Tips & Tricks

Learn to drive with a Qualified ADI Driving Instructor

Make sure your vehicle is in proper working order, or the Driving Test Examiner may cancel / fail your driving test.

At McBride Driving School our RSA approved Driving Instructors are experts with tips needed to PASS the driving test ! 

Some of the things to look for:

  • Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound and roadworthy, check that the handbrake will hold the vehicle on a steep hill.
  • Attach  'L' Plates to the front and rear of your vehicle so that they are clearly visible. Place them where they will not hamper visibility – tax, insurance and, if applicable, NCT discs should be on the windscreen.
  • Wiper blades
  • Renew if worn
  • Indicator and Brake lights
  • Check the lenses are clean and are not broken. If these show a ‘white’ light due to a broken lens, the test will not be conducted.
  • Is there enough fuel in the tank?
  • Check levels of fluids: oil, coolant, brake, power-steering
  • Check tyre pressure
  • Windscreen washer 
  • Fill the washer bottle and use a windscreen-washer additive
  • Interior mirror 
  • Remove any hanging objects such as air fresheners, furry toys, dice etc as this can be a distraction
  • When you arrive at the driving test centre reverse your vehicle into the parking bay, so that you can drive out rather than have to reverse out
  • When you arrive back into the car-park at the end of your driving test drive into the parking bay instead of reversing in as you are still being tested by the examiner


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 Driving lesson Gift Vouchers make 'Brilliant presents' at Christmas and Birthdays for anyone about to turn 17 or if someone is 'difficult to buy for' and seem to have everything except their Driving Licence. We at McBride Driving School can deliver to your door or meet at a suitable location.

Technical checks

The Driving Test Examiner will also check your technical knowledge of the car as part of the test.

This consists of:

  • Reflectors
  • Lights
  • Indicators
  • Tyres
  • Horn
  • Coolant level
  • Engine oil level 
  • Windscreen-washer-fluid level
  • Power-steering-fluid level
  • Brake-fluid level


What to do in certain situations

  • When driving always stay closer to the edge of the road rather than driving in the centre of the lane. 
  • Give adequate clearance of approximately a door's width to parked cars (or other obstructions) when passing them. Always look (i.e. a quick glance) in the mirrors at regular intervals (e.g. every 12-15 seconds) when travelling along the road. 
  • When pulling in to stop at the side of the road to do a turnabout, hill start and the reverse around a corner keep within 45 Centimetre’s (or 1.5 feet) of the kerb or edge of the road. Be within 45 Centimetre’s of the kerb and parallel to the Kerb when finished the reversing around the corner also. 
  • You should Give right of way to pedestrians waiting to cross at pedestrian crossings, zebra crossings or if they have started to cross at a junction one is turning into. 
  • For all left / right turns on the road always look in your mirrors (M), signal (S) and move into position (P) if safe to do so and in good time. For left turns stay as close as possible to the kerb. For right turns go to the centre of the road/junction before turning the steering wheel. 
  • Be driving in second gear, foot off the clutch, when turning left / right or coming up to a roundabout. If one has to stop select 1st gear and go when it is safe to do so. 
  • For a stop sign, stop and put the car into 1st gear - ready to go when safe 
  • Stop the car in either second or third gear at a stop sign, red traffic light or on the side of the road. Second gear is normally ideal. In an emergency just STOP in any gear!!! 
  • When at a red traffic light your handbrake should be on until the green light comes on. Then take off in first gear. (Leave the car in first gear at a red light if you are near the front of the queue, otherwise put gears into neutral). 
  • Never beckon anyone onto the road during the test. It is not a safe thing to do 
  • You will be required to demonstrate hand signals in the car for going left, right slowing down and straight ahead to a points-man (e.g. a garda) and to following traffic.  

Other Useful Tips: Engine, Tyres, Servicing and Lights

  • Tread depth: Do not allow your tyres to wear down below the minimum depth of  1.6mm. Make sure you replace them before they get this worn.
  • Tyre Pressure: Regularly check the pressure of each tyre including the spare, also examine your tyres for cuts, cracks and bulges, to help avoid unexpected ‘blow-outs’.
  • While on a level surface and your engine turned of regularly check engine oil and water coolant so that they are above the required minimum level and below the maximum level.
  • Servicing:Us good quality ‘synthetic engine oil’ rather than cheaper ‘mineral oil’ this can save you fuel. Make sure your engine is tuned properly - badly tuned engines use more fuel and emit more exhaust fumes.
  • Recycling:Make sure used oil, old batteries and used tyres are sent to a garage or a local authority recycling site. Avoid pouring oil down the drain, it is illegal and could lead to prosecution and it is also harmful to the environment.
  • Regularly check all lights are in good working order and are easily visible to other road users.

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