First thing's first, to ensure you're ready to set out on a journey in a car, you need to perform some key preparation checks in and around your vehicle and you will be required to demonstrate these when you come to sit your driving test. These checks include; cockpit checks, safety checks, controls, positioning and mirror checks.

Cockpit Checks

When you get in the car, it's important to adjust the internals so they're set up correctly for you, the driver. This will be one of the first things your instructor does with you and is something you need to do before every journey.

You will be ensuring all car doors are closed, adjusting your seat, steering wheel and headrest, checking your rear-view and side mirrors and making sure both you and your passengers have their seatbelts fastened.

All of this is so you're comfortable and safe.

How to Practice:

If you have access to a car, simply sit in the driver's seat after someone else has been in the car before you. Make sure you are able to readjust everything, then tweak until you're happy.

Safety Checks

Your safety checks relate mostly to when you're moving off. You have likely heard the phrase "mirrors, signal, manoeuvre" and this is exactly that.

The basic for everything you do in driving is ensuring that before you perform any manoeuvre, you have checked that it's safe to do so. This involves checking your mirrors and turning your head to check the blindspots your mirrors can't see.

How to Practice:

If you go out in a car with a friend of family member, you will get a lot of practice at this. Try pulling in at the side of the road, doing the relevant safety checks and moving off, before pulling in again to repeat.


Your mastery over the various controls in the car is important. As a driver, the majority of your attention needs to be on everything happening outside of the car, rather than having to think about "where is the control for indicating?" or "how do I turn on my lights?".

Being able to effortlessly manage the tools of your vehicle is key to passing your driving test, but more so, key to keeping you safe.

How to Practice:

You'll get all the practice you need when out with your instructor. It's important to note that different cars have different layouts. Turning on the lights may be a dial off to the side in one car, or connected to the steering wheel in another. You want to know the controls of the car you will be sitting your test in.

You can even grab the vehicles instruction manual from the manufacturers website to look over the locations of all the instruments.


You will be assessed on where you place the car in the road. For example, if you're too close to the middle of the road, you're narrowing the gap between your vehicle and oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. More so, you don't want to be crossing any lines, which is a dangerous place to be.

How to Practice:

Be mindful of where the car sits in the road as you travel along quiet streets when in town. Note the position of your steering wheel when in the centre of your lane. That would give you a good indicator that you're consistently in the centre of your lane.


Use of mirrors gives you the superpower of being able to see around you from the driver's seat. It's important to demonstrate you check your mirrors before every manoeuvre, including checking your blind spot – the areas the mirrors can see, such as over your shoulder.

How to Practice:

After you've adjusted your mirrors to ensure they're optimised for your driver's side sitting position, have someone stand in different places around the vehicle or walk up and down past you. You can be stationary when you do this. What's important is that you're looking at when you can and cannot see the person in your mirrors. Note when you can't see them in your mirrors, turn your head until you do see them. This will highlight how important this is when you're moving, with vehicles travelling either side of you.