The Driving Test

You have to assume both drivers of this 1940s Ford Prefect agreed, in general, which way they wanted to go. Experimental, but ultimately unsuccessful driving school car.
Even veterans could learn from The Driving Test, a 100 minute DVD by Brian M Stratton. This is more than a primer to get L drivers through their test. It is that too, with advice on everything from pre-test nerves to what you should do if you encounter a bin lorry during it. It is also a revision course for experienced drivers and I strongly recommend it. Brian Stratton is an instructor who trained with the Driving Standards Agency, which sets the driving test, giving him a special insight into what examiners expect.

The driving test has certainly developed over the years, with up to a quarter of the 40 minutes or so it takes, given to “independent driving”. This furnishes candidates with a proper driving task, going from here to there by following a route. It can mean simply navigating by road signs or by a diagram on a card. Wasn’t like that in my day. You went where the officer said. It’s much more grown-up nowadays.

Yet how often one hears drivers cheerfully admit they wouldn’t pass their driving test now. Exasperating. They should get this DVD and go through the dummy specimen test with a “candidate” providing a commentary about what he is doing. Invaluable. And if anyone claims to have learnt nothing from watching, they are either being untruthful or they are dangerous. It is scarcely surprising young people fail the test more often than they did when I was 17. The standard is much higher.

Stratton’s DVD is entertaining. There is great footage of a 1935 driving test, with a 10HP Model C Ford and a V8 carefully avoiding one another. Certainly the best £10 any L-driver will spend. Go to or The Driving Test, Essential Information, Brian M Stratton.