L-Test Superstitions

From 'Lucky pants' to beads and bibles

Preparation is the real key to avoiding a 'pants' driving test, say AA instructors

4 June 2010

'Lucky pants', socks and T-shirts, calming aromatherapy oils and a lucky champagne cork are among the good luck charms carried by learners to help pass their L-test, according to AA Driving School.

Others seek divine intervention with prayer beads, bibles and religious medals, or superstitions such as saluting magpies – but in reality there is no substitute for good preparation, a nationwide survey of AA instructors reveals.

preparation is everything

AA Driving School director Simon Douglas says: "It's understandable that learners want to do or bring things to help calm their nerves on test day. But the truth is that preparation is everything and 'luck' has very little to do with it.

"Passing your test is nothing to do with your choice of pants and everything to do with choosing a good instructor and making sure you take enough lessons, backed up by practice with a relative or friend."

Tips from the AA include seeking recommendations on instructors from friends and family, and to make sure your instructor is fully-qualified; up to 7,000 trainee driving instructors – one in eight of all instructors – are believed to be working for driving schools across the UK.

Simon Douglas adds: "Pupils at AA Driving School take confidence from the fact that we're the only national school that guarantees your instructor is not also a learner – sparing you the unlucky prospect of paying full price for someone who has not passed their instructing exam. We take pride in the tuition and support we give learners, which is why 98 per cent of our pupils say they would recommend us to other learner drivers*."

Favoured superstitions include:

  • Saluting magpies
  • Carrying favourite soft toys, a lucky champagne cork, or aromatherapy oil to sooth the nerves
  • Wearing lucky underwear, socks, shoes or jewellery
  • One pupil wore the T-shirt she had on when she gave birth to her daughter (now 7 years old) and the trousers she was wearing before she conceived

AA Advice

A selection of more worldly advice from AA Driving School instructors for learners serious about losing their L-plates.

  • Choose a good instructor. Ask for recommendations from friends or relatives who have learned to drive
  • When booking lessons, ask if your instructor will be fully-qualified. Look out for a green badge in the windscreen of the driving school car. A pink badge means the instructor is a trainee
  • Make sure you take enough lessons and don't rush into the test only to have your confidence knocked by failing. According to the Driving Standards Agency, those who pass have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training plus 22 hours of private practice
  • On test day wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and practical shoes
  • Don't try to impress the examiner – safe, sensible driving is more important

According to one instructor, the best 'lucky charm' of all is a mobile phone – switched off! A ringing phone can be very distracting in the midst of L-test manoeuvres.

Join the discussion in the AA zone

 

4 June 2010

*AA Driving School customer satisfaction research of 605 AA Driving School pupils interviewed by phone during 2008.