When is best to test?

What is the best day to take the driving test?

Driving Lessons Tip to help make your driving lessons easier.

This is an updated article, original Driving Lessons Tips: What is the best day to take the driving test?.

What is the best day to take your driving test? The weekend? The start of the week? Which day should you take your driving test to give yourself the best chance of passing? Are you more likely to pass on a Saturday or a Monday?

Learner drivers often ask us here at LPL when they should book their test (many before they have their first lesson) and the answer from us has always been, ‘the day your driving instructor suggests’. Your driving instructor will have experience of their test centre, the local examiners and the traffic conditions throughout the week. They will know if a particular route is busy or hard to drive on a particular day and will be able to give you great advice on this. That being said there are some basic tips that you can follow to maximise your chances of a pass.

Here is our advice…

There are certainly differences to taking your test during the week or at the weekend. For a start you will have to pay £62 for a week day test and £75 for a weekend practical driving test. That is a difference of £13 pounds – not to be sniffed at.

There are two driving tests, the theory and the practical. There’s the cost of lessons and the price of private practice to consider too. Here’s a full breakdown of the Costs of Learning To Drive

Only the most confident and competent learners pass their test first time and everybody else who requires more than one test will have to pay for each attempt. This means that if it takes you two attempts and you do both at the weekend you could end up paying £26 more – (the same price or indeed more) than an additional driving lesson. You can make sure you’re getting the best deal on your lessons by checking local driving lessons prices on Low Price Lessons.

If you use an unofficial booking portal to manage your test booking you could end up paying a surcharge of around 65% on top of the DSA agency fees so just one practical test could set you back £120. That is the same price as a block of lessons that would make a major difference to your chances of passing. Heck even if you are already at test standard you are better spending that money on extra lessons targeting local routes you would use most often or areas you feel you could improve in and become an even better driver.

Economically speaking its always better to use the DSA’s official booking website and its cheapest to book a test during the working week.

The weekend or a week day?

‘Thanks, great but when am I more likely to pass? What is the best day to take the driving test?’

Generally speaking your chances of passing do not differ greatly from the week to the weekend. However, this is a good question to ask your instructor as it may be that at your test centre there is particular circumstances that mean one or the other is more favourable. Many local instructors have knowledge of the routes you may be asked to drive during the independent driving section of the test and will be able to brief you with regards to which are more likely depending on the day of your test but this is very hard to build into your preparations.

The average learner (all other things being equal) has around a 50% chance of passing their test. This does not fluctuate much between week days and weekends but it is advisable to try to schedule your test when there will not be lots of other cars on the road. So if you are flexible on dates and want to make sure you maximise your chances of passing try and arrange your test for a quiet day, not a public holiday and not at rush hour.

You might have read or heard someone saying something like this: ‘I got stuck in a traffic jam and I hardly had to do any driving at all so I passed easily!”

Driving examiners are aware that there are certain roads and routes which are busier in the morning and will more often than not mitigate traffic issues by taking a different route. Sometimes the increase in traffic means there are more distractions yet you still get there in more or less the same time – a busy street has many more hazards than a quiet one. It is possible that in your area a rush-hour test could shave time off but in other areas this could be a costly mistake.

Rush hour good or barking?

Generally speaking all things being equal you are better off at a time when you are most alert and ready, if you don’t enjoy mornings at the best of times then a rush hour test at 8:30 am might be a bad idea.

Tell me! What time of the day is best? If we had to choose a time Low Price Lessons recommends after the morning rush hour, when the day is still bright, traffic has calmed down and there are less cars on the road. If the weather conditions are poor then the middle of the day is likely to be the mildest and so this should factor into your decision. Later on in the day other road users can be more frustrated and there is a higher chance of traffic or obstacles. This may not be true for every area so make sure you ask your instructor.

Unfortunately the DSA’s booking system is not designed around convenience for the learner driver. You will have to enter quite a few details and perhaps check more than once to find the dates you are looking for. Some test centres are more busy than others and there is no way to predict when a place will come up. If you have a good instructor they will be able to help you, either by booking a test for you with the conditions you request or alternatively by advising you when you should attempt the practical exam. Bear in mind your instructor has to do all the data entry and administration for many learners so it will not be the most fun part of their day if they do this for you so remember to ask nicely and thanks them as well. If they charge you for the service you may want to do this yourself.

You will often hear statistics regarding where to take your test to increase your chances of passing. Lots of factors go into this and by no means is a learner from London more likely to pass if they take their test in rural Scotland. Book your test in the area you know or not far from it if at all possible. Your instructor will have better knowledge of the area and will be able to prepare you more thoroughly.

As with all advice regarding your driving test or lessons the best practice is to make sure your instructor thinks you are at a competent standard to be a safe and reliable driver. This is more important than any other consideration such as the day of the week or time of day.

Thoughts from ADIs are welcome in the comments below as are any questions from learner drivers.

Remember if you are looking to organise your driving lessons you won’t find better instructors at a better price than on www.lowpricelessons.com :)

You can book your test through the DSA’s booking website.

Finally, if you’re about to book your test then congratulations on getting this far, we’re sure you’ll ace it! Share this article with your friends!

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