10 tips for taking your driving test in 2023

two people pointing towards a car with a clipboard showing a manoeuvre

New year, new you. 2023 is an open road ahead of us and this may / will be the year you pass your driving test.

But, as only around 50% of drivers passed their test in 2021/22, how can you best prepare?

Well, you’ve done the first thing already – you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve put together 10 simple driving test tips to help cut out any worries you might have about the big day.

Be early

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the driving test centre and get there 10-20 minutes before your test.

This means you have time to check you’ve got everything, but isn’t so early that you’ll have time to start worrying. The tried-and-driving-tested sweet spot.

Get plenty of rest

Making sure you’re well rested is super important to avoid added stress and to keep you focussed during your test.

If nerves are keeping you up, try some relaxing techniques and do your best to rest your body.

Practice makes improvement

Very few people are perfect on their test and only around 50% pass on their first attempt. But regularly driving before your test can significantly improve your chances.

Get out as often as you can at different times to practice, as every trip will increase your confidence. Just make sure you have someone who meets the legal requirements in the car with you.

Use your instructor

There are a few points to this one. If you’re not insured on another car, make sure you book in plenty of sessions with your instructor close to the test.

They’re professionals, so they’ll know what to do to build up your confidence before the big day. And have the best driving test tips for your area.

For your driving test, you can use the instructor’s car and ask your instructor to come along for reassurance. They won’t be in the car with you during the test, but they can go through any last-minute checks with you (and maybe give you some extra practice right by the test centre).

Ask questions

Roads can be noisy and driving notoriously takes a lot of focus, so if at any point you don’t hear what the examiner has said, stay calm and ask them to repeat it.

This will give you chance to properly answer their question or prepare for a manoeuvre. And hey, it also shows you’re focussing on driving and being aware of your surroundings, which is the most important part.

Don’t assume you’ve failed

Making a small mistake on our driving test can send us into despair and make us think we should give up. But, you’re allowed up to 15 minors, so don’t worry if you make a few small errors.

The number of people who pass without any minors is super low, so don’t hold your standards too high.

The DVSA also publish what minors people are most likely to fail on (overwhelmingly observations at junctions – check your surroundings!). Make sure you read up and prepare.

Time and place

Get to know the area around your driving test centre. Local knowledge can help you drive more naturally when you’re instructed to take a certain route or go towards a specific landmark.

It will also help you avoid smaller mistakes – if you know about a steep hill in the area, practice your hill starts there. If you’ve already done a tricky manoeuvre in the same place you have to do it during your test, it can really help calm the nerves.

Try to pick a time where there’ll be less traffic, too. If it’s possible, avoid rush hour (but practice during busy periods, just in case).

Get familiar with driving test routes

Off the back of that, if your test centre has any information about routes they take, or your instructor knows where they may take you, practice them specifically.

On top of local knowledge, this may help you prepare for manoeuvre hotspots examiners use.

If there are several options, get to know a variety of routes they could take you on. Make sure you feel comfortable on major and minor roads, and everything from a slim country lane to busy dual carriageways.

Check your mirrors

And make it obvious.

Really obvious.

Seriously, turn your head as you do your observations.

As we’ve said above, observations are the biggest reason people fail. Make sure you do all your mirror and blind spot checks regularly. Including every time you set off, approach a hazard, or change road position.

Examiners will often have a small mirror to keep an eye on your, well, eyes. But making it obvious you’re doing observations by moving your head slightly as you look (or even saying “mirror” or “check” aloud) can make sure they know you’re looking, and remind you to keep doing it.

Don’t rush

If you’re not ready to take your test, that’s okay. How many lessons it takes to pass your driving test totally depends on the individual and how often you’re able to practice.

Your instructor will be able to guide you on whether or not you’re ready to take your test. If you don’t feel confident, giving yourself more time is the best plan.

We hope these driving test tips are useful, but ultimately, make sure you’re comfortable and confident behind the wheel.

Good luck on your test, you’ve got this.

How to check if a car is insured

white car in foreground with blurred house in background

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance in the UK, so if you’re ever wondering “is my car insured?” it’s crucial to check. If your car isn’t insured, the penalties can be pretty expensive.

Police have seized over 2 million uninsured vehicles since 2005 and uninsured drivers cost over £2 billion to the UK economy. If you don’t check your car insurance, the police will.

Here’s all the important info you need to know.

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Supporting our customers with EV qualified technicians

EV technician next to a Green Flag van buzz-ing to see a customer, both waving at each other.

The electric vehicle market is growing. Quickly. And with government plans to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the charge of the EV is showing no signs of slowing down.

EVs are exciting, but from a breakdown recovery perspective (one of our favourite perspectives), they are one of the biggest challenges in our industry right now.

Luckily, we like a challenge. That’s why we’re proud to announce that at the end of 2022, more of our technicians became Institute of the Motor Industry Level 3 and 4 qualified to work on EVs.

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Four driving habits you didn’t know were illegal

dog leaning out of car window

Right, we’ll get straight to the big one here – is driving in flip-flops illegal? Or is it illegal to drive barefoot?

No, these aren’t illegal, they’re just not recommended. It’s much safer to drive in normal, flat shoes.

Now that the illegal flip-flop myth is out of the way, here a few things that could catch you out.

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The 2023 motoring forecast: innovation inbound

woman driving car with dog in passenger seat, pov from behind them looking forwards to the road

If you’re wondering what’s on the cards for cars in 2023, all eyes are on innovation.

Will we see a new way of powering our vehicles? Could this be the breakthrough year for self-driving vehicles? Here are the big motoring trends to look out for in 2023.

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Expert advice: all about pothole damage to your car

pothole damage
Drive though this and you could inflict all sorts of damage on tyre, wheel or suspension (Picture iStock/Marc Bruxelles)

Now’s the time of year when the number of potholes on our roads starts to increase. Winter weather with its extreme temperature variations along with heavy rain and sometimes snow results in more damage to road surfaces. And more holes mean the greater chance that you’ll drive through one and suffer pothole damage to your car in one way or another.

So I thought it would be the perfect time of year to look at pothole damage and what we as drivers can do to spot and limit the effects of it.

Tyre damage is easy to see

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Christmas sales: only get what your car really needs

Christmas and January deals can be hard to resist. It’s on offer, so we need to get it… right?

Not quite.

This year, you could take advantage of the right deals and give your vehicle some TLC. Depending on what you buy, you could save money now and in the long run!

Here are some things that’ll help keep vehicles healthy and drivers happy.

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Is it worth getting an automatic-only driving licence?

automatic only driving licence
Learning to pass an automatic only test is becoming increasingly popular (Picture iStock/Sturti)

Increasing numbers of young drivers are deciding that learning to change gear in a car is a waste of time. The past 12 months has seen an 11 per cent year-on-year jump in the number of drivers qualifying with an automatic-only licence.

In 2012, there were just 550,000 drivers holding automatic-only licences. In 2021, that figure had doubled to 1.1 million.

According to a recent survey by safety charity IAM RoadSmart, around six in 10 youngsters between 17 and 24 plan to apply for an automatic-only licence.

Others think the popularity of automatic-only licences could go further, faster. Approved driving instructor Karen Bransgrove revealed: “The market for people learning to drive just an automatic has increased 10-fold over the past few years. I now have an automatic and wouldn’t teach driving a manual.”

Why an automatic-only licence makes sense

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