With lockdown rules in place, many learner drivers have seen their driving journey grind to a complete stop. Meanwhile, most theory and practical tests have been suspended. So, does that mean you’ve got to wait until lockdown is lifted to start your learning journey again? Not necessarily!
Whether you only just got your provisional licence before lockdown was announced or were almost ready to take your theory or practical test, there are still ways to stay on top of your game. Read on to find out how you can keep learning to drive during lockdown!
Learning to drive during lockdown
Lockdown doesn’t have to signal the end of your learning journey! There are still plenty of ways in which you can keep moving towards your goal of becoming a fully qualified driver—all the while following the rules put in place by the government!
Keep your theory test knowledge up-to-date
If you’ve not yet had the chance to take your theory test, or you failed it before lockdown was put in place, now’s the perfect chance to get that theory test knowledge memorised! Even if you’ve already passed your theory test, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the theory side of driving. Once driving tests are back up and running, you’ll want to ensure that you remember things like stopping distances, road signs and motorway rules. If you’ve got it all squared off, you can jump straight back behind the wheel and take your practical without delay!
Lockdown is the perfect time to hit the books, or apps, and get that theory knowledge sorted. If you’re not entirely sure where to start, you’re in luck. PassMeFast has got everything you could possibly need to ensure you become a theory test mastermind by the time lockdown has lifted! If traditional learning isn’t for you, you could mix things up a bit—depending on your living arrangements, you could get friends or family members to test you with quizzes or mock tests!
There’s an additional reason why you might need to delve back into the realm of theory test knowledge: expiry dates. Unfortunately, the DVSA cannot extend the validity of your theory test pass certificate. So, once your two years are up, you’ll have to take the test again if you haven’t yet passed the practical. Though this is disappointing news, at least now you know exactly how to tackle it!
Hit the books!
- Ultimate theory test revision resources: get revision apps, mock tests and everything else you could possibly need to revise the theory test!
- How to pass your theory test: prepare for success by familiarising yourself with the format of the theory test and reading our top tips!
- Guide to passing the hazard perception test: don’t forget to make sure your hazard perception skills are up to snuff for the second section of the theory test!
- Test your eye for road signs: PassMeFast’s Sorted game is a run way of getting used to the most common road signs out there.
- Could you pass your theory test today? Check and see if you’ve actually got what it takes to pass the theory test with our fun quiz!
- How well do you know your traffic signs? Get to grips with common traffic signs and test yourself with our very own quiz!
Read the Highway Code
It might not be the most thrilling read out there, but there’s a good reason that the Highway Code has remained a vital part of learning to drive over the years. The Highway Code is a collection of all the rules and information that drivers in the UK need to know. You can read it at GOV.UK, or download a PDF version.
Get to grips with car maintenance
One aspect of the driving test that you’ll have to get acquainted with is maintenance. During the driving test, the examiner will ask you two show me, tell me questions. These questions are included in the test to ensure that learners have a basic knowledge of their vehicle. Example questions include:
- When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
- Where would you find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car?
- Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.
If you own a car, or you live with a family member or friend that has one, you could take some time to build up some basic car maintenance knowledge—all the while following lockdown rules. Take some time to open the car bonnet and familiarise yourself with the engine and various fluids. Next, get behind the wheel (while you’re parked!) and get to grips with the various controls. You can then run through the show me, tell me questions and see how many you get right.
Practise driving during lockdown
Whilst you won’t be able to take lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor, you could still practise driving under the right supervision. There are obvious rules to take into account here, however. For starters, if you’re a learner, you will need to be accompanied by a driver who is over the age of 21 and has held a full licence for at least 3 years. What’s more, this driver will need to be someone you’re living with under current lockdown rules.
In line with government rules, you will only be able to get your practice in during essential travel. This may include driving to get basic shopping, sorting out medical issues or going to and from work. You cannot be on the road just for the sake of learning. Though you won’t be able to go far under current restrictions, even just 10 to 15 minutes of practice every week can go a long way towards helping you maintain your muscle memory. Be sure to regularly clean the car to keep everyone safe.
Just because you can’t take driving lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor doesn’t meet you can’t learn anything new about driving! If you’re not able to practise driving during essential travel, or you’re looking to master certain skills, why not try watching relevant tutorials on YouTube?
You can find a trove of handy learner driver resources on YouTube. There are countless driving instructor channels that are dedicated to helping learners acquire key driving skills—from tackling different types of roundabouts to getting to grips with clutch control to mastering the driving test manoeuvres. It might not be the same as an actual driving lesson, but it could still prove useful. To find out more, head on over to our top ten YouTube channels for learner drivers.
Have a peek at your test route
Typically speaking, you’ll take your driving test at a test centre that’s closest to where you live. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you’re familiar with driving around your local area once you’ve passed. If your test was postponed, you’ll already know which test centre you’re going to be heading to in the future. If you’ve only just started your learning journey, you can still figure out where you’ll be taking your test (eventually) by using the DVSA’s nearest test centre database. Once you know where you’re taking your test, you can get a glimpse of what your test route might entail.
Whilst there’s no way to figure out what your exact test route will be, you can get a rough idea of which road features will likely crop up. One way to do so is to look up test routes for your chosen test centre on YouTube. Many driving instructors have recorded dash cam footage of themselves driving along test routes favoured by driving examiners. Another way is to head on over to our practical test centre guides. You’ll be able to see example routes for each test centre. (These routes are to be treated as a rough guide only!)
Get properly acquainted with the test format
If you haven’t taken a driving test before, then you might not know what the process actually entails. Rather than keeping it a complete mystery, you should take this time to familiarise yourself with it. If you know what to expect, you’ll be less likely to succumb to the dreaded test day nerves!
- Start things off by looking at what actually happens in a driving test. Once you know what the structure of the test is like, and what’s expected of you by examiners, you’ll be less likely to panic when your big day arrives.
- The next step is to prepare yourself for what will happen before and after the driving test. Though the practical is daunting enough by itself, it’s vital that you know what the non-test parts of your day will involve also.
- Lastly, you should take a gander at our tips and tricks for preparing for the driving test. Whilst it might be a while until you can actually take the practical, there’s no such thing as being too prepared!
By following the tips above, you can ensure that you’re fully prepared for your theory or practical test. You can also check out our advice on what to do with your time if your theory test is cancelled. Once lockdown is over, and we get back to our everyday routines, you’ll have your hands on that full licence in no time!
Keep following the PassMeFast blog for all the latest tips and news!