Before you book your driving test, it’s a good idea to brush up on some of the common mistakes that learners make on their tests in your area. Not only should this help you to avoid making the same mistakes, but it might even influence your choice of test centre. And who better to talk you through the details than some of our top local driving instructors? We’ve used their advice to sum up some of the things you should watch out for when you’re taking your test in the West London area.
If Isleworth is your test centre of choice, get some practice on the roundabout at the top of Rugby Road and Mogden Lane. Examiners have often asked learners to drive down the private road opposite the roundabout. Musa, one of our local driving instructors, offers this advice: “Don’t drive at 30 mph on this private road. The speed bumps are there to slow traffic down and if you drive at the full speed limit you could fail your test. Some learners have even failed their test for driving at 25 mph, so make sure you stick to 20 mph at all times.”
The mini roundabout on Worton Road very close to Isleworth Test Centre also has a tendency to trip learner drivers up. Musa’s top tip is to “Watch your speed as you approach this mini roundabout as many learners have received faults for having to rush to reduce their speed and change gears, or for hesitating about which direction they need to go.”
Lots of learners also stumble up on roundabouts at Southall Test Centre. Our instructor Ernest tells us that “there are orthodox and unorthodox roundabouts. Typically in the Southall area an orthodox roundabout is Willow Tree or Polish. Unorthodox roundabouts include White Hart, Target and Greenford. It’s important to make sure that you choose the correct lane discipline to enter and exit the roundabout.” So make sure that you get plenty of practice on roundabouts with an instructor before you take your test.
On the other hand, a common mistake for learners taking their test at Hendon Test Centre is failing to observe adequately. Midrive instructor Shapour advises, “Remember to check your side mirrors during your test, especially when changing lanes in busy traffic.” Of course, changing lanes is likely to come up in a test from any test centre, so put in some hours perfecting this skill!
If you’ve chosen Isleworth Test Centre, Musa tells us that you will most likely be tested on your manoeuvres on Fleming Way because it’s a quiet area with lots of parking bays. This is on the way back to the test centre, so don’t get complacent as you near the end of your test. Musa’s advice for the final stretch is that “The test centre is gated and it’s also situated inside a busy business park. Look out for the give way line right by the gate, and remember that you will have to come to a complete stop because there can be a lot of traffic on this road.”
Learners should also be on their guard on the way back to Hendon Test Centre. Shapour tells us that “learners should be quite familiar with the road ending with the test centre, which is narrow and slow.”
So: speed, roundabouts and hesitation are all areas to watch out for. Ernest leaves us on this nugget: “Plan and anticipate in advance and implement the LADA principal at all times.” And in case you’re not sure what LADA stands for, it’s Look, Assess, Decide, Act. Definitely one to keep in mind!