In the driving test, the tester is looking for:
- Safe, competent, smooth driving with good and accurate observation. Proper timing and use of all mirrors. Simply put the tester is looking for "common sense".
- The tester is not looking for fault free driving. If you can do so, all the better. However, if there is a pattern of repeating the same fault, this will lead to failure. If you commit a single fault which is dangerous or potentially dangerous, this will obviously lead to failure
- The best position is the straight position. Do not weave in and out between parked cars if the way ahead is clear as this will lead to failure for incorrect road positioning. If there are no obvious hazards ahead maintain a position of equal distance between the kerb and the white line while on the straight or on bends. Move out early for parked vehicles or other hazards (e.g. children on the footpath etc.), indicating if necessary
- Apply the handbrake where necessary i.e. on hills or when stopped for any length of time at traffic lights, in traffic or at stop signs etc.
- Maintain reasonable progress. A good driving instructor or a tester is not impressed by a slow 'dawdling' drive. If it is legal and safe (due to road conditions) to drive at the speed limit then do so. Do not delay at junctions if it is safe to go especially at open junctions.
- A good driver should be able to drive a car smoothly, i.e. when changing gear you should not cause a jerk to occur. Braking should be gentle and progressive and the accelerator should be used smoothly without 'jabbing'.
- Good and accurate observation is an essential part of good and safe driving. When emerging at T-junctions scan the road you are about to enter so that you know the way is clear. Never stare to the right when turning left either at T-junctions or at roundabouts.
- Follow the correct position when turning right or left. Take left turns tightly where possible. When turning right from a major to a minor road do not overshoot or cut the corner
- Checking the blind spots is an essential part of good driving
- MSM - Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre. It is not the frequency of the use of mirrors that is important but rather the timing of the use of your mirrors. The left wing mirror tends to be under utilised by most drivers. Use MSM when, turning, left, right, changing lanes, on approaching roundabouts and over-taking but do not forget your interior mirror when stopping and slowing.
- React correct to hazards. This means that you should not under react or over react. Read the road ahead and avoid getting yourself into an awkward situation. Look out for the child who may follow the ball which is either moving or stationary and pay particular attention to pedestrian crossings and remember a pedestrian only has right of way when they have at least one foot on the crossing.
- Make sure your vehicle is in roadworthy condition. All your lights should be working, especially all your brake lights and indicators. Make sure that no warning are illuminated on the instrument panel as tests will not be conducted.
- You must be able to demonstrate easily that you know where all your secondary controls are e.g. fog lights. A tester will ask you some questions on the vehicle controls as part of the test
- Make sure you have a fully up to date and legible insurance disc, tax disc and where necessary NCT disc displayed with the correct registration number on each. It is your responsibility to ensure that these are in order.
- Make sure your tyres are in good condition and that the tread depth is above the legal depth of 1.6mm. Also ensure that the air pressure is correct and that the walls of the tyres are in good condition
- You must have a current learners permit with you on the day of your test. No other document will suffice under any circumstances and also note as and from 1st of December 2007 you must now hold a learners permit for 6 months prior to sitting the test.
- The vehicle in which you are being tested should either be your or the property of a driving school, hired cars are not usually permitted unless the company specifically permits it. It is permitted for you to open a window, adjust the heater or operate any other relevant control during the course of the test.
- Please note that technical checks are part of the driving test. You must be able to demonstrate to the tester various checks, such as where the oil goes and how to check for oil and where are the fluids are stored.
- Other compulsory parts of the test are hand signals, the turnabout and the reverse. Remember to use adequate observation on both the turnabout and the reverse and do not mount the kerb on either manoeuvre.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you best wishes for your driving test and safe driving for the future.
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