Category Archives: Advice

This category offers general advice for drivers at all levels with various circumstances from beginner to approach a test.

Top Driving Do’s and Don’ts

While taking driving lessons, your driving is very much accompanied by another driver. Driving is a little less stressful because you know you have the reassurance of your trained driving instructor in Shrewsbury having dual controls just in case of emergencies. You know that if an issue arises, they can take control and resolve the problem. However, this is a very different story when you pass your driving test, receive your licence and can finally drive independently. The safety and reassurance of having someone else to assist you are gone, so it is essential that you are aware of the vital driving do’s and don’ts.

Do’s and Don’ts To Be A Safe Driver

Throughout all of your driving life, it is likely to you will hear many different pieces of advice. Everyone has their own way of driving which means that everyone has various tips that they think will make you a safer driver. There are certain do’s and don’ts that may sound obvious, but are extremely important in staying accident-free and a safe drive, so keep reading to find out!


putting a seatbelt on

DO Wear Your Seatbelt

You would have heard your parents, family members, driving instructor and even on the television people continuously talk about wearing your seatbelt and it’s because it genuinely is essential. It is one of the most significant safety precautions that are placed in cars. In the unfortunate event of a crash, they will prevent you from hitting the windscreen or steering wheel and being thrown around the car. And more importantly – it’s the law!

DO Keep Your Distance

You need to keep your distance from anyone or anything that you may come across while driving, whether this may be other cars, cyclists, pedestrians, animals or even buildings and surroundings. In particular, keep your distance from cyclists and pedestrians, especially when overtaking, as they are most vulnerable to cars, they can be knocked over easily, and accidents can be caused within seconds.

DO Concentrate

Always concentrate when driving – it sounds like common sense, but it is surprisingly easy to drift into your own little world while making a journey that you know like the back of your hand. Even if you are driving in your local area where you know exactly what to look out for, stay focused. It is just luck that the one-day that you do not pay attention, something different will happen that could be a risk to either you or others.

safe driver with both hands on the steering wheel

DO Be Extra Careful In Bad Weather Conditions

We all know that some weather conditions are considerably harder to drive in than others, in particular, snow, rain or ice. Here visibility is worse, roads are slippery, and the risk of an accident is increased. As long as you remember to take it slow and take extra care, you shouldn’t have any problems.

DO Regular Check-Ups Of Your Vehicle

Regular check-ups should include checking your tyres, brakes and oil level. Your tyres need to be in pristine condition with no sign of wear and tear that could disrupt your driving. Brake pads need to be checked for signs that they need replacing such as a screeching noise, vibration, reduced responsiveness or a grinding feeling. Your oil needs to be filled up to the correct level; here is an easy step by step guide on how to check your oil level.

DO Keep A Spare Tyre

You never know when you are going to run into an emergency and need a spare tyre. On a busy day, you could find yourself waiting around for hours by the side of the road for a mechanic, which is even worse if it is in winter. So wouldn’t it be so much easier to be able to do it all yourself and be able to get on with your journey?


using phone whilst driving

DON’T Use Your Phone

The use of a phone while driving is one of the biggest distractions and causes of accidents, whoever has messaged or tried to call you would much rather you ignore your phone and protect your safety. If you would like a full explanation of the mobile phone driving laws, visit this RAC article we have found.

DON’T Assume You Know What Other Are Going To Do

We have all been guilty once of forgetting to turn off an indicator signal or not realising that we are still indicating, so this makes it crucial to only move when you directly see the other vehicle turning. You never really know what others are thinking or planning to do, so never assume you can work it out.

DON’T Rush

If you are running late, driving over the speed limit or too fast for the weather conditions will not resolve the problem. Stay within the speed limit and more importantly stay safe. You are already late so being careless and rushing just to save a couple of extra minutes is not worth the risk.

stressed woman driving

DON’T Panic

Sometimes saying don’t panic is easier said than done, but when driving it is essential that you stay calm no matter the situation. Issues become worse when you panic, you stop thinking straight and make silly mistakes. Even if another driver annoys you or sounds their horn at you, don’t let it get to you. You are more than capable of resolving the issue; your driving test examiner wouldn’t have passed you if they didn’t have full trust in you.

DON’T Put Off Fixing Issues

If something seems wrong with your vehicle or you can tell that something isn’t working as well as it should, get it seen to. Issues come in a chain effect if one small problem is left; it is more than likely to grow into a bigger issue. Getting your car seen to by a mechanic and fixed quickly will save you both time and money in the long run.


Driving doesn’t have to be a stressful task, as long as you remember everything that you would have been taught in your driving instructor in Watford then driving can be enjoyable. You would have thought about the idea of finally gaining independence and having your own car for years, so make the most out of it when you finally gain your driving license!

Out Goings for Adi’s

I’m assuming that you’re reading this article because you’ve had a bad day at work and you’ve decided to weigh up your options, considering the other employment opportunities before you commit to resigning. I’ve got some advice for you – don’t be so stupid. After all, why else would you be looking for help and advice on how much do driving instructors earn?

Teaching people how to drive isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain type of person and personality for you to become a successful driving instructor, not to mention the nous and resources needed to get the enquiries.

These days, driving tuition has become extremely competitive with more and more beginners taking driving instructor training because they see that they could be earning £30k+ a year but without considering the outgoings and finance you’ll need.

Generally if you want to become a driving instructor, you’ll need the following:

  • Car hire or long term lease
  • Instructor training
  • Car insurance
  • Advertising
  • Fuel and regular maintenance

Finding affordable car hire or long term leasing companies

Without a car you’re not going to be able to teach anyone, so making sure that you get an affordable lease is extremely important. Unfortunately car hire and long term leasing isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to shop around if you want to get the best price.

A company that we recommend to upcoming instructors is called CA Cars.

They have a selection of dual-controlled vehicles available on long term plans ranging from little Citroen C1’s to Fiat 500 X’s. What makes them even more appealing is the fact that they have an excellent customer service team.

Finding training to become a driving instructor

Unfortunately, you cannot simply get behind the wheel of a car and start teaching people how to drive. You’ll need to complete an up to date driving instructor training course to become an ADI (Approved Driving Instructor), only then will you be able to teach unsupervised.

There are a number of driving instructor course packages out there, with the option to pay for your training outright or even take advantage of monthly payment plans with the use of a deposit.

A typical ADI training course will cost between £1350 and £1900 depending on whom you choose to learn with.

Car insurance

This is something that you cannot teach without. If you want to be a driving instructor then I’m afraid to say that you absolutely have to have car insurance.

Chances are that anyone you teach will have little experience driving on busy roads. Of course, before you take them out onto a busy dual carriageway you’re going to teach them the basics, how to start and stop and the process of changing gears.

If you try to take them onto the busy roads before then, you cannot be surprised if you have an accident and your insurance will certainly save you financially.

Advertising and getting enquiries

OK so lets assume that you’ve completed your training, you’ve ordered yourself a car and you’ve arranged your insurance. Now then, how’re you going to get pupils?

Years ago you would have been able to submit a business listing on the yellow pages and you’d get your fair share of bookings but these days’ things have changed significantly.

You need to have a decent website for starters. Make sure that you provide a load of useful information and be transparent with your pricing. You’ll need to constantly market your site to make sure that it starts to appear higher in search results too.

Many instructors prefer to pass the pressure over to a driving school franchise as they’ll handle the marketing for your coverage area and provide you with everything you could possibly need to impress and retain pupils.

Fuel and regular servicing

Another thing worth considering as a driving instructor is the costs involved with maintaining your learning vehicle because in effect, this is your office so you want to make sure its in perfect condition for any new pupils.

Fuel prices rise and fall regularly so it’s difficult to say how much you’ll spend on filling up. One way to save money is to consider purchasing or leasing a vehicle with high fuel efficiency.

Alternatively, look into the garages that you stop at to fill up. Supermarkets tend to have a lot of filling stations built into their designs and often offer the cheapest and most competitive prices.

You’ll also need to make sure that your teaching vehicle is serviced every year, following an annual MOT. This is a full vehicle safety check, highlighting any repairs or minor adjustments to help keep your car safe and road legal.

How to Find a Driving Test Centre Locally

Research carried out by Driving Test Tips and the DVSA show that in 2015/16 there was more than 1,500,000 driving tests completed with 723,444 passes with a 47% pass rate.

Every year, there are more and more people taking driving lessons and tests with the aim to get driving on the roads in the UK with the next 12 months.

However, many pupils end up taking their practical driving tests in the wrong location because its more convenient for their instructor – something that we’re massively against here at driveJohnson’s.

If you want to pass quickly and in an area near you, you need to learn how to find a driving test centre.

How You Can Find a Local Test Centre . . .

Finding a local driving test centre is relatively straight forward and its something that you can do from home, at work or even on the bus home from college or sixth form.

The best way to find a driving test centre is to use the free tools available on the government website.

Here you will be able to enter your location details such as your postcode and address to find the nearest location to you. Its best to learn to drive in the area that surrounds the test centre, as most of the test routes will be covered, giving you a better chance of passing first time.

Driving Test Check

Simply select the green “Start now” button and you will be asked to fill in a couple of details. In the next window you’ll be asked to fill in your postcode and the select the type of vehicle that you want to book a test for.

For the sake of this example, lets say that we’re taking driving lessons in Oxford and we need to find the closest test centre to our home. The post for our Oxford branch is OX1 1RE – so lets put that into the search filter and select “Car”.

Oxford Test Centre

As you can see, the website has provided us with a list of the nearest driving test centres for that postcode. So simply add your personalised postcode into the search tool and this will provide you with a list of the nearest test centres.

Checking Availability for a Driving Test Centre:

One thing well worth doing before you book your driving test is to check the availability at the nearest test centre to you. Use the tool above to find your nearest driving test centre and fill in the details as we discussed.

When you have completed that, there will be a section that you can navigate to that allows you to check test availability. It will look something like this:

Norwich Availability

This example is for anyone looking at taking driving lessons in Norwich. As you can see the Norwich test centre can take car bookings and larger vehicles.

Remember to check this section before proceeding so you know that you’re checking the availability for the correct licence category. Next to the “Car” section there is an option to check the test availability with an additional government tool. Select it.

You’ll be brought to a new screen that asks you to fill in details about your licence and type of vehicle you want to book a test for. Use your provisional driving licence to complete these details and you will be able to view test availability and any cancellations within your area.

Test Availability

Comparing Driving Test Centre Pass Rates . . .

Another task worth doing before you book a driving test is to study and consider other driving test centres if you feel comfortable. We always encourage our pupils to use the test centres that are local to them, as they will have a better understanding of the area.

However, if you prefer learning in a neutral environment, other test centres are available.

As you may well know, not every driving test centre is the same. Each location is positioned differently and surrounded by a number of different potential hazards and stoppages.

Test centres will all have various test routes too – some easier than others. This is another great reason to check other locations as the routes may be considered “easier” giving you a better chance of a first time pass.

Meeting the Test Pass Marks:

Although the driving test centres may have different routes, the test marking sheets are always the same unless there is a significant change by the DVSA, however that is something for your driving instructor to worry about and not you.

If anything, with your driving test, you want to keep your “score” down to a minimum. There isn’t a target for you to reach as the practical driving test is measured and marked on a major and minor fault system.

As a driver taking the test, you’re allowed a maximum of 15 minor faults.

Unfortunately, if you commit more than 15 driving faults, you will have failed your driving test and you will need to rebook at a later date. Of course, a major fault is significantly more serious.

You cannot get any of these, as a major driving fault is something that puts other drivers, road users or pedestrians in an unsafe position.

We encourage our pupils taking driving lessons in Blackburn to consider other test routes and centres as the built up locations in cities such as Blackburn offer more “threats” and hazards during an examination.


Before you take your driving test you’ll need to confirm and agree on a test centre with your driving instructor. The easiest way to find a test centre near you is to use the free government tool available online.

When you have found the test centre that you would like to book with, you’ll need to check the test availability. Unfortunately, waiting times for practical driving tests can be quite long, however, booked in plenty of time, the waiting quickly passes.

If you have multiple driving test centres near you, make sure that you consider the other options nearby. The other locations may have slightly easier test routes or better availability so that you can take your test quicker.

Preparing for Your Driving Test Correctly

You may still be new to driving, or you might even be preparing for your driving test in the coming weeks – either way, we recommend that you spend some time studying this weeks article about preparing for your driving test.

Over the years, we have provided driving lessons in Leeds and the surrounding areas, only to find out that a pupil has had their test aborted for one of the following avoidable reasons.

Make sure you have everything you could possibly need. If your driving test does get aborted, you will not be refunded.

Here Are Some Check to Help Prepare for Your Driving Test:

As a driving instructor in Wakefield that supports the surrounding towns and cities nearby, there is nothing more disappointing to see when the examiner calls it off early.

Make sure that you consider all of the following when you’re preparing for a driving test:

  • Your driving licence
  • Make sure your car is safe
  • Get the right insurance and make sure its valid
  • Get an eye test
  • Avoid changing the vehicles before your test date
  • Try to drive in a variety of weather conditions as preparation

Don’t Forget Your Driving Licence:

You’ll be surprised at how many pupils try to take their driving test without their provisional driving licence. Remember to keep it safe and to take it to the test centre on the day of your test.

Before your test can begin, your examiner will ask for you to present your photo card licence so he/she can note down a few details such as your name, address, driving licence number and anything else needed to transfer to your full licence should you pass first time.

If you don’t take your licence to the test centre then there will be no test. Simple.

Keep Your Car Safe and in Good Condition:

A lot of pupils that take driving lessons in Dewsbury prefer to use their own vehicles for the latter stages of learning to drive and their driving test.

This isn’t a problem and happens in a load of different locations as well as this one. However, tests can be stopped and aborted if the examiner feels that the car is not in safe, working condition.

If you wish to use your own vehicle, the test examiner will ask you to complete a small form that declares that the vehicle is insured and road worthy for the duration of the test.

You will then be asked to a few “show me, tell me” questions as well as checking certain aspects of the vehicle. These usually include:

  • Checking and testing the brake lights
  • Checking and testing the dipped lights
  • Checking and testing the direction indicators
  • Working condition of windshield washers and blades

Of course, there are more but these are the ones that could potentially lead to having your test aborted.

Get Your Vehicle Insured:

If you’re planning on driving to your local test centre yourself then there are a few rules that you need to abide by. These tend to be:

  • Making sure that the car is insured correctly
  • You’re accompanied by a driver with at least 3 years experience
  • The accompanying driver is at least 21 years old

As part of a successful driving school franchise, I have been proving lessons in Leeds and the surrounding areas for a very long time. You’ll be surprised at what happens at the local driving test centres – you really will.

I personally have never seen it, but I have heard stories of examiners calling the police because they suspect that a vehicle is being used without the correct insurance or that the accompanying driver is not of the minimum age.

Preparing for Your Driving Test

Book an Eye Test and Check Your Vision:

It’s a good idea to have your eyes checked regularly anyway, no matter what your profession but even more so if you have a driving test coming up soon.

You may or may not know that your vision will be checked before you complete the practical test itself. During your driving lessons, your instructor will complete an eye test whenever you take a mock examination.

The idea is to prepare you for exactly what will happen on your test day. You will be asked to read a vehicle registration plate from 20.5 metres. If you’re unable to do this successfully, then your test will be abandoned.

Avoid Changing Vehicles:

Some driving schools really are heartless and couldn’t care less what you achieve. All they worry about is getting your lessons completed and the payment in their pockets.

As a driving school in the Leeds area that really takes pride in the number of pupils that we’re able to pass first time, it’s frustrating to see because they know exactly what they’re doing.

Some schools will constantly give you lessons and then a fortnight before the test is due, will drop you like a stone and say they have no availability, leaving you in an uncomfortable position looking for a new instructor at short notice to help you complete a test.

We appreciate that this cannot be helped sometimes. However, the dangers of changing vehicles are:

  • The new vehicle will have a new biting point
  • The brakes could be a lot more sensitive and different to what you’re used to
  • Focal points for manoeuvres are different
  • You could be unfamiliar with the gear changes

Get Out In All Weather Conditions:

Some driving instructors may tell you to avoid driving in different weather conditions; however, we firmly believe that this can only help you improve as a driver.

If you notice that the weather is changing with a light coating of rain, see if you can go out for a short drive with someone that is able to accompany you correctly.

If you’re driving test is coming up you should be prepared for anything that comes with it. Just because you’re taking your test, it doesn’t mean that the weather gods are going to take it easy.

If you have a driving test coming up and you don’t feel prepared, consider an intensive driving course. These have proven to help new drivers get to a test standard in as little as 2 weeks.

What is an intensive driving course? Everything you need to pass!

So exactly what is an intensive driving course?

An intensive driving course is a style of driving tuition that is taught over a shorter period of time to help aid the learner and allow them to get to a test standard far quicker.

Traditionally, a new driver will need to have at list 40 hours of driving lessons Preston as well as 20 additional private driving lessons. Of course, different people learn at different rates so that figure will be higher for some and lower for others.

How Do I Know If an Intensive Driving Course is Best?

Unfortunately, intensive driving courses aren’t suited to everyone. However, if you’re able to get to grips with learning to drive quickly, then it may not be a bad idea to consider.

Many schools that provide driving lessons in Enfield and London, tend to offer discounted assessment lessons. These assessments aren’t like your traditional driving lessons, but they allow your instructors to assess your current driving ability.

If they feel that you have been able to adapt quickly to a driving environment, then they may suggest that you make a block booking or enrol on an intensive driving course.

In some cases, previous students that have learnt to drive with an intensive course, have found themselves test ready in as little as 2 weeks!

Prepare for Driving Test

Preparation Is Key And Shouldn’t Be Neglected

If you want to pass your driving test quickly, then there are a few more things that you can do before you start to learn to drive with an instructor.

Obviously, you will need to have your provisional driving licence and insurance if you intend on learning to drive a vehicle in your own time with someone that has the required experience to supervise you.

If you do intend on practising in your own time, we suggest that you have a few driving lessons with a recognised instructor first.

Once you have had at least 10 consistent lessons, then you’re more than welcome to start practising in your own time. Of course – all of this is only advised, however, we seriously suggest that you take it into consideration.

If you’re going to start and intensive driving course, make sure that you have successfully completed your theory training before your first driving lesson.

The theory training will significantly help you have a better understanding of the road, and you will not have to wait weeks on end for a spot once you are ready to take your practical test.

Without a pass on your theory training – you’re not taking your practical exam.

Do Intensive Courses Really Work?

To keep it short and straight to the point – yes.

However, there are a number of contributing factors that come into play for it all to work smoothly.

For example; having a driving instructor in Slough that you don’t necessarily get along with could harm your chances of making progress during the course.

For this reason, here at driveJohnson’s we always advise that you take advantage of an assessment lesson prior to booking a large intensive course.

Here are a few testimonials for some of our most recent pupils that have taken part in an intensive driving course.

Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur“I came to driveJohnson’s after I failed with another company. I learnt with ‘Anthony’ and in just 6 hours I took my test and passed with 1 minor fault. Anthony’s teaching was next level to anything I experienced before. Thanks.”

Brendan Galloway – Everton FC“I can’t believe I passed first time, on top of that as quickly as I did. I can’t thank Hiram enough, he made the lessons fun, enjoyable and every lesson I learnt something new.”

Vicky Nichols“I passed first time after all of Lyn’s help, I had 15 hours and was passed just after my 17th birthday. I was really pleased with everything; including all the help driveJohnson’s gave me with my theory. Thanks!”

Ian McLoughlin – MK Dons“I came to ‘Anthony’ for an assessment and he told me to book my test. Saw him for 10 lessons and it was job done. First time pass and 1 minor. Not going to lie, he was strict but that’s because he cares and his reputation is on the line.”

What Can I Expect from an Intensive Course?

When you’re learning to drive, the most important thing to remember is to have fun when you’re doing it. And that is exactly what every instructor on our books does.

We may be strict at times, but that’s only because we want the very best for our students and upcoming drivers. What kind of driving school would we be of we simply kept rolling through pupils and didn’t care about the quality of teaching that was behind each lesson?

Our reputation and 92% first time pass rate would quickly hit the floor and we would soon be running out of business.

So with that said you should expect your intensive driving lessons to be fun, engaging and most importantly of all safe.

Our instructors will book in weekly lessons to help you manage and get control of the vehicle that you are learning in. once that you have picked up the basics and your driving instructor is happy, you will move on to some more complicated exercises and you may even begin driving on the open road.

Once you have got a feel for the car and your ability has improved – you will start to learn the driving manoeuvres that may crop up on your driving test. It’s important to remember that any one of these could be what appears on your test, so it’s important to learn them all and to an exceptional standard.

No matter what your location, your driving instructor will also help you understand how the car works, pointing out important pieces of information “under the hood” so you know how to answer and maintain your vehicle correctly.

ADI Advice – How to Get More Pupils for Your Driving School!

Being a qualified driving instructor is no longer as easy as it used to be. Back in the day all you needed to do was submit your driving school to Yellow Pages and run a regular advert in your local newspaper and the voilà – new pupils arrive.

However, that is no longer the case if you want regular enquiries for driving lessons.

The quality of driving instructors has dropped and the effort required to gain the trust of potential pupils has risen dramatically. This is how you can market yourself and get new pupils for your driving school:

What’s Required to Gain New Pupils for Your Driving School

First things first.

You need to understand that not everything on this list will work. Every instructor is different and each recommendation is certainly a case of trial and error – finding out what works best for you.

If you really want to get more pupils for your driving school, then you need to be willing to ditch the prehistoric advertising ideas and come to terms with exactly what is happening in 2017 and beyond.

Step 1 – Who is the most common pupil and where are they searching for lessons?

If you want new pupils – you need to understand your target audience. Ask yourself a few of these questions to help you get started:

  • What is the typical age of a new driver?
  • How will my pupil be looking for driving lessons?
  • What is going to convince my potential new pupils to join?

There are so many more questions that you could be asking, however, we have found that these tend to provide a lot of really useful information.

If you’re unable to find the answers that you are looking for, consider a market research campaign. Test your audience and understand exactly what they are after.

We have found that new drivers tend to be:

  • Between 17 and 23 years old
  • Referred to us via social media, friend recommendations and Google
  • Looking for the best value for money and the quickest pass rate

get more pupils to your driving school

With these results we are able to take action and start gaining new pupils for our driving school.

For example:

If you haven’t already, create a business Facebook page for your driving school. Make sure that you complete all of the details to the highest possible standard – filling in details such as your website address, teaching times, lessons prices, any offers and reviews from previous students.

Once you have that set up – consider running a paid advertisement. Make sure that you set up the ad to target your coverage area(s) and account that fall into your driving schools demographic.

Step 2 – The importance of your website

If you don’t have an up to date website in 2017, then I’m afraid that you are destined to fail – simple.

Your website is your shop window and if pupils happen to stumble across it and think that your not up to the job, then they will never make an enquiry.

To make sure that your site is up to date and operating well, make sure that you have done the following:

  • Make your website responsive (works on mobiles, desktops & tablets)
  • Ensure that the information is easy to find and clear
  • Provide relevant call to actions (make your visitors make a decision)
  • Provide the right information, with prices on lessons
  • Create content that your pupils will want to share

Being on page one of Google is a must if you want to get enquiries and new pupils for your driving school. We have a number of instructors offering driving lessons in Slough that constantly get new pupils on a weekly basis simply because our website is well maintained and performing well.

Get More Pupils to My Driving School

Step 3 – Consider joining a franchise

A driving school franchise is the quickest route to gaining new pupils for your driving school.

There’s no need to worry about advertising as it’s all completed for you, saving you a considerable amount of money before you even get started.

With a franchise, everything is exactly the same as it would be with your own driving school – the only difference being you may have to use a roof sign when taking on one of the franchise pupils.

There are so many options available to you if you want to go down this route.

If you do want to join a franchise, just make sure that they can provide the following:

  • Regular volume of pupils for your areas
  • No contract
  • Optional trial
  • The option to use your own car
  • Affordable payment options that suit you

Many of the driving lessons in Burnley that are completed by our instructors have come to us through the franchise and we are consistently providing them with pupils weekly.

Are You Ready for More Pupils?

If you’re still completing your driving instructor training – are you even ready to start taking on more pupils?

Unfortunately, a lot of driving schools try to operate on a trainee instructor licence in a bid to offer cheaper lessons. Not only is this wrong, but it effects the quality of the driving lesson for the pupil.

If they feel they’re not getting their monies worth, then they are going to start looking elsewhere for better lessons and may even consider paying a little more to guarantee it.

Driving Test Preparation: Ultimate Guide to Pass First Time

If you want to see the very best driving test preparation techniques in one place, then you are going to love this guide.

We have helped over 10,000 pupils prepare for their driving test and pass first time.

We cover absolutely everything that you can think of; making sure that you are ready for the big day.

Have a read through:

Suggestions for Driving Test Preparation from ADI’s

We discuss all of the modern driving test preparation suggestions from experienced ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructors) that include:

  • The examiners driving test marking sheet
  • How you can start preparing weeks before your test
  • What the best items of clothing are
  • How you can manage your driving test nerves
  • Every last minute check that you can make before taking your test
  • How you can prepare if you are expecting a baby

#1 Making Sure That You Understand the Marking Sheet

During your driving test preparation, it is a good idea to get yourself a copy of the examiners marking sheet.

This will help you understand how your driving test is going to be scored and tested. You can see what an examiners marking sheet looks like here.

There are a few areas of the marking sheet that you need to understand that are not actively shown on the form:

Number one, if you receive more than 4 minor faults in one of the sections, it will result in a failed examination.

… And number two; you may notice an “S” and “D section”. A fault in this section will also result in an instant fail on your driving test.

We have many driving lessons Preston booked in, with a lot of them preparing for a driving test. We always actively encourage them to read through the marking form so it gives them a better understanding of the test.

Driving Test Marking Sheet

#2 Start Preparing for Your Driving Test in Advance

The best way to get your preparation complete is to get your driving test preparation organised as early as possible:

Make sure that you have had a detailed discussion with your driving instructor, highlighting any areas that you are stumbling on.

Fortunately, if you are a little unsure, here are some checks that you can make approximately 1-2 weeks before you take your test:

    1. If you have a driving test coming up, then it is likely that you are going to start practising test routes and taking mock examinations.However, if your driving instructor is pointing out 1-2 serious driving faults over the course of an hour, it is worth postponing your driving test by a couple of weeks.

      This gives you the time to get some additional practice in before your driving test. Alternatively, your instructor may even be able to increase the number of driving lessons Blackburn to help you improve quicker.


    1. Make sure that you are getting plenty of rest between lessons and certainly before your driving test.One of the most important aspects of driving test preparation is concentration:

      Without the necessary rest in between driving lessons and your test, your brain could be getting exhausted and lead to an increase in avoidable mistakes.


    1. Don’t forget to read through the show me, tell me questions.As part of your driving test, your examiner will ask you two of these questions.

Make sure that you revise them before hand and in the coming days/weeks leading up to your driving test.

Get Ready for Driving Test

#3 Remember to Dress Appropriately for Your Test

I have lost count on how many occasions where pupils have asked me “what do I wear on my driving test?”

Some of the most horrific wardrobe malfunctions for a driving test have included; high-heels, cowboy boots and even dirty items of clothing.

There are a few things you should remember as part of your driving test preparation:

  • Only wear shoes that are comfortable and allow you to maintain control of the clutch
  • The clothing you wear should be comfortable and allow you to move freely
  • Any t-shirts, blouses or shirts should not restrict your movement
  • Avoid wearing sunglasses – you must remove them during your test

Unfortunately, there are a few people that choose to ignore our advice.

Many of the driving instructors on our driving school franchise have reported cases of pupils being rude and wearing dirty clothes.

Remember to always treat the examiner appropriately and be polite. You want to get off to a good start and avoid any unnecessary altercations.

So then, what should you wear? These are the most common types of clothing:

  • Comfortable t-shirt or blouse
  • Straight fitting jeans or skirt
  • Comfortable trainers or plimsolls

#4 Getting The Better Of Driving Test Nerves

It is perfectly normal to get nervous before your driving test.

However, there are two ways that you can handle the pressure of a driving test:

Some people crumble under the pressure, whereas others really embrace it and have the best drive since they got behind the wheel.

The key to getting your driving test preparation sorted is making sure that you are mentally and physically ready for your test.

For example, if you are a young, upcoming footballer approaching a trial at a professional club, having the right people around you (your driving instructor) reassuring you can make a significant difference.

However, if your instructor is constantly a little dubious as you approach your test, it’s going to knock your confidence.

Prepare for Driving Test

A good way to see if you are ready for your test is to get a second and even third opinion from an independent driving instructor. If they are any good – they will be able to gauge whether you are ready to take your driving test.

A good way to prepare for your test on the day is to:

  • Remember that this isn’t the only driving test that you can take. If you fail, there will be other opportunities to get your driving licence.
  • As silly as it may sound – say to yourself “right, my goal today is to give this examiner the best drive of their life”.
  • Picture yourself as a chauffeur. You want to get your examiner from A to B as quickly and as safely as possible, in the smoothest fashion.

These are a few of the most recommended tips from our ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructors):

  • Try to get up to speed limits when it is safe to do so. Traffic and weather depending.
  • As you approach junctions, try to time it and keep in one continuous motion.
  • If you do make an error, don’t panic. Continue driving and assessing the road ahead.
  • Set yourself high standards. If your instructor can see that you wont accept anything less than perfect then they are going to appreciate your attention to detail.

During your driving test, it’s important to remember the very basics of a successful driving test. That is; to safely judge traffic, maintain good lane discipline and keep a good (safe) distance from the traffic in front.

#5 Last Minute Checks on the Day

Incredibly, some pupils have forgotten a lot of the basics as they arrive at their test centres for their test.

Make sure that you have all of these covered before you get to your test centre:

Make sure that you have your driving licence. Unfortunately, many pupils do arrive without bringing it. If you don’t have your provisional licence with you, then I am afraid that there is 0% chance of you taking your driving test.

If you intend on using your own car for your test – get your driving test preparation completed and make sure that it is safe to use on a driving test.

Staying on the subject of using your own vehicle – make sure that you have the correct insurance. Your examiner will ask you to sign a declaration confirming that it is correctly insured.

Something worth remembering is the all important eyesight test. Incredibly, some instructors fail to test their pupils eyesight during driving lessons Chelmsford, meaning that they end up failing at the first hurdle!

So let’s recap. Remember to:

  • Take your provisional driving licence with you
  • Make sure that your car is safe to use for a driving test
  • Ensure that the vehicle is correctly insured
  • Test your eyesight. You will be asked to read a number plate from 20.5 metres

Driving Test Preparation Pregnant

#6 Preparing For A Driving Test If You Are Pregnant

If you are pregnant – getting your driving test preparation organised can be a little harder and more stressful.

Driving during late pregnancy is a difficult subject in all honesty.

However, if you have not received any advice from your GP or midwife stating that you cannot drive then the final decision lies with you.

Of course – we recommend seeing your GP or midwife before booking a driving test.

If you feel tired then you should avoid driving. Pregnancy causes the bodies temperature to change frequently, often resulting in more naps and feeling sleepy.

No matter what stage of your pregnancy – you must always wear your seatbelt.

Correctly fasten your seatbelt by:

  • Placing your seatbelt across your chest as normal. However, the belt must lie between both breasts, remaining flat.
  • Ensuring that the lap strap is at its lowest possible point. The seatbelt should lie against the top of your thighs.
  • Your bump should lie comfortably between both straps.

Law Changes for Mobile Phone Use When Driving

It has certainly been a long time coming, but as of 1st March 2017 it is now illegal to use a mobile phone when driving a car or riding a motorbike and the implications of ignoring this new law can be extremely severe.

Unfortunately, mobile phones have been the largest cause of road casualties over the last two years. Studies completed by the government show that the use of a mobile phone increase the chances of a fatal incident significantly.

If you are caught using a mobile phone when driving a car or riding a motorbike you will receive the following punishments as standard:

  • 6 penalty points on your licence
  • On the spot £200 (minimum) fine for using your mobile phone whilst driving

This new law also applies to drivers of public transport vehicles such as busses and large goods vehicles. However, the maximum fine is significantly increased from a minimum of £200 to £2500.

If you are found guilty of using a mobile phone when driving, you may even face a court appearance and could be disqualified from driving completely.

Man Driving and Using Mobile Phone

When Can You Use a Mobile?

The simple answer to this question is never, especially when you are behind the wheel of a car. However, there are two specific scenarios that condone the use of a mobile phone when you are the driver of a vehicle. These are as follows:

Emergency situations. In need of a call to 999 or 112 and if you are in an unsafe or impractical position stop
Are safely parked with the engine switched off

In addition to this new law – the government has also stressed that this also applies to PDA’s and hand-held devices when driving instructors are supervising a learner driver or rider. The law has been put into place to prevent the number of casualties and fatalities on the roads in the UK, insisting that drivers must remain in full control of their vehicles.

Police now have the right to stop you in your vehicle if they believe that a distraction in your vehicle is causing you to lose control. This may include in car devices such as car radios and satellite navigation systems.

Advice for Mobile Phones in the Car

Of course, with this new law coming into place – everyone here at driveJohnson’s encourages road users to stay safe and prevent the use of a mobile whilst driving. To help you, and prevent you from gaining unnecessary points and fines, we have created this list of ideas that you can use immediately when driving.

Keep your mobile phone on silent and place it in the glove box to prevent distractions.

  • If you want to use a Sat-Nav or mobile device for directions you must set it up before you begin your journey. Keys cannot be in the ignition and the engine must be switched off.
  • If you listen to music through a Bluetooth system, create a playlist before you start driving and set it to shuffle.
  • If you absolutely need to use your mobile phone – ensure that you are safely parked and the engine is switched off.
  • If you are found guilty of death by dangerous driving, you are now eligible for life imprisonment – not 14-years.

What You Cannot Do

There are many things that road users do on a daily basis with their mobiles when driving. Here is a list of things that you must avoid in order to prevent a fine and point on your licence.

  • Cannot use headphones or hands-free systems
  • Cannot use loudspeaker from your phone
  • Cannot move or touch your phone whilst the engine is on
  • If you call someone and they are driving you must hang up immediately
  • If you are a passenger in a car and the driver is using a mobile phone, take it from them and remind them of the potential implications
  • If you are an employer and you force your staff into using a mobile phone, it can result in imprisonment for you, large company fines and your business may even be suspended from operation

If you are supervising a learner driver with driving lessons in London, as the instructor you can no longer use your phone for examples when in motion. The vehicle must be safely parked with the ignition off.

How to prepare for your theory test

How to prepare for your theory test is something that many people ask us and our driving instructors. Theory tests take a lot of revision and practice if you wish to pass first time as the grade boundaries are so close to each other and every mark does count! Below are some quick tips on how to prepare for your theory test.

The Importance of Preparing for Your Theory Test

Although you can have as many attempts as you want at the theory test it does cost £25 each time to take the test. Also the waiting time can be up to 4 weeks in some towns/cities. If you keep failing the theory test through poor preparation, this can also knock your confidence when it comes to doing your test again. If you’re learning to drive whilst failing the theory this may even affect your performance in your driving lessons.

Highway Code

Knowing the Highway Code is crucial if you want to pass your theory test as these are the rules set by the UK government to ensure that animals, pedestrians, other drivers, cyclists and motorcyclists are safe when you are driving on the road. Make sure you have memorised the Highway Code before you sit your theory!

Traffic Signs

A great way of practicing and learning your road signs is by using our free theory test training (exclusive to driveJohnson’s pupils). Also,  asking family/friends to question on different road signs whilst you’re a passenger is another great way and also understand why they are there at the time.

Online Mock

We highly recommend that before you pay for your theory test and sit it, you take a couple of online mock theory tests so you can get used to what type of questions might come up when sitting the test. This should make you more confident when doing the test, boosting your confidence to pass!
Hazard Perception.

Take ID

When going to sit your test, ensure you have your provisional licence with you. You no longer need the paper part, so don’t worry if you can’t find that. Unfortunately if you don’t have your provisional licence with you – you will not be able to sit the test.

Tip from a past driveJohnson’s Pupil:

One of our pupil’s who recently passed their theory ‘Louise Hutchinson’ said the following

“I’m learning with Pete Thomas in  Nottingham at the moment and has was spending at least 1 hour of my 2 hour lessons questioning me on every possible road sign we approached. I started practising this with my mum/dad and it really helps.


What To Take To Your Driving Test

Driving tests are essential if you want to be driving on the road without breaking the law. Did you know that if you do not take the correct things to the test, your test will be cancelled? Meaning you have to wait longer to get on the road! By taking these items to the test, you are guaranteed to sit your test on that day, if it has been booked and confirmed in advance!

Why do you need to do this?

Over the last year, over 300 students have had their driving tests cancelled as they have not had the appropriate items/documents with them to carry out the test. Resulting in loosing their payment for the test, which is something that no one wants! Oxford students have become the main culprit of not taking the correct documents to their tests. Be the one to break the habit and take the items listed below to your test!

Theory Certificate

You must have completed your theory test if you are going to sit your practical driving test. If you passed your theory test over two years ago, then you will have to resit this before you take your practical as this will not be valid anymore. You will not be able to sit your practical driving test without a valid certificate saying that you have passed your theory test.

Provisional License

It is a must that you take your provisional license to your driving test as this will prove that you are legal to be on the road. Although it is recommended that if you move house, your address details should be changed. However, if the address on your drivers license is different to where you are currently living, you can contact the DVLA after you have taken your driving test to change this. Your provisional license must be in date, as they only last for 10 years before they become invalid.

That little bit of extra reassurance

In the event that the test centre do not have your test booked on their records, it is recommended that you bring Booking Confirmation with you.

Your booking confirmation could either be a letter or an email sent by the DVLA, including time,location and the date of your test. On your letter will be a reference number, to ensure that your test is defiantly going ahead, you can call up the test centre the day before with your reference number to ensure that it is happening.

What next?

If you have any queries about your driving test or you would just like some more information and tips on what to do. You can;
consult with your driving instructor
Ask the driveJohnson’s owner, ‘Anthony Johnson’ who runs ‘Ask Anthony’, where he will personally reply to you within 5 days.

If you do not do your driving lessons with us, then you can contact us today to find out more information and hopefully get booked in. If you are unsure on what areas we cover, then you can Click Here to be redirected to our areas we cover page, where you will find a list of areas that we have instructors in.

Call us today on 0800 4581 226 or text ‘Lessons’ followed by your area to our office phone, 0790 9842 908 for a call back from our experienced bookings team!

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