Well, you’ve done it – you passed your driving test! Congratulations! The question is, what happens now? Here are a few things you must do before heading out on your first ‘solo driving adventure’.
Things to Do After You Passed Your Driving Test – Your Pass Certificate and Licence
As soon as your driving test is over, your examiner will hand you your driving test pass certificate. Make sure to keep this safe in case you need it to provide evidence that you passed your driving test. You do not, however have to carry it around with you every time you go for a drive.
Your examiner will also ask you for your provisional licence photo card to send off to the DVLA (so it can be updated to a full driving licence). It will take approximately 3 weeks for your new, updated full driving licence photo card to arrive. There is, nonetheless, no need to wait for its arrival before you start driving.
Please note that licence paper counterparts are no longer in use (as from the 8th of June 2015), so if you still have one, there is no need to give it to your examiner.
Should you need to make changes (your photo or address, for instance) to your licence before having it updated, you must keep it and apply for your full licence yourself. Make sure to do this within 2 years of passing your test, as you will otherwise have to take your test again – perish the thought!
Things to Do After You Passed Your Driving Test – Insurance & Tax
While you do not have to wait for the arrival of your full licence to start driving, you MUST be insured properly from the word go. Your learner driver insurance will no longer cover you, so you must either:
Call your insurance company (if you intend to stay with them) and ask them to change your cover from ‘learner’ to ‘qualified driver’, or
Arrange for new car insurance with another company
Many people take their driving test in their own car. If you did this, make sure to check with your insurance provider whether your learner insurance covers your accompanying driver (a parent or your instructor) for the drive home after you passed your driving test.
Vehicle tax is, like car insurance, also a legal requirement. If you’re celebrating passing your driving test with a nice new car of your own, you MUST make sure it is taxed! You can now tax your vehicle online at GOV.UK. As tax discs no longer exist, you will not have to wait for one to arrive before you can set off in your car.
If you are having problems to find car insurance for new drivers or perhaps the insurance is likely to make a dent in your finances, going without just isn’t an option. Try to search for comparison websites such as Money Supermarket or Money Saving Experts. Sometimes you can also find exclusive deals for new drivers if you call them directly, eg: Aviva Car Insurance has ‘special deals’ for new drivers if you call them directly.
Things to Do After You Passed Your Driving Test – Your First Solo Drive
Having sorted out your insurance and taxed your car, you’re ready for your first solo drive. There are, however, a few more things you should consider before getting behind the wheel:
Your first solo ride is not a good time to head for a motorway. We do, in fact, recommend asking your driving instructor for a few post-test motorway driving lessons before you attempt motorway journeys.
Consider getting some ‘P’ plates! Yes, you may believe ‘P’ plates are lame at best, but they will warn other drivers that you have only just passed your driving test. This should make them give you a little extra ‘room’ and think twice, for example, about pulling up too close behind you on hills!
Driving alone for the first time requires you to be super-alert, so resist the temptation to invite your friends to come along on your first ride (well, who doesn’t like to show off a little?!) – the last thing you need on your first drive is distractions!
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, remember that having passed your driving test has not turned you instantly into Lewis Hamilton. Go careful, take your time and don’t take any unnecessary risks – it simply isn’t worth it! That’s it – you’re ready now to go out and enjoy the freedom of having a full driver’s licence!
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