Learning to drive is a rite of passage for all kids. Most teens start to take lessons around the age of 17 in the UK, and by the time they are 18/19 they have passed their driving test. Some kids are lucky enough to pass first time, but the pass rate is around 50% in many centers, so a first-time pass is not guaranteed. However, there are a few things you can do to maximize your chances of passing the practical driving test first time, so read on for details.

Book Lessons with an Instructor: It might be tempting to think Dad or Uncle Fred can teach you to drive in ten hours or less, but really this is an unlikely prospect. Most people benefit from the skills of a professional driving instructor. An instructor has the patience and experience to teach you to drive with no drama. They will also make sure you learn the right way and don’t pick up any bad habits.

Practice Outside of Lessons: Practice makes perfect. The more practice outside of lessons you have, the quicker you will pick up the required skills. To begin with, it is sensible to stick with an instructor as their vehicles have dual controls, but once you are driving competently, it is safe to go out with a friend or relative in their car, as long as they have a full driving licence and you have insurance.

Get to Know the Test Route: All driving tests take place in a designated area, usually within a certain distance of the test center. A driving instructor will take you around the test route during your lessons, but it doesn’t hurt to practice driving in the general area if you go out with someone else.

Have Enough Lessons: Never rush into taking your test. You are probably keen to pass, but if you take your test too early your chances of passing first time diminish sharply. Some people pick up the requisite skills very quickly, but others need a lot more lessons. Listen to your instructor and wait for them to say you are ready.

Stay Calm on the Day: Easier said than done, but try to keep your nerves in check on the day. The more you panic, the more likely you are to make silly mistakes. Everyone is beset with nerves when they take their driving test. The examiner will expect this and take it into account. However, if you are the type that falls apart under pressure, give yourself a break and remember: the world will not end if you fail.

Don’t Take Risks: Mistakes happen, but don’t take any unnecessary risks. Some learner drivers are a bit too confident and in their effort to impress the examiner, they don’t think things through. Stay calm, think clearly, and plan ahead.

Remember to practice for your driving theory test before you start worrying about the practical test. You need to pass this first!