How to Pass your Driving Test First Time



On the straight:

  • Drive on the left of centre on the road and do not drift too far to the right unless there is a line of parked cars.
  • Check your position when following traffic who may be in the wrong position.
  • Do not drive too close to the side of the road and drive in the lane closest to the left on dual carriageways.

On Bends:

  • Keep tight to the left on bends and take tight blind bends in second gear to ensure you are not too close to oncoming traffic and you are in position to stop if required.
  • Take into account any parked cars that may be at the bend and anticipate oncoming traffic.

Traffic Lanes:
Make sure you keep within the lines of your lane and you do not  drift into another lane on dual carriageways.

At Cross Junctions:
If you are  going LEFT or STRAIGHT at a cross junction then approach tight to the left and approach left of centre if you are  turning right..

AT Roundabouts:
Tale the first or second exit, approach it tight to the left. Keep tight all the way to the left when taking the second exit.
Approach left of centre or in the right hand lane if you are ONLY taking the THIRD exit.

Turning Right:

  • Do not CUT any corners by turning across the face of the turn and make sure you do not go too far and have to over-steer to make the turn (swan-necking)
  • Position tight to "left of centre" at T-junctions and major to minor roads so traffic behind you can overtake.

Turning Left:

  • Approach a left turn tight to the side of the road and as you complete the turn on major to minor roads and at T-junctions.
  • Do not clip or hit the side of the road.


  • Do not  block an entrance and make sure you can see the back wheels of the vehicle in front when stopped in traffic.
  • Do not hit the side of the road or rub your tyres off the side of the road when parking. Don´t park too far from the side of the road and park tight on narrow roads.
  • Stop at the first continuous white line at junctions.

Following Traffic:
Keep a safe following distance and not tail-gating. REMEMBER: Only a fool breaks the two-second rule and double in wet conditions.


Moving Off:

  • Check left blind spot, all of the mirrors and over the right blind spot right shoulder before you move off.
  • If you check the right shoulder and you need to wait for traffic to pass check it again before you move off.


  • Check your rear-view and right wing mirror when overtaking a parked car i.e on the left.
  • Check your left wing mirror as you move back to the left side of the road.

Changing Lanes:

AtCross Junctions:

  • Check left and right as you drive through or turning left or right at traffic lights to ensure it is safe to continue and never trust a green light.
  •  Check for traffic and cyclists who may not stop.

At Roundabouts:

  • Check at least twice and give right of way to the right and approach roundabouts in second gear.
  • Check to the right and let at mini-roundabouts even if it is clear to your right.

  • Turning Right:
  • Scan up the road to check for oncoming traffic  but also check up the road you are turning onto to make sure no pedestrians are crossing as you turn. Look twice.
  • Check both directions on approach at least twice at T-junctions turn in second gear if you can see clearly.
  • Turn in first gear when your visibility is blocked with parked cars on either side. and once more before you make your turn. If you cannot see clearly to the right and left, turn in first gear.

Turning Left:

  • Check to the left as well as to the right at least twice on approach and when turning left at a T-junction and the same when making a major to minor left- turn..
  •  If turning left at a T-junction and you cannot see clearly to the right and the left, turn in first gear.

You must take full OBSERVATION by reading the road as far you can see scanning for hazards. You ANTICIPATE what may happen and you then REACT when it happens.
Coming off the gas, covering the brake immediately with your right foot. braking, braking and changing gear and/or emergency stop.
Examples of Hazards:
• Causing a rough ride by driving too fast over ramps or driving in pot-holes that can be avoided
 Pulling in on a narrow road when an oncoming vehicle has already pulled in for you resulting in confusion and holding up the road.
 Braking hard and reacting late when the traffic in front slows down suddenly.
 Not covering the brake approaching a green light that may change to amber or red.
 Not anticipating a car coming from a side road that may turn out in front of you.
 Reacting late for a pedestrian or child who may walk out in front of you.
 Pulling in too late or moving up a gear when facing oncoming traffic

• Reacting late to a vehicle cutting a corner in front of you by not braking or stopping.
Looking down side roads instead of focusing on the road in front of you.
• .
Over use of mirrors causing you to react late to change in road conditions ahead.

• Failure to cover your brake when driving around a blind bend to anticipate other traffic.
Splashing pedestrians with puddles in heavy rain.
Causing another vehicle to stop or change direction because of late reaction.

Use your mirrors BEFORE you indicate and in advance of moving off, check your rear-view mirror ONLY every 20 SECONDS:

  • on the straight,
  • when overtaking,
  • changing lanes,
  • exiting roundabouts
  • turning left and right
  • At a sudden stop at an amber light, check your rear-view mirror to make sure it is safe to stop.





  • Approach pedestrians or be ready to stop if necessarily anyone who may cross the road in front of you especially children.
  • Give pedestrians lots of time and space if crossing the road
  • Watch for them when walking out from between parked cars who or may not look properly before crossing in heavy rain.


  • Give cyclists lots of room or clearance and wait for a safe opportunity to overtake.
  • Give extra clearance to cyclists who may move out to overtake parked cars

Stationary Vehicles:

  • Give the width of a door clearance to parked vehicles or drive very slowly passed parked cars where it is not possible to give the required clearance.
  • Do not drive unnecessarily too close to parked vehicles.
  • Drive up the middle of a narrow road with parked cars on both sides to give equal clearance.

Other Traffic:

  • Give other traffic like oncoming traffic as much clearance as possible ie, large, vans, trucks and buses in tight situations with parked cars on narrow roads.
  • Try to pull in when another vehicle has already overtaken parked vehicles.

Other Objects:
Avoid other objects like glass, wheelie bins, birds feeding, cats and dogs, loose bushes or anything that may be in your path on the road

Overtake Safely:

  • You must overtake i.e bus, parked vehicles, cyclist SAFELY.
  • An oncoming vehicle should not have to slow down to let you through if the  obstruction is on your side.
  • If you choose to overtake you should not be too close to oncoming traffic where it would be dangerous to overtake.
  •  Stay well back until you get a safe opportunity to overtake.


  • Give the correct signal in good time when:
  • Moving off, overtaking, changing lanes, at roundabouts, turning left & right, stopping.
  • Indicate left when pulling into park.
  • Indicate at the correct time taking the 2nd exit at
  • Do not indicate too early and cancel it promptly after you have completed your turn.
  • Indicate again if it has cancelled itself.
  • Know your HAND SIGNALS and don´t mix them up!



You must get out of your vehicle safely at the end of your test.


MOVING OFF: Do not take too long to move off and go as soon as you have a clear gap
 ON THE STRAIGHT: Get to 50km/h if the speed limit is 50km/h and the same for 60km/h as soon as possible especially driving up hill.
Drive at 30-40 km/h in housing estates.
Do not let your speed drop under the speed limit unnecessarily.


  •  Overtake straight away once you have a safe gap. #
  • Drive back to the "left of centre" of the road after overtaking. 

At Roundabouts:

  • Drive up to roundabouts and go if it is clear or wait for a safe gap and take it as soon as it comes.
  • Do not stop if it is clear at roundabouts and mini-roundabouts.

Turning Left/Right:

  • Check whether you have a safe gap before turning left and right.
  • Assess the distance and speed of traffic plus their distance from you, .
  • If you are not sure if you go can make it safely, then do not go, use your instinct.

Changing Lanes:

  • Look for a safe gap in your mirrors. and indicate early to warn other traffic.
  • If a gap develops where a driver slows down to let you change lanes, take it as soon as possible and do not slow down.

At Traffic Lights:

  • A green light means you GO! Go when it is clear at a green light or a filter light
  • Be ready to go in first gear if you are the first second or third car in the queue.
  • Do not wait for a filter or green arrow if you could have gone on the green light.
  • Change to 2nd gear as well as turning right or left at traffic lights where possible.



  • Accelerator:
  • Do not over rev the engine when moving off, at hill-starts or reversing.
  • Make sure to come off the gas when changing gear for smooth gear changing


  • Make sure you BRAKE THEN CLUTCH  to stop and not CLUTCH THEN BRAKE
  • Release the clutch after you change gear, do not clutch too early after you brake to stop.
  • Bring up the clutch slowly and smoothly when moving off and changing to lower gears without causing a "jerk"


  • Your rev counter should not go above 2000 revs when changing gear.
  • Turn left and right in 2nd gear.
  • Move up the gears 1st - 4th gear quickly up to 50km/h Do not stay in 3rd gear too long at 50km/h.
  • Do not drive too fast for a low gear and Do not labour the engine by driving too slow in a high gear.
  • 2nd gear is for turning and 3rd gear is for driving so Do not stay in 2nd gear too long in housing estates.
  • You do not need to use 5th gear for the driving test.

You must use the footbrake smoothly when slowing down and by coming to a smooth stop without any kind of a "jolt"  even at an emergency stop.


  • Use the handbrake when stopped for 5 seconds or more at junctions, and steep hills.
  • Make sure not to ROLL BACK on hills or upward slopes and take it off before you drive forward.
  • No need to use  the handbrake every time you stop only for a few seconds.


  • Hold the steering wheel with two hands at the 10 to 2 position unless operating the handbrake or changing gears.
  • Try not to cross your hands and feed the wheel.
  • Stop in gear with both hands on the wheel.
  • Keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times when stopped in traffic

Secondary Controls:

  • Be able to operate all of the secondary controls are in your vehicle, ie rear demister.
  • If it is dull or overcast or light is fading use the parking light.
  • if it is quite dark or raining heavily use your dipped headlights.
  • Use your windscreen wipers when it rains .
  • Use your demisters, fan, heat control and air con to keep your front and back window clear.
  • You should not have to use your hand so clear your front windows. Use  a cloth or demister pad.



  • Road/Traffic Conditions:
  • Drive slower in tight roads and .housing estates especially where visibility is poor.
  • Do not approach or take junctions, roundabouts, turning left or right too fast. Slow down and creep passed parked cars if they are opposite each other on a narrow road

Speed Limit:
Keep to the speed limit. The speed limit on all roads is 50km/h unless the speed limit sign says otherwise ie 60km/h. Watch out for speed limit signs!


Traffic Lights:
You must stop if you can stop safely at an amber light. Do not accelerate through an amber or red light when you could have stopped.
Do not slow down too early at a green light. Remember a green light means "Go!"

Traffic Signs:
You must come to a complete STOP AT A STOP SIGN.  Go if it is clear at a YIELD SIGN. Follow all other traffic signs.

Road Markings:

  • Do not stop on yellow box junctions.
  • Do not drive over hatch markings (white stripes) unless that lane is filling up or full.

Pedestrian Crossings:
Don not block or stop on pedestrians crossings at junctions.

Garda/School Warden:
Stop for a Garda, person in charge of road works or a school warden when required.

Bus/Cycle Lanes:

  • Do not drive in bus or cycle lanes.
  • Wait for the broken white line when a bus lane ends before changing lanes.
  • Use bus or cycle lanes to overtake a vehicle in front of you who is turning right.
  • Drive back out of the bus or cycle lane as soon as possible


  • Assess the speed and distance the traffic has to travel before deciding if it is safe to:
  • Turn right/left, overtake, changing lanes, at roundabouts, at junctions or when moving off.



  • Keep the vehicle reasonably close to the side of the road and do not drift too wide. Do not take too long by constantly stopping and starting.
  • Do not risk being too close to the side of the road and run the risk of hitting or mounting the path.
  • Do not constantly steer left and right to correct yourself from start to finish.



  • Look over both shoulders before you begin.
  • Face over your left shoulder and continue looking BEHIND you as much as possible.
  • Use your ring wing mirror to check for any traffic behind you to the right of your vehicle.
  • Check up the road to the right when you can no longer see up the road in you right wing mirror,
  • Use your left wing mirror to check your position in relation to the side of the road
  • Look around the corner to check for traffic or pedestrians at the corner you are reversing around

Right of Way:

  • If a car comes close in front or behind you wait until it has passed you before you continue
  • If a car behind you cannot turn left or right, you must position the car back forward so the car can turn
  • If a pedestrian is walking along the path beside you close to your car, wait until he/she is out of harms way before you continue.



  • Try to complete it  in 3 turns or up to 7 turns on very tight roads.
  • Do not hit the side of the road on either side.
  • Lock the wheel quickly each time and it should not take too long.
  • Try to do it without over-using the handbrake.
  • Observation:
  • Check your right blind spot before you move off.
  • Look behind over both shoulders before you reverse and as you reverse
  • Check for traffic, cyclists and pedestrians throughout it
  • Right of Way:
  • Give right of way to other traffic moving off, before you reverse and before you finish.
  • You must be able to park within the white lines with the car reasonably straight.
  •  If parking at the side of the road ensure sure you Do not hit the side of the road and finish within 18" of the side of the road.





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Driving lessons North Dublin, Raheny and Finglas
RSA-ADI Driving Instructors.
Call 0861 955 381
E-mail [email protected]


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