driving. You’re driving instructor’s car will be fitted with dual controls

Whichever car you use familiarise yourself with all the controls and the location of the coolant, brake fluid and oil dipstick, as you will be asked questions on these as part of the vehicle safety questions.

Driving Test Routes

The driving test routes are totally random. You will not know where you will be going, the examiner will simply direct you around a route and for some part of the test you may be asked to follow a pre programmed route on a sat nav.

Even though you don’t know the route which you will be taken on, it still pays to practice in the test area and become familiar with any tricky areas. There are also some areas of the driving test where a little local knowledge can be a great help.

Use our driving test route videos to get an idea of a driving test route.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake.

It is so easy to worry about the slightest little mistake on your driving test, if you do make a mistake don’t let it ruin the rest of your driving. Very often someone makes a mistake on the test, but it turns out not to be any where near as bad as they thought.

If you get something wrong, try to just carry on. You can still pass even with 15 minor faults; you must make certain that you do not get any serious or dangerous faults as just one of these would result in a failed test.

What if I go the wrong way on my driving test?

If you take a wrong turn or go the wrong way at a roundabout on your driving test you will be ok. As long as you go the wrong way safely. Navigation skills are not a part of the test. I would try not to go the wrong way as it will probably mean that you have a longer driving test as the driving examiner will need to redirect you back onto the route.

Use your mirrors.

One of the top reasons for minor faults on the driving test is not checking mirrors. Be sure to follow the mirror signal manoeuvre routine throughout the driving test.

Also check your blind spot each time you move away from the side of the road. While carrying out your driving test manoeuvre you should keep excellent all-round observations, even if you are in an empty car park you must keep looking all around the car for any hazards.


Weather conditions on driving test.

Your driving test may be postponed if it is icy or snowing but other than that then pretty much anything goes. You should be well practised in driving in all weather conditions Rain, bright sunshine, wind and hail.

Which test centre will I do my driving test in.

You should take your driving test in the driving test centre closest to where you live as this is where you will be most familiar with the roads, You can take it in any test centre but I really would advise you to use your local one.


Ipad driving test marking sheet

Driving test marking ipad

How is the Driving Test Marked?

The driving examiner will no longer have a big clipboard but will mark your driving test on a tablet. The marking system and fault categories are still the same and on the examiners Ipad there are various boxes for each type of driving fault. Should you make an error then the corresponding box will be tapped to record either a driving fault (minor), serious fault or dangerous fault.

It worth mentioning that during the test the examiner will be tapping away on the ipad so don’t be alarmed at this. It doesn’t mean faults are being recorded. They have to keep a note of other things that happen on the road such as weather conditions and where you go. Do not try to look at what is on the screen!

What happens at the end of my driving test?

At the end of the test you will be given the result, hopefully you will have passed. You will also be given a short debrief on your performance during the test and any faults which were recorded will be explained to you.

You will also receive a copy of the driving test report by email. If you pass you will be handed a driving test pass certificate and your new drivers licence will arrive through the mail.

At the end of the driving test it is a good idea to have your driving instructor listen in to the debrief, this is beneficial to you if you fail as your instructor will be able to help you avoid making the same mistake again.



You will receive an email with your driving test result.

Driving test passed email

After the test.

Ok the test is over, and you will know the result. Hopefully you have passed and are excited to be going out the next day to get yourself your first car.

Your instructor will drive you home and you can relax.

If you do not pass your instructor will drive you home and you can discuss what went wrong and plan for the next test.

After taking over 500 learners for a driving test one thing I can say is that while I have seen some incredibly nervous candidates just before the test, nobody has ever come back from the test and said that it wasn’t a good experience.

Usually if someone fails, they may be kicking themselves for making a mistake, but they are always really eager and looking forward to having the next go.

Once you have passed you can further your driving skills by taking a pass plus course which will cover motorway driving, city driving and night-time driving.

If you have any questions about the driving test you can ask in the comments below.