Become an Advanced Driver

Observed Drives

Observed drives are tailored to meet individual needs and are arranged between observers and associates at mutually convenient times and places.

About the test

The Advanced Driving Test lasts for about 90 minutes and usually covers between 30/40 miles along a variety of road types – including city and country driving, dual carriageways and motorways (if available). During the test the Examiner will thoroughly assess your driving ability according to the different road conditions. Whilst on the test, you will negotiate hazards and situations, utilising the skills and techniques that you have developed during your observed driver training. Your Examiner will be looking for confident, safe driving, using optimum road positioning and excellent observation, to safely deal with unpredictable roads. The main criteria for passing the test are to display a consistent, solid driving performance in all road situations, rather than excelling in one specific situation. The Advanced Driving Test is not easy but is within the reach of all drivers given the right guidance – with many applicants commenting on how much they enjoyed the drive.

Hints and Tips

  • While your foot is on the brake, in most instances, you should have both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Whichever way you turn, always start with a ‘pull’ from the top rather than a ‘push’ from the bottom. “If you have been tending to push first, try ‘pulling’ first and you will notice a dramatic improvement in the smoothness and control of your steering”.
  • The appropriate speed and gear should be applied when negotiating any hazard.
  • Two essential rules for safer motorway driving – maintain a safe following distance, and exercise good lane discipline. Use the two second rule!
  • If there’s ever a doubt about whether you should overtake, don’t.
  • “Brakes to slow, gears to go!” When there is following traffic try to use your Brakes to slow, using your Brake Lights as a warning signal to following traffic (especially tailgaters!) that you are slowing – and allow enough time to slow smoothly.
  • “Keep both hands full of steering wheel, until you know what you’re going to do with them!”.
  • When signaling, consider who you are signalling to.
  • A basic driving rule is – “be able to stop, on your own side of the road, in the distance that you can see to be clear!”. And on a single track road – “be able to stop in half the distance that you can see to be clear!”
  • “Only a fool breaks the two second rule!” This is the rule for a safe following distance – (in DRY weather!) To test this, start saying the phrase as the car in front passes an object (e.g. a road bridge) and if you pass the same object before you finish the phrase, – you’re too close! Should be at least DOUBLE this in the wet!
  • “Should I apply the handbrake?” If you have time to think this, you should do it.
  • You can improve your levels of concentration, observation and anticipation by saying out loud what you can see, what you are going to do about it and why.