Learning to drive can be one of life’s more scary experiences, but there are many reasons why it should be one of your main goals. Driving is a skill that once gained, you have for life. It will suddenly open up the world to you, as you will no longer need to rely on public transport or walking to get to out of reach places. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want.
Mexico is understood to be one of the easiest places to pass a driving test, whilst in India, the driving test simply asks you to drive straight, turn left and stop. Japan, Finland, and Denmark are some of the more difficult places to pass. In most places though, the process is roughly the same, or similar. After completing the required amount of practical driving lessons, which can vary from person to person, you will need to take and pass a driving test.
The Difference Between the US and UK Driving Tests
The process of earning a driver’s license is a little more rigorous in the UK than in the USA. To earn a driving license in the USA, learners will take a basic multiple choice theory test to demonstrate that they understand the rules of the road, followed by a 15-20 minute practical test. They will also be required to take an eyesight test or health examination to ensure that they are fit to drive.
In the UK, learners will need to pass a theory test, a hazard perception test, a vehicle safety test, a 40-minute practical driving test which includes 10 minutes of ‘independent driving’ and an eyesight test. So practicing and preparing fully for the UK driving test will help to increase your odds of passing the first time. The first time test pass rate in the UK is only 21%. There are some steps you can take to help you prepare for the driving test though.
#1 Take Plenty of Driving Lessons
This probably sounds quite obvious but lots of people fail the UK driving test because they haven’t taken enough driving lessons to gain the experience needed to pass. Wait until your driving instructor tells you that you are ready. It takes people on average approximately 60-80 hours to gain enough knowledge to pass. If you are in a hurry to pass your test, consider an intensive driving course instead. They offer you the opportunity to reduce the time it takes you to pass your driving test.
#2 Learn British Motoring Terms
Many of the British motoring terms may sound like the names of rock and roll bands to a person unfamiliar with them! Words like ‘Kerb’, ‘Slip Road’, ‘Mini Roundabout’ and MOT are common in the British language. Learning these is essential to understanding the highway code properly, which is an important part of passing the UK driving test. For instance “yellow lights” in the US translates to “amber lights” in the UK.
#3 Practice the Highway Code
Prepared by the Department for Transport, the ‘Highway Code’ is an essential read if you are planning to take the UK driving test. The highway code was first published in 1931 and has been regularly updated to reflect current practices throughout the years. The Highway Code is packed full of information and advice regarding the rules for road users in the United Kingdom.
#4 Know the Local Roads
Another thing that a learner should always do is to familiarise themselves with the area local to the test centre that they will be taking their driving test at. Having to drive a vehicle on unfamiliar roads is not a great way to pass the driving test. Ask your driving instructor if you can spend a couple of lessons driving “known” test routes in your area. This is a great way to get that extra practice in and will also help with your confidence.
Like most things in life, learning to drive takes time to practice and master. Confidence is paramount if you want to pass the UK driving test. If you are anxious then mistakes are bound to happen. Follow our tips and practice, practice, practice!