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5 Signs that you’re not ready for your UK Driving Test

Automatic Driving Lessons Ipswich

Learning to drive can often feel like a never-ending journey, with the all-important practical test waiting at the end. For some, this final hurdle can seem out of reach, as they lack confidence in their abilities and worry about performing in front of an examiner.

On the other hand, some individuals view the test as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and rush towards it without considering their readiness. While trusting your instincts is important, both scenarios can lead to mistakes, either due to a lack of confidence or overconfidence.

It’s crucial to remember that the practical test comes with a cost, long wait times, and the possibility of failure. Booking the practical test too early can be detrimental to both you and your instructor, and it may even be dangerous for you to hit the road without being fully capable behind the wheel.

To help you gain clarity on the situation, we’ve compiled a list of factors that may indicate that you’re not quite ready to take your driving test. If any of the following five signs apply to you, it’s best to delay the test a little longer…


1. You haven’t fully mastered all aspects of driving

You should be aware that driving is not just about accelerating and driving from route A to B. It requires a variety of skills to be learned and perfected, which is why the process of learning to drive can be quite lengthy. After mastering steering and observation, you need to move on to braking, manoeuvres, roundabouts, and so on!

The driving test is not like a school exam where only certain subjects are tested, allowing you to take a chance and only study a few areas (just us?). It is designed to test all aspects of your driving—as it should! Learning to drive is not just about being able to pass the test, but about preparing you to be a safe and responsible driver for life.

So, before booking that test, ask yourself: do you really have a good grasp of everything?


2. You haven’t quite mastered all areas of driving

We understand that having control over a machine that can cause a lot of damage can be nerve-wracking. It’s normal to feel nervous when starting your driving journey, and even more so when it comes to the test. The pressure and intensity of the situation can make it difficult to remain calm and collected, but remember that you’re only human!

However, if you find yourself freaking out every time a new car appears or feeling incredibly anxious about driving on your own, it may be a sign that you’re not quite ready to take the next step. These feelings are likely to be heightened under test conditions, so take the time to build up your confidence before attempting the test.

While it’s true that you may not feel completely at ease behind the wheel until well after you’ve obtained your licence, it’s important to believe in your abilities. Extreme nerves can cause you to make mistakes, even if you’re a good driver at heart. Remember that committing a serious error during the practical test will result in an immediate fail, so it’s crucial to be as prepared and confident as possible.


3. Your Instructor Doesn’t Believe You’re Ready

As a learner driver, it’s crucial that you heed your instructor’s advice and take their opinions seriously. They are the experts, after all! If your instructor doesn’t think you’re prepared for the test yet, they’re likely correct!

Effective communication with your instructor is key to your progress. If you believe you’re ready but your teacher disagrees, make sure you receive a clear explanation as to why and focus on improving the areas where you’re lacking. Undertaking mock driving tests with your instructor is also an excellent way to prepare yourself for the big day.

Some skeptics have suggested that driving instructors sometimes delay tests to extract more money from their students, but this is simply not true. We have collaborated with numerous instructors over the years, and this has never occurred!

Remember, passing your test is not only beneficial for you, but it also reflects positively on your instructor. It’s in everyone’s best interest that you excel in the practical, so trust those who are there to guide you.


Everyone learns at their own pace, so there isn’t a set number of lessons you must complete before being ready for your driving test. However, there are some useful recommendations from authoritative sources. For instance, the RAC suggests that learners should complete around 20 hours of private practice (with a friend or relative) and 45 hours of professional lessons to be fully prepared for the test. A quick learner might be ready for their test after about 25 hours of lessons. The average learner, however, might need around 45 hours to fully prepare for the test. Some people might require more hours if necessary.

It’s natural to want to pass your test as soon as possible, but driving is a complex skill that requires hard work. You need enough time to master all the different elements until you can perform them with ease and without any prompts from your instructor. Confidence is great, but overconfidence can be very dangerous.

Don’t rush it. Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to learn everything necessary before test day arrives. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.


5. You’re Unprepared for the Unexpected

It’s one thing to know how to drive a car, but it’s another to navigate the open road with ease. Can you handle changing conditions and make quick decisions when faced with potential hazards? Simply going through the motions with your instructor won’t cut it.

By the time you’re ready for your test, basic car controls should be second nature, allowing you to focus on the road ahead. Beginner habits, like looking down at the gearstick when changing gears, should be completely ironed out before heading to the test centre.

The driving test includes an independent driving section precisely because you need to be able to drive on your own. If you try to replicate previous driving experiences on your test, rather than letting the actual road conditions dictate your actions, things could get messy!


Are You Prepared for Your Driving Test?

This article aims to encourage you to book your practical test without fear. Feeling a little nervous is normal and doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unprepared. Our goal is to help you be fully prepared to pass on your first attempt!

If you don’t pass on your first try, don’t assume that you’re not ready for the test. Many factors can affect your performance on the big day. Learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up, and try again.

If you don’t identify with any of the five signs mentioned above, you should be ready to go!

If you’re looking for Automatic Driving Lessons in Ipswich – Contact us via the Contact Form or WhatsApp and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

Make L on Wheels Driving School your No.1 choice for Automatic Car Training in Ipswich

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