Getting your license are exciting times but there is a lot to learn before getting your P plates and becoming an independent driver.
This guide will help you navigate your way through the entire process starting from getting your learner’s permit, to completing the hazard perception test, and finally get ready for your practical driving assessment.
Getting your learner’s permit
The whole journey will begin with getting your learner’s permit. To obtain your L plates you will first need to sit and pass the Computerised Theory Test (CTT). The minimum age required to sit the test is 16 and you will need to score at least 24/30 to pass. Here is a practice theory test to try out before sitting the real one.
The next step is hitting the road.
Learning to drive
Now is the time to learn and develop the skills you need to build the foundation of becoming a safe novice driver. Unfortunately, in this stage you aren’t quite driving on your own yet and will require a supervisor, whether it be mum or dad, or an instructor who will be able to assist you in safely gaining extensive on-road experience.
During this stage you will be required to log 50 hours of driving, however, we strongly recommend that you get as much supervised driving experience in as many different road and weather conditions as possible. This will better prepare you for when you finally get your P plates and reduce the chances of being involved in a serious road crash or accident.
Here’s what else you need to know:
- All learner drivers under the age of 25 must complete a minimum of 50 supervised driving hours, with five hours to be completed at night.
- A learner can drive on the freeway and it is in fact, encouraged for learners to complete supervised driving on the freeway in a range of weather and traffic conditions.
- The maximum speed limit for learners is 100km/h.
- Blood alcohol limit must be 0.00% at all times.
- Supervisor must have held a current and valid driver’s license for at least 4 years.
Taking the Hazard Perception Test
With some on-road experience under your belt (at least 6 months required) and minimum age of 16 years and 6 months, you are now able to take the HPT. The computerised test is a series of videos featuring on-road scenarios and is used to measure your ability to assess road hazards and to make safe driving decisions.
What you’ll need to bring on the day:
- Payment for test
- Must be at least 16 years and 6 months of age.
- A minimum of 6 months have passed since obtaining your learner’s permit.
- Bring your learner’s permit.
- Present your primary and secondary identification.
- You don’t need to bring your log book.
Get more experience
Before you move onto the next step and take your Practical Driving Assessment, we strongly recommend to complete more than the required minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving as this will better prepare you for not only the test but for when you can drive solo.
If you can completely filled your log book and require additional pages you can download them here.
If you want the best possible chances of passing your driving assessment, practice the following as this is what the assessors will be testing you on.
- Flow, which assesses how well you combine all your driving skills together. This will involve changing gears, engaging clutch, using handbrake, looking at mirrors, signaling, and looking behind to check blind spots.
- Movement/mouvering, which assesses how smoothly you drive the car forwards and backwards, aware of your speed, work out stopping points, and braking space.
- Pathing, which assesses whether you have chosen the best path and stay on it. This is in relation to how well you steer and where/when you steer, and keeping the vehicle stable.
- Responsiveness, which assesses whether you are aware of your surroundings and hazards and how well you respond to them appropriately, as well as showing courtesy to other road users, aware of traffic conditions, and adopts a speed suitable to the environment.
- Look Behind, which assesses whether you keep an eye on your surroundings using your rear and side view mirrors, as well as checking blind spots.
- Signal, which assesses whether you let other drivers know what you intend to do.
- Vehicle Management, which assesses how well you operate the vehicle such as keeping your eye on your vehicles instruments, speed, use of steering wheel, clutch and gearbox.
Click here for more information and examples of what is tested in the Practical Driving Assessment.
Taking the Practical Driving Assessment
Finally the big day has arrived and it’s time for you to put all your driving skills to the test. In this test you will be required to perform driving tasks as instructed by your assessor and can include making 3-point turns, parallel parking, turning in and out of driveways, reversing, and parking in car parks.
If you can safely and smoothly manoeuvre each driving task without hesitation, it shows the accessor that you are able to operate the vehicle and is becoming automatic for you. They will look at how well you;
- Operate and guide the vehicle
- If you follow the road rules
- How well you fit in with other traffic
- See and respond to hazards
With the right tools and practice, you’ll have your Provisional license in no time at all.
If you want to practice on the nicest drives around Perth, have a look at our guide. You can also avoid Perth most dangerous intersections until you gain confidence.
By the time you have your licence, you might need to get your own car and chances are, it will be a pre-owned one. We have created a checklist, especially for this occasion so you know how to pick the right used car.
From the friendly team at Dean’s Autoglass Perth, drive safe.