How to pass your driving test in the UK

Approximately 3 minutes reading time

UK driving tests are extremely hard to pass. There is no country quite like ours in regards to how difficult it is for us to obtain a driving licence.

Personally, I’m glad the DVSA have such high standards. Although it’s obviously not enjoyable having to take 40+ hours of lessons, to then have close to a 1/3 chance of failing the test.

There is good reasoning behind this, though. The UK as a nation has one of the worlds lowest crash rates. The amount of training given to our learners will surely be a factor behind these figures and will definitely be one of the reasons as to why the DVLA make it difficult for us to learn how to pass your driving test.

The rigorous training doesn’t only potentially save your life – here in the UK, we’re quite unique; we still drive manual cars. I’m sure other countries probably think ‘why?....’ but again, it’s another thing I love about our culture. ‘Driving’ a car manually, is SO MUCH MORE satisfying to driving an automatic car, in my opinion. Again though, this makes it even more difficult for you to learn how to pass your driving test.

Tips on how to pass your driving test

Learn the test routes

Learning the test routes is integral in my opinion, I and my instructor did a mock test in every route possible a number of times. This way, there are no unexpected surprises. If your instructor doesn’t know the test routes – there are plenty of websites who will give out the routes completely free.

Have as many lessons as possible

Like anything, the more you practice, the better you will get. If you want to learn how to pass your driving test, practicing is the main piece of advice I can give you. You could do this with your instructor, or even take out some learner insurance so you can get some practice with your parents.

Practice your manoeuvres to the point you can do them in your sleep

Manoeuvres are most learner drivers boogieman. Make sure you know the reference points to parallel parkbay park, and all the other maneuvers. The last thing you want to do is fail your test due to a small mistake here.

Study the highway code

Yes, study the theory side of the driving test again. To most of you, you will have sat this months, even years ago. Doing everything ‘by the book’ in the recipe to success with your driving test. The slightest fault could give you a minor, so studying the Highway Code would be beneficial.

Don’t let your anxiety beat you

Everyone, even Lewis Hamilton, would get anxious on their driving test. It’s one of the most important moments of our lives and it’s understandable for you to get nervous. In fact, nerves could work in your favour. If your anxiety is overwhelming and you don’t think you’ll pass your driving test due to this – i.e. you aren’t performing how you would whilst you were learning to pass your driving test, then it could be time to think of relaxation methods, or perhaps a visit to the doctors. They might be able to help and this truly isn’t unheard of.

Take your test in the car you learned in

Recently I’ve been seeing services, which allow you to rent a car purely for the driving test. This is a bad, bad move. Even for experienced drivers, this would be a difficult ask, especially on the day you’re expected to pass your driving test. You need to know the car inside out, the feel of the clutch, the size, where all the cars features are placed (yes, all cars are completely different).

Try all conditions (time of day, weather conditions)

So, what happens if all your lessons have been during the lunchtime? But your test is during rush hour? This is a completely different style of driving, one, which you will not be prepared for. The same goes for different weather conditions, driving in the rain or snow is completely different to driving on a dry day. Stopping distances is another huge reason for learners failing their driving tests.

Be prepared

Make sure you get good nights sleep; eat well in the morning and before your test. Eating well is proven to increase the functionality of your brain – small details like this could mean the difference between a pass and a fail. Furthermore, as you will more than likely be stressed, your body will be eating up your energy levels at a much faster pace in comparison to a standard day.

Tell the examiner if you don’t understand something

The instructor cannot give you any minor or major faults for misunderstanding what they have said. They can, however, give you bad marks for being a danger to other road users. As long as you do the “mistake” in a controlled, safe manner – it won’t have any negative effect on your score. So don’t worry if you don’t understand them if you have time – ask the examiner again. If you don’t have the time to ask, make sure you drive in a safe manner, make the mistake and continue.

You aren’t marking yourself

If you’ve made a mistake, don’t worry. You’re more than likely allowed to make more mistakes; very few individuals pass a driving test with absolutely no minors. This is completely normal. Don’t panic, the examiner, hard as it is to believe at this point will actually want you to be a success, too. Keep a cool head after the mistake, try and stay composed and keep going.

How to pass your driving test


Stop thinking “how do you pass your driving test”, try and relax. Like most things in life, if you work hard – you will reap the rewards of this. Make sure to practice as much as possible, relax, follow the instructions your instructor has given you and you’ll be absolutely fine. The worst that can happen, is you leave the test centre with no licence, but ultimately, you didn’t have one when you came in. Get back on your horse and try again. Good luck!

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