The finishing line:
There are driving test centres located all over Birmingham. Your instructor will let you know which one is most suitable for you. Take your instructor’s advice about booking to make sure they’re available on the day. This will usually require a 2-hour booking to allow time for a warm-up driving lesson, the test itself and the journey home.
The cost of the Practical Test for car drivers is £62.00 during weekdays or £75.00 for Saturday and weekday evening tests. You will need to print off your test details as this is no longer posted out to you.If you don't have a printer available then make a note of your reference number.
If you need to cancel your test for any reason, you’ll have to give three working days notice to keep your fee.
DSA test fees are subject to changes.
When you book your test you’ll need:
Your provisional driving licence
Your Theory Test certificate number
A debit or credit card for payment
Details of your preferred test dates and times
Details of any special requirements
Your Driving Instructors A.D.I. number (optional)
It’s my driving test and I can do what I want to...
No you can’t!!! You must take your provisional driving licence and your Theory Test pass certificate with you when you arrive to do the Practical Driving test. If you have a photo-licence you must take the counterpart with you as well. It is part of the licence. You must have some form of photographic identification and all the documents must be original, not photocopies.
“Unlike the other driving schools, driving lessons with Miles Ahead it won’t cost the earth”
For more information or to book a course of driving lessons give us a call or use our contact page.
Top tips for passing your Driving Test - At the First Attempt
What you will be expected to do on your Driving Test:-
To pass your driving test you need to read a number plate from 20 metres, answer 2 questions about the car, drive without making any serious or dangerous faults and no more than 15 minor faults during a drive of about 40 minutes. You must also complete one manoeuvre, you will also drive independently for about 10 minutes following a series of directions that you will be shown when you are parked at the side of the road, or you maybe asked to follow road signs (or a combination of both).
You may or may not do the emergency stop.
Do Your Homework
1. Pin up a map of your test centre area and mark out the test routes. Mark difficult areas on it such as one-way streets, difficult junctions, double mini roundabouts, so that you are ready for them on approach, rather than having to deal with them as if they have come out of nowhere. Make sure you get plenty of practice over the test routes with a professional driving school such as Miles Ahead.
Driving Test Centres (address & pass rates) and Driving Test Routes in North and East Birmingham are covered by Miles Ahead Driving School. Source: Driving Standards Agency (DSA). As an alternative to a conventional map, you can use Windows Live Maps to locate your test centre; many areas are covered by close-up "bird-eye view" photographs, so you can see every roundabout, pelican crossing and box junction on the surrounding roads. You can mark difficult areas on Live Maps using virtual pushpins.
2. Practise manoeuvres until you can carry them out without any minor faults. That will leave you with a margin of 15 faults for the rest of the drive on the day of your test.
3. Practise, practise, and practise until you can drive without verbal or physical intervention from your instructor for the duration of a full driving lesson or a mock driving test. Don't forget: it's not practice that makes perfect: it's practice – with a professional driving instructor – that makes perfect.
i) Warm up: Arrange to have an hour's driving lesson around the area of the test centre on the day of your test. This will help you to warm up and get into the swing of things. You will also be aware of any new roadworks, obstructions etc and will feel more able to deal with them more easily. Forewarned is forearmed.
ii) Nerves: If you start feeling shaky bag of nerves, breathe in, hold your breath, count up to 20 and out breathe out. Repeat this exercise until you gain control of your nerves. Once the test starts, you'll settle into your driving and your attention will be on the road rather than on your own feelings, and your nervousness should disappear.
iii) Think confident: Talk yourself – silently! – through the test. Talk about hazards coming up and how you are going to deal with them. This really focuses your mind on how you should be driving in order to pass the test.
iv) Don't be afraid to ask: If you don't understand what the examiner has asked you to do, don't be afraid to ask him or her to repeat the instruction.
v) Think positive: Before you start a manoeuvre, repeat to yourself three times – silently – "this is a piece of cake". Think positively at all times. You can do it!
vi) Making a mistake: If you feel you're messing up a manoeuvre, just pull forwards and do it again correctly. As long as you haven't done anything wrong, such as touching the kerb or failing to make effective observations, you can still pass.
vii) Stalling: if, unfortunately, you stall, deal with it and move on. As long as you don't stall in a dangerous situation, such as on a roundabout and as long as you handle it properly, this needn't count as a major fault and you can still pass your test.
viii) Have I already failed? If you feel you've made a mistake, don't instantly assume you've failed – it may only have been a minor fault. Put it behind you and carry on driving as well as you can.
ix) Keep your eyes on the road: Resist the temptation to look at the examiner and what he or she is writing. You will not be able to deduce anything anyway. Keep your attention on your driving and the road ahead!
Do you need more help or advice? Simply contact us and our highly trained driving instructor will answer your questions ASAP.
The 10 Most Common Reasons For Driving Test Failure
Reported by the Driving Standards Agency for the 12 months to January 2004
1. Observation at junctions – ineffective observation and judgement
2. Reverse parking – ineffective observation and/or a lack of accuracy
3. Use of mirrors – not checking or not acting on information
4. Reversing round a corner – ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
5. Incorrect use of signals – not cancelling or giving misleading signals.
6. Moving away safely – ineffective observations
7. Incorrect positioning on the road - particularly at roundabouts or on bends
8. Lack of steering control – steering too early or too late
9. Incorrect position to turn right – at junctions and/or in one-way streets
10. Inappropriate speed – travelling too slowly or with too much hesitation
Driving Test Myths & Mistakes
Ten Driving Test Myths & Mistakes
Ø Common mistakes made by learner drivers
Ø Harmful driving test myths
Myth: Driving examiners are only allowed to pass a certain number of pupils per week.
This is just not true. Perhaps this myth originates with those embarrassed by failure trying to come up with a convincing reason for family and friends. If you are up to driving test standard you will pass. It’s not meant to be easy, and the fact is that over 50% of candidates are just not up to the standard required. Driving examiners don’t fail you: you fail yourself.
Myth: Driving examiners enjoy failing learner drivers.
Examiners are professionals: their personal feelings do not enter into their assessment of you. Also, they have their bosses to report to – an unusual or inexplicable number of passes or failures would be looked into. It’s easier for an examiner to give good news rather than bad, and a pass means less paperwork for them.
Myth: There is a particular examiner who has tested me at the same test centre several times and failed me because he does not like me.
It would be easy to blame a ‘personality clash’ for failure, but again, driving examiners are professionals. Personal feelings or prejudices are irrelevant. An examiner whose work record showed an inclination to fail, for example women or a particular ethnic group, would soon be spotted. We would all like to blame someone else for our mistakes. The only way you will eventually pass is if you take responsibility for your performance and work hard to correct your faults. Talk to the experts at Miles Ahead if you can’t understand why you keep failing.
Mistake: Taking the driving test in your own car.
This might seem like a good idea, but in fact it isn’t. The pupils who turn up in their own vehicles are usually those who have had no professional driving tuition, or are so dangerous the driving school has not let them use their vehicle. The examiner will be aware of this from the beginning and it is likely to make him or her nervous. In addition, the car will not have a dual braking system, which may mean the driving examiner might be inclined to intervene, verbally or physically, prematurely. Intervention by the examiner means failure, so you don’t want to increase the chances of that happening by using a car without the dual brake. You have a far better chance of passing if you use our Miles Ahead Driving School car.
Mistake: Delaying the learning and taking the test until you are older.
There is no time to lose: younger candidates outperform their seniors in passing the test. In 2004-6, the pass rate for 17 year old boys was 51% and for girls 48%. Pupils ten years older at 27 had pass rates of 43% and 36% respectively. At aged 47 the rates when down further to 35% and 25%. But also in that period, the oldest successful candidate was female. The DSA says a pupil needs 2 hours driving tuition for every year of life. In other words, if you are 17 you will need about 34 hours, and if you are 20 you will need 40 hours. All in all, it is easier and cheaper to learn at the youngest age possible. Anyone who has been ‘back to school’ or learnt a new skill knows that learning becomes more difficult as you get older
Myth: My father tells me he took only 8 hours of driving tuition and passed first time.
This may have been possible in the dim distant past, or perhaps he has ‘competitive dad’ syndrome. The test has grown to match the changing conditions on the roads. There is an ever larger number of cars, more complicated traffic conditions and signs and routes to follow. There is now also the theory test, reverse parking manoeuvres and the ‘show and tell’ section. Years ago, a candidate would just be asked a few questions on the Highway Code. Older drivers often acknowledge that they might have difficulty these days passing a test. The Driving Standards Agency estimates that a new learner driver needs a minimum of 45 hours professional training with a further 22 hours of private practice. You can console yourself that with a more serious, complex test, you will be a much more competent driver in a shorter space of time than your father. As soon as you pass, take him out on the road and impress him!
Myth: If you stall the car, you will fail.
Stalling happens. If it happens in a dangerous situation, say, on a roundabout, you could be in trouble. If it happens on a normal stretch of road, the important thing is how you deal with it. If it's safe to do so, keep the car rolling and restart the engine with the clutch down on the floor, you can then sort the gear out and if safe, drive on, (do affective observations). only stop if it would be unsafe to continue. (try not to brake harshly). Panicking is not a good idea. Just take a deep breath, start again, and it is unlikely you would be failed on that one thing alone.
Mistake: Setting the mirror slightly ‘off’ so the examiner can see you move your head which makes it more obvious you are checking the mirror regularly.
Driving Examiners are trained to look for those small eye movements and are likely to be less than impressed by a mirror set at the wrong angle. Moving your whole head all the time will just distract you from effective observation.
Myth: Driving Schools make you take more lessons than you really need.
We certainly don’t at Miles Ahead Driving Lessons Birmingham. It is not in any school’s best interests to have lots of learners taking lesson after lesson with no end result. We want our former pupils to spread the word about their success! We give you advice, and if you want an independent rough guide: you are ready to take your test if you can drive for an hour without the verbal aid or assistance of your instructor. The DSA says that most people fail simply because they take the test before they are ready.
Myth: The minimum age for driving is going up to 18.
This is the oldest one in the book. However, it is true that recently a government task force recommended that learning should begin at 17 and the driving test taken at 18. However, for the age to change, it would require an Act of Parliament, which takes at least 2-3 years to become law. So, no need to worry about this for a while.
The best advice we can give you at Miles Ahead Driving School is: trust the examining system and assume the examiner is a professional. Treat him or her with respect. If you have any issues or problems about a failed test, talk to us at the School and we will investigate if appropriate. Never tackle the examiner directly.