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To ask for your driving test tips but also your most disastrous test stories

(169 Posts)
chillydawg Thu 10-Jan-19 07:27:34

One of my biggest fears is doing something completely insane and dangerous and hearing about other people who have done that would ease my nerves a bit, even if that sounds weird!

The test is today and I feel sick thinking about it.

Yogisunflower91 Thu 10-Jan-19 07:34:29

Best of luck with your driving test. I'm also learning to drive, best advice I can give is be confident & just drive as if it's a lesson, remember your instructor wouldn't be putting you forward for the test if you weren't ready.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 10-Jan-19 07:36:51

I am watching with interest s I have booked my test for Marchand I am bricking it. I am seeing my GP for beta blockers to help with nerves. My last lesson I just kept getting it all wrong, It did not help that I have a head cold and was feeling rough and my instructor kept criticising me.

I took 4 tests, 20 years ago and failed. One was a dangerous fault were I scraped somebodies wing mirror, as I misjudged the distance and needed to pull in to let oncoming car through.

gimmeadoughnut123 Thu 10-Jan-19 07:40:17

The best tip I can give people is to really exaggerate your head movements when checking your mirrors and wear jangley earrings so the assessor knows you're doing it. I know a lot of people that have failed on their observations because the assessor hasn't been able to see them moving their head. They don't stare directly at you, they watch in the corner of their eye.

lalaloopyhead Thu 10-Jan-19 07:41:32

Just before my first driving test,my instructor had a new clutch fitted in his car - I stalled the car at traffic lights just down the road from the test centre - the traffic lights must have gone from green to red and round the sequence 4 times before I was able to get the car going again because the bite point had completely changed. I just wanted to give up and get out the car and leave it there.

I still cringe a little bit when I think about it some 25+ years later!

My breakthrough moment with driving was when I just thought of it as driving someone from a to b - you're giving them a lift and they will tell you directions on the way.

EduCated Thu 10-Jan-19 07:42:28

Yes to the head movements for checking mirrors.

The main thing that helped me was my instructor pointing out I didn’t need to drive perfectly, I just needed to show I could drive safely. They’re not judging every little bit of your performance, they just want to know that you can drive sensibly.

gimmeadoughnut123 Thu 10-Jan-19 07:43:04

@lalaloopyhead the exact same thing happened to my friend. It really can't be helped!! On her 2nd retake, her instructor turned up with a car she had never seen or driven before, so she failed again.
Her instructor was an asshole.

chillydawg Thu 10-Jan-19 07:45:10

My breakthrough moment with driving was when I just thought of it as driving someone from a to b - you're giving them a lift and they will tell you directions on the way

That's a really good way to think of it! I'm gonna pretend I'm doing the examiner a favour grin

I know I'm ready but I also know I've only done a successful parallel park a handful of times so....AGH

BluthsFrozenBananas Thu 10-Jan-19 07:48:37

My sister took her driving test, did everything right, knew she’d passed, then when she got back to the test centre and parked she didn’t put her handbrake on properly and rolled forward a little. That’s an instant fail 😫. She did pass on her next try though.

DebbieFiderer Thu 10-Jan-19 07:49:36

You want a disastrous test story? Ok, here's mine!

Left the test centre onto a relatively busy road. There was a lorry stopped in the road which I had to go round, I stalled when pulling out. Got to a roundabout, pulled out on to the roundabout when there was a car coming towards me, had to stop halfway on to the roundabout, stalled when I tried to get going again. Got to the part where you have to reverse park, it was up a slight hill (as in I would be facing downhill when parked) but there was only a car in front of where I was parking and no one behind. I still managed to end up 2 cm from the rear bumper of the car in front, had to reverse before pulling out to carry on, stalled again. Next we had to pull out on to a slightly bigger road with a wall to one side of us, causing a blind spot which means you have to pull slightly out so you can see then wait for a gap, I stalled when pulling in to the road (by this point I was so nervous my leg was shaking like mad so no wonder I had no clutch control!). After that we just made our way back to the test centre without bothering with any more manoeuvres!

The worst part was when I went for my retest a couple of months later it was the same examiner! Luckily I passed that time (and have never driven a manual since 😂😂)

Needcoffeeimmediatley Thu 10-Jan-19 07:49:43

The first time I took my test we were doing the pre checks, got to checking underneath the car for any leaks and there was oil pissing out of it. examiner was not impressed, marched into the test centre and got my instructor to show him to oil leak, gave him a stern telling off. I was also pretty upset/annoyed because I had been so nervous and couldn't take the test. Had to wait with my instructor while the vehicle was recovered and then get the train home with him!

Try a hypnosis cd for driving test - you put it on at night, I passed after I listened to it and so did a friend who had failed 8 tests prior!

gimmeadoughnut123 Thu 10-Jan-19 07:50:05

I know I'm ready but I also know I've only done a successful parallel park a handful of times so....AGH

Don't panic. You can go backwards and forwards in to your space a few times and you'll just get a minor for it. I did this on my test as I was asked to parallel park on a hill, reversing in to the incline. My instructor had told me if I hit the curb, I would fail. So I went back and forth a lot. Just got a minor. The examiner also told me that I wouldn't have failed if I hit the curb but I would have if I mounted it.
Not sure which is right so try not to hit the curb.

My instructor was a dick though...I had a mock test a week before my driving test. He gave me 17 minors, 2 serious', and a dangerous. Slammed his foot on the brakes and started shouting at me that I would make an idiot of him during my test.

On my actual test I passed first time with 3 minors. I drove basically the same route and no differently to when I was with my instructor.
Just a colossal asshole. He was always shouting at people on their lessons. He had a go at my husband, who also passed first time, for getting 10 minors on his test. Perfectly within the allowance. Then when my SIL went for her driving test he said to her 'don't do a DH' (referring to my husband). Even though he passed first time?!

gggrrrargh Thu 10-Jan-19 07:50:59

I failed driving out of the test centre grin Nerves got the better of me and I decided the space in the traffic was big enough to get out to turn right, and the car coming had to brake. It was stupid but nevermind!

At least I knew what to expect for the second test and that was fine smile

Good luck! Relax as much as you can, it is just like lessons and you can do it.

Huggybear16 Thu 10-Jan-19 07:56:29

You don't have to drive perfectly on your test, but make sure you drive safely!

I passed first time, but I made loads of minor errors. The examiner said the mistakes weren't great, but I didn't do anything dangerous.

I'm not old at all, but the tests have changed a lot since I did mine, so probably can't give the best advice.

Whenever you're asked to do something, e.g. parking, moving off, turn in road, check all your mirrors and look around at the blind spots. If something is coming, wait until you're clear! I've had friends fail for attempting manoeuvres with pedestrians and/or other vehicles being too close. In real life, they probably would have been fine, but not under test conditions.

I don't feel like I learned to drive properly until long after my test. Concentrate on doing what you know the examiner wants to see.

swimmerforlife Thu 10-Jan-19 07:56:58

I did my driving tests in NZ but probably similar. My first test was in a city and a complete disaster - fucked a parallel park, did not indicate at this fucking awful roundabout and did not check mirrors regularly. Top it all off it was bucketing down with rain so I was constantly fiddling with the wipers (one which was not working properly!) and de-mister.

Anyway I decided to sit the test again in the same area but in this different tiny tinpot town where there was no roundabouts or lights so I thought I could pass easier blush AND THE SAME BLOODY TESTER turned up that failed me and gave me the hmm look. God I still cringe and feel embarrassed about it after all these years. At least I passed second time round grin

FoofFighter Thu 10-Jan-19 07:58:01

Good luck @chillydawg ! Eat a banana or a mars bar or suchlike about 20 mins before.
Talk through everything as you do it is a very helpful tip I read on here and it did help (although still got a minor for hesitating despite saying why I was!)!
I passed last year at the tender age of 45, my second attempt (monsoon weather caused wet feet that kept slipping off the pedals so stalled too many times for her to ignore).

DontCallMeCharlotte Thu 10-Jan-19 08:05:07

Rescue Remedy.

Huggybear16 Thu 10-Jan-19 08:12:44

Forgot to add the funny story. It wasn't me, but a friend.

She was about to drive up a narrow road. There were cars parked but also a bin lorry slowly moving up in front. The lorry driver stopped to empty some bins and my friend went to pull out to drive around it. The examiner just banged on the brakes and said "I don't think so" - there wasn't enough room. So if you're unsure if you can fit through a space, don't try it! If you feel awkward about waiting, just say something like "my car won't fit through that space, I'll wait" - saying it out loud might not seem natural, but it lets the examiner know you haven't just frozen.

Good luck!

BeekyChitch Thu 10-Jan-19 08:19:50

I pretended I was a robot and spoke out everything I did like "ok mirror,signal, manoeuvre aaaand we're turning" or "ok checking all blind spots,mirrors etc" instructor probably thought I was mad but I passed with 1 minor! I burst into tears when I passed because I thought I had failed. You can do it! Stay calm, focus and try enjoy it.Good luck!

UnconsideredTrifles Thu 10-Jan-19 08:21:01

If you think you've cut it a bit fine getting into traffic, you may get away with it if you get up to speed quickly (so the person behind you doesn't have to brake). Also, hitting the curb (not mounting it) was only a minor when I passed 8 years ago smile it was a very tight corner!

My test story barely involves me at all. We were driving to the test centre when a white can pulled out in front of me, causing me to brake a bit. My instructor - a short, older man who had retired several times but kept coming back - made a rude gesture at the driver.

A few minutes later I've pulled over for a pre-test pep talk and this same van pulls up in front of us. Pimply young driver has followed us round town and now comes storming over, looking for a fight because he's taken mortal offense at this gesture (and presumably thinks little old man is a good target).

He doesn't know that my instructor is ex-royal Marines. Instructor opens the door straight into him, harrangues him for making 'his little driver' stop suddenly, and generally scares him off.

So I went into my test very relaxed because all I could think about was my instructor picking fights five minutes earlier!

Governoress86 Thu 10-Jan-19 08:24:30

I was so nervous on my test.

When he asked me the show me tell me questions my mind went blank.

He asked me show me how to put my dipped headlights on and I forgot, he showed me and then asked me again and I got it that time!

I then was going round a roundabout and didn't have it in gear and then I was in the wrong lane going round a roundabout and had to go round it again to get in the right lane.

I still passed first time with all them mistakes!
You will be fine 😀 good luck

RandomObject Thu 10-Jan-19 08:49:26

Based on my own test!

- I was doing a manoeuvre (turn in the road) when two cars came in opposite directions. I wasn't in any position to let them through so I completed the turn. I got minors because I apparently 'hadn't seen the cars'. Well I had, I just couldn't do anything about them. So if something like that happens, tell the instructor exactly what you're doing.

- I originally got one of the questions wrong when being asked what things under the bonnet were. As I started driving I realised and told them. They put me down as having got it right. So if you say or do something wrong and correct yourself, the driver may give you benefit of the doubt.

- In my practice test I failed due to accumulating minors for undue hesitation. Make sure you're confident pulling out at roundabouts etc.

- Everyone is nervous taking their test! I had a minor breakdown in the middle of mine as I thought I'd failed crossing over to the other side of the road on a messed up reverse around a corner. I collected myself and completed it, assuming I'd failed, and at the end found I didn't even get a minor. Things are often not as bad as you think.

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Thu 10-Jan-19 09:03:50

I passed first time but with 14 minors. The examiner only recapped three of them as he said the rest were very clearly just nerves. I burst into tears and asked if he was joking and then asked "how"? My test was SO bad.

My instructor had resorted to not telling me he was giving me mock tests as I cried every time he tried. I was SO nervous. I'm a natural chatterbox but I didn't speak to my examiner due to nerves. My instructor told me I was lucky as this guy is lovely and to relax but I couldn't. I shut down every attempt at conversation he made. We drove in silence bar his instructions. I also stuffed up a parallel park, asked if I could start again and when he said no, I decided I'd clearly failed and relaxed a bit. It probably saved me! A bunch of us went out at the same time and I was the last one back. I think we were out ages; instructor looked really relieved to see me back and I think he thought I'd absconded with his mini!

My tip is to keep a very tight grip on your licence as you can't take a test without it. My instructor had someone who dropped theirs between car and the centre so no test. It's easily done if you're nervous.

I now work with the forces. They all passed their tests with the army, can drive lorries, tanks, you name it and think it's hilarious that I can just about manage a micra!

DarklyDreamingDexter Thu 10-Jan-19 09:04:11

My mum and her next door neighbour at the time coincidentally booked their driving tests on the same day. My mum passed, no problems. Later that day, she saw the neighbour and asked how she got on. The neighbour said "I failed, but I did knock a man off his bicycle by going round a roundabout the wrong way, so I suppose that's why!" (Yep, that'll do it!)

Good luck OP, try to relax as best you can and you should be fine if you're ready for it and we'll practised.

chillydawg Thu 10-Jan-19 09:26:40

Thanks all, this is all really helpful! I'm laughing at some of the disaster stories, bicycles stress me out so I hope I don't encounter one of them, I always give them a ridiculous wide berth if I have to overtake one!

Kind of just want the test over and done with either way now!

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