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Coronavirus: How to Keep Learning to Drive In Lockdown

Keys with 'Learn to Drive' keyring

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 in lockdown!


Learning to drive in lockdown

Unless you’re a key worker, you won’t be able to take the theory or practical test. Due to the strict social distancing rules in place, you also won’t be able to take lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor. You can get the latest information in our article on the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 reading below to find out exactly how you can you can carry on learning to drive in lockdown!

Keep your theory test knowledge up-to-date

Cartoon globe on books surrounded by traffic signs

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! Plus, check out our guide covering what it’s like to take the theory test in lockdown.

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!

Go interactive!

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

Yellow car with magnifying glass

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.

If you want to make the most of your time, you could try multi-tasking. Why not clean your car whilst testing your maintenance knowledge?

Practise driving during lockdown

female learner driver

Whilst you won’t be able to take lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor, you could still keep learning to drive in lockdown 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.

If you haven’t sat behind the wheel before, do not practise driving—even if it’s with an experienced driver. It’s dangerous to get behind the wheel if you’re a complete beginner and lacking the guidance of a DVSA-approved instructor. If you end up in an accident, you’ll end up adding to the already hefty workload of emergency services.

Watch tutorials

Just because you can’t take driving lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor doesn’t meet you can’t keep learning to drive in lockdown or 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!


By following the tips above, you can keep learning to drive in lockdown and 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!

By Bethany Hall

Whether you’re a learner or a pro driver, Bethany is here to help. From defensive driving to the Highway Code, she’ll tell you everything you need know about driving. If she’s not on the road, you’ll probably find Bethany with her head in a book or binge-watching the latest TV show.

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rachel

    Thank you for these tips

    Do you think there will be any relaxing of driving on a provisional if lockdowns continue so strictly?

    If this were to be come the new normal will they dvla be looking at other options such as virtual lessons/test in simulation?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Rachel,

      I’m glad these tips were helpful! We haven’t heard of any plans to relax the rules for driving on a provisional just yet. As for virtual lessons/tests, I personally can’t see that happening anytime soon. For starters, it would take a lot of time to set up such a system. Furthermore, learning to drive virtually just wouldn’t compare to the real thing. If you’d like to stay updated on the latest developments with driving lessons and tests, I’d recommend looking at this and keeping an eye on our blog.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

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