You’ve done it. You’ve completed your driving test. You sit in the car staring at the steering wheel, palms sweaty, analysing every little mistake you think you could have made, waiting for the examiner to give you the result. “Congratulations, you’ve passed your driving test.” Result, you’ve done it! Hours of scaring Mum and Dad in your practice runs was worth it and you’re now free to hit the open roads.
However, the reality of passing your driving test can be daunting. We’re going to take you through some of the unknown or forgotten elements to consider once you have passed.
How do I get my full driving license?
After your test your examiner will give you your test certificate and also ask if you want your full license sent to you automatically, if you answer yes, they will take your provisional from you. You can still drive whilst you wait for your full license to arrive. It should take around 3 weeks for the DVLA to send you your new red license.
What happens if I don’t have a car?
Don’t panic, loads of people don’t have their own car when they pass and that’s fine. It won’t affect your license or pass at all. If you’re keen to get on the road but don’t have enough money saved there is car finance for young drivers available. For those who are working this is a great way to invest in a new, safe car to grow your confidence on the roads.
I have my own car, what do I do now?
If you have your own car you’re in a fantastic position, you can build on everything you have learnt to secure your full license and have some freedom too. However, there are some steps you need to take before this happens.
Change your car insurance
If you have been using your vehicle to practice in you will likely have learner insurance on it. Now you have passed you no longer qualify as a learner. You can either phone up the insurance company and cancel your learner insurance altogether – usually they will refund any remaining days on the policy.
Alternatively, you can ask them to give you a quote for full car insurance with them. They have all your details so this shouldn’t take long. You can then shop around online before settling with them, or go with a better quote from another car insurance company.
Tax your car
If you have had your car for a while you will have taxed it upon purchase. If your car is new you will need to ensure you have paid the car tax. You can do this easily by visiting gov.uk/vehicle-tax, it takes a couple of minutes.
Remember, car tax does not carry over from vehicle to vehicle anymore. This means you must tax your own car.
Do I need P-plates?
There are pros and cons of P-plates. They are a great way of alerting other drivers that you are new to the road and they will often give your more space than other drivers. Fortunately, this also means they are less likely to sound their horn if you stall or make mistakes. However, some drivers prefer not to have P-plates, particularly those who are already confident having passed their test.
P-plates are a personal choice and they not a necessity once you pass your test but may make you feel more comfortable.
Would I benefit from an advanced driving course?
Once you have passed your test that’s it – you are legally allowed to drive alone. However, there are a variety of advanced courses available if you’d like to get some more practice under your belt.
The Pass Plus Scheme is one of the most popular for new drivers. The course is around six hours and covers a range of different driving environments and conditions that you may not have experienced in your driving lessons before you passed. Sometimes the Pass Plus Scheme even entitles you to discounted car insurance.
There are also different companies which provide driver confidence courses and motorway driving courses. All of these are supplementary to your driving career and do not affect your pass and are not compulsory.