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The Best Time To Schedule Your Driving Test: Revealed!

driving book information

If you're looking to finally get on the road and ditch your provisional licence, you'll probably be placing most of your focus on driving lessons. Whilst lessons are important, there's one thing that's probably just as vital: your driving test. Think it's as simple as picking any random date for your test? Nope. Scheduling your driving test can be a tricky affair if you're not in the know. Fortunately for you, PassMeFast is here to help peel back the curtain and give you some handy tips!

We're first going to take you through the factors you need to consider before booking your test, then we'll move onto when you should schedule your test. We'll even tell you how you can go about getting a test weeks or even months early!

Booking your driving test

Unfortunately, contrary to popular driving test myths, booking your driving test isn't an entirely simple affair. You can't just go online, pick a date and get everything sorted out in the space of 5 minutes. Before we even discuss when you should schedule your driving test, we have to look at the many factors that need to be carefully considered first. Let's take a look at some of them below…

Things to consider before scheduling your driving test

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The theory test comes first

If you've not yet taken the theory test, then there's absolutely no point in you setting your eyes on a specific date for your driving test. That's because you can't actually book a driving test until you've passed your theory test. You need the theory test pass number from your certificate in order to use the DVSA's book a driving test service. There's no way you can get around this, unfortunately.

So, if you're intent on getting your hands on a full driving licence as soon as possible, you need to swot up and pass your theory test first. If you put in the effort and revise properly, it shouldn't be too difficult for you. To help you out, we've compiled some of our best theory test guides for you!

Waiting times can be a pain

If you're used to living life in the fast lane, you'll be in for a nasty surprise when you finally try to book your driving test. If it wasn't annoying enough having to pass a theory test before you can book a practical, you've also got to deal with long driving test waiting times. Unless you're using a fast-track test service—which we'll delve into further shortly—you're looking at having to wait weeks or even months to take your driving test!

Wondering why the waiting times are so long? Well, it's due to a range of factors—from examiner shortages to test centre closures to test cancellations. You could end up having to wait up to 3 months to actually take your driving test, depending on the test centre! It's important that you're aware of these waiting times before you schedule your driving test. It will stop you from having unrealistic time frames, e.g., getting a test tomorrow.

Don't leave it too late

If you're slightly tempted to leave scheduling your driving test until next year, you should know that the sooner you take the driving test, the better your chances will be. As we've discussed in our study of driving test pass rates by age, younger drivers tend to fare better in the driving test. Pass rates for 17-year-olds stand at 55.8%, moving down by 7.6% for 18-year-olds! Pass rates continue to decline as age increases.

Of course, that's not to say that older drivers don't stand a chance with the driving test. If you put in the effort and pay attention to what your driving instructor tells you, it will pay off eventually. That being said, it will make things much easier for you if you avoid putting off learning to drive.

So when should I schedule my driving test?

to do timer

So, you're a bit wiser now when it comes to the intricacies that go into scheduling your driving test. You've got your theory test out of the way and you're a bit more realistic with your driving test time frames. We can now move onto when you should schedule your driving test. This can, of course, vary depending on how far you are into your driving journey and whether you're learning with a DVSA-approved instructor or not. Let's take a look…

Well in advance

As we've said, waiting times can be pretty ridiculous depending on your chosen test centre. So, there's no use in waiting until a week before you'd like to take your test to actually try booking one. It's highly unlikely that you'd actually be able to schedule your driving test on such short notice.

Of course, long waiting times aren't the only reason you should schedule your driving test well in advance. One of the worst things that a learner driver can do is finish their driving lessons and then try to book a test. If you do this, you're going to end up with a huge gap between your last lesson and your test date. If this happens, you'll end up having to take additional lessons—beyond what you actually need—in order to make sure you're still “in shape” for your big day. Ideally, you'd book a test and then sort out your lessons closer to the date.

When's the best time of year to schedule my driving test?

If you're fascinated by pass rates, you might be wondering if there's a best time of year to take the driving test. In our study of pass rate data from 2018, we found three distinct peaks: April (46.2%), August (46.3%) and December (46.0%). Now, before you start scheduling a driving test in one of these months, you should know that these pass rates were only marginally higher than those from any other month.

To answer the question, then, there isn't really a “best” time of the year to take the driving test. Pass rates aside, it's ultimately all down to you. If you finish your driving lessons, practise with family and friends, and try your best, age should have no impact.

When your instructor tells you

If you're a bit at a loss as to how far in advance you need to schedule your driving test, or even when you'll actually be done with your lessons, the simple solution is to ask your driving instructor. They will either urge you to book it before your lessons, or tell you to wait until you're halfway through your lessons. Once your instructor has helped you schedule your driving test, you'll be able to work towards that test date.

Once you're ready

It's vital that you don't get too caught up in the pressure of scheduling your driving test for as soon as possible. You should only go in for your test once you feel that you're ready. If, for example, you've booked a test weeks ahead of your lessons, only to get halfway through your course and feel as if you're not progressing, you should reschedule your test.

Of course, it's important to know the difference between test day nerves and an actual lack of driving ability. If your instructor thinks you're ready, they're likely right. They wouldn't push you to take it if they thought you would fail. Just to be sure, check out the 5 signs you're not test ready.

How can I schedule my driving test?

yellow car and book

Now you've got a rough idea of when you want to get your test booked in for, you can officially move on to scheduling your driving test. (As long as you've passed your theory test of course!) So, how exactly can you schedule it?

With the DVSA

As we've mentioned, the DVSA has its own test booking service. You can simply use your theory test pass number and have a look at when the nearest availability is at your chosen test centre. Unfortunately, as we've discussed, waiting times are a real pain. Odds are, you'll go online and the nearest available date will be months away from when you'd actually like to pass.

When this happens, you'll end up having to delay your lessons. If you start them too soon, you'll peak well before your test and need to take even more lessons before it just to get yourself back into shape. It's certainly not very cost-effective. So what can you do? It's simple: take advantage of PassMeFast!

With PassMeFast

If you're convinced there's far too much to juggle and think about when it comes to scheduling the driving test, you're in luck. PassMeFast is more than willing to do all of the hard work for you! In fact, you can forget the whole booking palaver altogether! Our Booking Agents will take care of the admin side so that you can concentrate on building up your driving skills, whilst our fast-track team will be on the ball to help you get a test weeks or even months ahead of DVSA-waiting times.

If you've not started your driving lessons yet, we can even sort that out for you. PassMeFast has a range of courses that can be taken at an intensive or semi-intensive pace, depending on how eager you are to get your full licence—and what your overall availability is. We'll schedule your test to match your requirements and your PassMeFast instructor will then structure your lessons to take place in the days or weeks before your test. This means you don't have to worry at all about gaps between lessons and your driving test.

With PassMeFast, you get to decide the pace of your course. You can work side-by-side with your instructor to fit your lessons around your work schedule and social calendar. In most cases, you'll even get picked up from home or another preferred location. To get started, head on over to our course prices to see what's on offer. If you're not sure how many hours you'll need, use our handy course recommender. Then, book online or give us a ring on 0333 123 4949.

FAQs

1. What happens if I fail the driving test?

You take another one! Well, you'll have to wait 10 working days until you can take your next test—courtesy of DVLA rules. Once that's up, you can get back behind the wheel and test your mettle again. It may also be worth taking a few extra lessons beforehand, to ensure that you don't slip up on the same problem areas again.

2. How much will the driving test cost?

It depends. For most learners, the test will cost £62 to book. If you're taking your driving test on an evening or weekend, it will be £75. If you decide to get PassMeFast to fast-track your test, it will be £97.

3. Why do I need to take the theory test first?

You need to take the theory test first simply because you need to know the rules and laws of the road. To ensure all learners attain this knowledge—and strive to become safe drivers—the DVLA prevents anyone from booking a practical test without a valid theory test pass certificate.

4. Do I have to take a PassMeFast course to get a fast-track practical test?

Nope! If you've already got your driving lessons sorted out and you're just interested in our fast-track practical tests, then that's what we can do. Simply book a test online or give us a ring on 0333 123 4949.

5. How many driving tests am I allowed to take?

As many as you need! There's no limit in place. Of course, if you're reaching test number three or above, then you might want to start thinking about why you're having to retake the test so many times. Essentially, you should work out what you're getting wrong so that you can improve and pass. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a refresher course.

6. Do PassMeFast offer a guaranteed pass?

For starters, there's no such thing as a guaranteed pass. No driving school can guarantee you a pass on your theory or driving test. At best, these schools will offer you the chance to take another test—or an unlimited number. Of course, this means that you'll end up having to pay an arm and a leg in the process. So, no, PassMeFast do not offer a guaranteed pass. Instead, we offer excellent service and tuition that will give you the best possible chance to pass first time.

7. Can I get a fast-track test if I've already got one booked in?

Yep! Simply cancel your scheduled driving test and we'll arrange a brand new test for you—one that's weeks or even months ahead of waiting times.

8. How do PassMeFast find earlier tests?

PassMeFast has been going for a few years now, so our fast-tracking department has had more than enough time to perfect the art of finding earlier tests. They make use of driving test cancellations and many other methods in order to get you the best test date possible.

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