It’s easy to forget that every person on the road has had to go through a driving test at some point in their life, but that doesn’t make it any less of a daunting prospect for new drivers.
You might have also heard some driving myths and well-meaning advice that you’re not whether to believe.
We take a look at these claims and explain what advice you should, and shouldn’t be, listening to in the run up to your test.
“There’s a set amount of passes allowed each week”
This one could be used as an explanation for people failing towards the end of the week, but it simply isn’t true. Examiners never want prospective drivers to do poorly and will judge everyone the same to ensure they’re ready to drive on their own. Pass rates can vary according to where and when your test is taken, but never by imaginary quotas.
“The theory test is easy”
You might hear people who’ve passed their multiple choice and hazard perception tests say this to reassure you if you’re about to take these. But the most recent statistics from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency showed that around 48% of people tested passed – meaning less than 1 in 2 got above the pass mark. We don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound particularly easy – so study hard and make sure that you don’t have to go through the theory test more than once. Plus, it will help you with your confidence on the road when you do pass.
“Stalling means you fail”
Stalling can happen to any driver behind the wheel of a manual car, so don’t panic if it happens on your test. If you continue to stall or do so when pulling out of a junction and into the line of traffic, then the examiner will be likelyto mark you down for potentially dangerous driving – so make sure you find the biting point and hold it there before taking your foot off the clutch as you drive away. Patience is key.
“Drive at a slower speed to show how safe a driver you are”
It’s safe to say that dawdling at the lights or being hesitant at junctions won’t gain you any extra credit – in fact, the examiner is more likely to mark you down for doing either. If you’re tentative and appear nervous – even though you may be perfectly capable and drive normally during your lessons – testers are more likely to fail you, as they won’t believe you’ll be able to drive out on the open road without assistance. It’s best to drive as you would normally.
“Crossing your hands means you don’t pass”
Driving instructors and examiners do recommend that you use the shuffling technique you’re normally taught when turning the wheel. But if you feel comfortable using a different way, such as crossing your hands, then examiners won’t mark you down – as long as you have complete control of the vehicle.
“Test cars are supplied at the test centre”
This one’s definitely a myth. If you’ve been having lessons with a driving instructor, you need to ensure they are available on the day and time of your test so you can use their vehicle. If you book it without checking and your instructor isn’t available, then you won’t be able to get a refund and will have wasted a good amount of money. If you’ve been using a parent to teach you to drive with a dual-control car, then you need to use that for your test – the DVSA won’t supply a vehicle at the test for you.
“Boys pass quicker than girls”
Though government stats may show that more men pass first time than women, the best way to look at it is if you’re well prepared and composed on the day of your test, it doesn’t matter who you are.
Are you in need of a driving instructor? See if there are any AA Driving School instructors available in your area here.
If you’ve recently passed your practical driving test and you’re after a car, check out our used car site here.