What you need to know before going for your driving test

What you need to know before going for your driving test

So you think you’re ready to take on the big drive test? You’ve done your 120 hours, Hazards Perception Test, and there’s nothing left to do other than book the next available date to go for your P’s.

Well, before you run ahead and book it in, make sure you read on to find out the exact things you will need to know before going for your driving test. Take a seat and buckle up, because we’re about to answer all your driving test questions!

Know your dashboard

Practice driving test pre-check tips - male driver checking rear car entry

Okay first things first – before you even get on the road, they are going to want to do a pre-drive check. If you haven’t already done so, use your next driving lesson to learn where the following features are, and how to operate them:

  • Indicators
  • Windscreen washer and wipers
  • Horn
  • Headlights (high and low beam)
  • Hazard lights
  • Brake lights
  • Handbrake
  • Windscreen demister
  • Rear window demister (where fitted).
  • Start the engine

According to VicRoads, if you are unable to identify and operate any of these controls, or if they are not working correctly, you will not be permitted to take the drive test. It may seem simple but these controls are often the last thing you learn about, and of course they will be different in every single car. Get familiar with the controls in the car you will be taking on or drive test, by booking in a practice driving test with your instructor. You will be able to clarify any questions you have about these features with them, so you have peace of mind before heading in for the real deal.

On-road driving stage one

The driving aspect of your test will be broken up in two parts. Stage one will take about 10 minutes to complete and will assess your safety as a driver in less challenging conditions. This section of the test may include the following tasks:

  • Starting and stopping the vehicle
  • Left and right turns at intersections
  • Changing lanes

Stage one will also include testing you on a slow speed parking maneuver. Yep – that’s the reverse parallel park (which we know can be dreaded by many) or the three point turn. We highly recommend booking a practice driving test with your instructor so you can refine these skills right before the big day. Your instructor will also teach you the appropriate times to look in mirrors, indicate, move and stop the car, when attempting these maneuvers. This is particularly beneficial if reverse parking is something which worries you. We recommend practicing this in a quiet street over and over again until you have perfected the technique, and are more confident in applying it without guidance from your instructor.

On-road driving stage two

If you successfully complete stage one of the on-road driving test, you will then be instructed to move onto stage two. This stage is conducted in busier traffic and is designed to assess your ability to safely execute normal driving tasks. This stage may include the following tasks:

  • Driving in busy traffic
  • Lane changes in busy traffic
  • Merging with other traffic
  • Double lane cross-overs
  • U-turns
  • Dealing with School zones and/or Road works

It will take about 20 minutes and the testing officer will give you clear instructions which you must show that you can safely and efficiently complete. For example, if the testing officer asks you to turn right at the next street, but you are in the left lane, you will need to wait for a safe gap to appear in the right lane, indicate and move into the right lane, before turning right at the next street.

Automatic fails on driving test

If you do something which puts you or other road users at risk throughout the drive test – this may cause an immediate termination error.
According to VicRoads, a serious automatic fail will be issued if you:

  • Collide with another vehicle or fail to give way or check for other road users and someone else has to avoid a collision.
  • Mount the kerb while driving.
  • Exceed the speed limit by 5 km/h or more at any time or if you exceed the speed limit by any amount for five seconds or more.
  • Exceed the speed limit by any amount in a ‘school’ speed limit area.
  • Stop the car in a dangerous position.
  • Drive through a stop sign or red traffic light.
  • Disobey a direction from your testing officer or a member of the Victoria Police, or if your instructor or testing officer provides any kind of verbal or physical assistance.
  • Do anything else that creates an unsafe situation.

Driving Test Tips

Driving test tips for learners - learner student with p plater sign after passing VicRoads driving test

The key things to remember before embarking on your driver test is firstly – observation. The testing officer wants to see that you are aware of your surroundings, can anticipate what’s happening on the road and that you are conducting regular head checks and mirror checks, as well as looking ahead of your car and observing behind your car when demonstrating low speed maneuvers.

Secondly – your signal use should be on point and you should not forget to indicate when necessary. When merging into lanes, you must indicate and correctly choose the first safe gap available to you.

Thirdly, be sure to obey the speed signs and follow other cars at a safe distance. Don’t forget to actually STOP at a stop sign or red light.

For more detailed tips and trips we highly recommend taking a look at the VicRoads Drive Test Checklist. We hope this gives you some more insight as to what to expect from your driving test.

Say bye to your learner permit

If you need some help waving goodbye to that learner permit, we would love to hear from you! Be sure to get in touch today!

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