Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

I have put together some frequently asked questions I've been asked over the last few years.

- Am I ready for my driving test?
- How many lessons will I need?
- Can I take the driving test in my own car?
- Can I have a lesson before my driving test?
- Will you drop me home after my driving test?
- Do you book my driving test?
- Can I drive as soon as I've passed my driving test?
- Should I choose an intensive course or opt for weekly lessons?
- What if I disagree with the examiner's decision?

Am I ready for my driving test?

It can be difficult to know when you are ready to take your driving test. Lessons are going great, you've mastered all of the reversing manoeuvres - but can you do all this without any input from your instructor?

You may have come to an agreement with your instructor that you can go ahead and book a driving test on the condition you continue with driving lessons in the meantime. This means that your driving instructor expects you to be ready if you continue to make adequate progress. It may not mean you are ready right away. Keep those lessons up.

As you become more confident and skilled at driving, the input from your instructor should reduce. You need to be able to drive as though your driving instructor is there for the ride. The less input from them, the better.

It can be beneficial to take a mock test to see where you're at. This will give you an idea of what to expect from the driving test and will highlight any areas that may need improvement. Don't be disheartened if you fail a mock test, use it as a learning opportunity.

Ask yourself: do you still rely on your driving instructor for keeping you at the speed limit, do you need them to guide you through a manoeuvre? If yes, would you consider yourself safe to sit a driving test?

How many driving lessons will I need?

This is a difficult question to answer. The important thing to remember is that everybody learns differently. Please do not compare yourself to your friends' progress. The most important thing here is that you take the time to take on board the skills needed to be a safe and competent driver.

Just think - the more hours you get with your instructor, the more experience you are getting.

Can I take the driving test in my own car?

Yes you can, however, put yourself in the shoes of the examiner. Most people learn to drive with an instructor and so will take their driving test in their instructors vehicle. This will be equipped with dual controls and appropriate mirrors. If you are ready for your driving test then the dual controls should not be needed, but they are there for the safety of you and the examiner.

Imagine how the examiner would feel if they need to take action and they are unable to do so? How would this impact road safety?

You must also ensure that your vehicle is covered by a valid insurance policy specifically allowing you to take a driving test. Many learner policies will cover driving tuition but will not allow you to take a driving test.

Can I have a lesson before my driving test?

Of course. A lesson before your driving test will give you enough time to warm up and to get some last minute practice in. However, I don't recommend you drive for too long before your test, you will need to remain fresh and alert and ready for the challenge.

Will you drop me home after my driving test?

Yes of course. Regardless of the test result, I will drive you home. This will give you the opportunity to relax and break the good news. If you don't get the result you wanted, it will give you the time you need to reflect and to ask me any questions you may have.

Do you book my driving test?

You are responsible for booking your own theory and practical driving tests. You can work this around your own commitments. All I ask is that you check with me prior to booking. I cannot he held responsible for any double-bookings which may occur as a result of not checking I am available first.

You can book your test on the DVSA bookings website. There are some services which will offer to book on your behalf, steer clear of these. Do it direct with the DVSA.

Can I drive as soon as I've passed my driving test?

Yes, absolutely. Go for it. You will be given a test pass certificate which you will need to keep safe until your full driving licence arrives. Your examiner will ask if you'd like them to send your provisional licence away on your behalf, if you need this for ID in the meantime, you have the option of doing it yourself. Either way, you can drive straight away.

Should I choose an intensive course or opt for weekly lessons?

This is a personal choice depending on your circumstances. A majority of people choose to book weekly driving lessons. However, if time is short or you need a driving licence fast, an intensive course may be the way forward. The idea is to fit in a pre-agreed set of hours within a week or two with a driving test to follow. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, its very difficult to get short notice tests and so it may be worth opting for weekly lessons.

What if I disagree with the examiner's decision?

If you think that your driving examiner did not follow the regulations when conducting your driving test, you can appeal to the DVSA. Your test result cannot be changed but if your appeal is successful, you may be awarded a free retest.

It is important you listen to your examiner's feedback carefully and ask any questions you may have. A lot of time can be saved if you fully understand the reasons behind their decision. Your driving instructor can advise you further if they feel you have a case to appeal.

If you'd like to discuss your options, please contact me.

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