Nailing your restricted licence test first time

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Getting behind the wheel and being free to drive yourself anywhere you wish is an exciting time for many young people. It can also cause a fair amount of angst as you get ready for the big driving test.

Here are a few tips and pointers for people getting ready to sit their restricted licence test. We want everyone to be safe on the road, so it’s worth taking a bit of time to give the big test your best effort.

Firstly, there are two key aspects to preparing for your restricted test:
Experience on the road – it takes around 120 hours of supervised driving to have the best opportunity of a pass, so make sure you’re putting in the practise.
Good tutoring – some professional lessons, coupled with a driver mentor to supervise your practice sessions, are a great way to make sure you’re learning the right way. Your mentor can be a family member, who must have held a full license for at least two years. The Driving Instructor should feed back to the student and mentor on the skills that need practice, in order to embed them into the learner’s driving processes. Changes in recent years make it important for the mentor to know their stuff and be up with the latest road rules.

Common mistakes during the test

  • There are a few issues that regularly come up in restricted driving tests. Common mistakes that young drivers make in their tests include:
  • failure to search properly
  • missing signals
  • non-compliance with speed zones
  • failure to completely stop at compulsory stop signs

Every little detail will be noticed and you must adhere to the rules if you want to pass. Any of these errors makes a driver unsafe to themselves and others using the road, so by the time of the test a driver should be automatically searching correctly, signalling appropriately and complying with signage.

The importance of an instructor
A driving instructor will help you get through your test. They will work with you and your driving mentor to focus on areas that need improvement and make sure you’re learning what you need to be safe on the roads.

There are a number of refinements to the common mistakes that an instructor can also help with, so one should be engaged at the start of the process, in order for the correct messages to be given to the student.

Take your time and don’t rush in
Practice is the best way to become safe and competent behind the wheel. Sometimes young drivers rush in and book a test when they are not fully prepared, so it is imperative they take the instructors advice on when to book, as they have the experience and can recognise when a driver is ready.

Good luck and be safe out there!