Passing your practical

Passing your practical

From tips on the many ways you can prepare yourself to a list of things you need to bring along on the day, read on for all you need to know about passing your practical driving test.

How many lessons do I need?

Although there isn’t a set number of lessons needed by law, you’ll find it nearly impossible to pass your practical driving test without lessons from a qualified instructor. Instructors will know exactly what examiners are looking for and they’ll be best-placed to quash any bad habits that may be overlooked by anyone else.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says that the average student requires a minimum of 45 hours of professional lessons before passing their test. Of course, this will vary from one person to the next, but an honest instructor will let you know when you’re ready. One of the most important things is that you’re confident in your ability to drive safely.

How much practice should I do?

While driving instructors have insurance cover for their students, you’ll still need learner driving insurance when you’re practicing with a parent, guardian or friend. Make sure that anyone who is supervising meets the following criteria:

  • They must be over 21
  • They must be qualified to drive the vehicle you want to learn in
  • They must have had their full driving licence for three years

The DVSA recommends spending at least 20 hours practicing what you’ve learnt in your lessons. Learning to drive can be a costly endeavour, so if you can use your practice time to help get your confidence up then this could be a big help.

Practical Test – Practice tips

If you’ve already passed your theory test, you should already know the Highway Code, but making sure you’re putting it into practice when you’re in the driver’s seat can go a long way to helping you pass.

During practicing time, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the area around the test centre that you plan to take your test at. If the area is particularly hilly for example, then it’s a good opportunity to practice hill starts. If it’s relatively flat but there are plenty of roundabouts, then they should be your area of focus.

Of course, there are times when being on the road to practice just isn’t an option. When that happens, why not brush up on your skills with the help of an app? Learning on the go definitely isn’t the best way to practice, but it can help you stay familiar with manoeuvres and help you learn all the ‘show me, tell me’ questions without getting your hands dirty. You can also check out our advice on learning to drive so you know what to expect.

On the day – Taking your practical

  • On the day of your practical test it’s important to wake up well-rested and as relaxed as possible.
  • Make sure you have a decent breakfast and drink plenty of water to help you stay alert throughout your test.
  • Leave the house in plenty of time to keep stress to a minimum and avoid being late.
  • Don’t forget to bring along your provisional licence, your pass certificate for your theory test and your glasses (if you need them). You’ll be asked to read the number plate of another car, and if you’re unable to do this after three attempts then you will incur an automatic fail.
  • For some people, talking to the examiner can help to ease nerves, but for others it might simply be a distraction. Do whatever comes naturally – either way it won’t affect your result.
  • When the test ends and you get your results – remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t pass.

Passing your theory test

Passing your theory test is one of the first steps to becoming a driver. If you're a little unsure about the requirements, check our helpful guide.

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Secret to passing your test

Passing your practical test can be a little nerve wracking. Find out how to tame the nerves and pass first time with our step-by-step guide

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