Driving in Ireland is a rite of passage for many. However, before you can enjoy the open roads, there are several steps to undertake. From buying a car to understanding the tax implications, car insurance, and the importance of driving lessons, the costs and processes can quickly add up. Did you know passing your driving test can significantly decrease your car insurance premium? Let’s delve deeper into the preparation process.
Before you Apply for Your Driving Test
Before applying for your driving test, you must check whether you’re eligible to apply. Ireland’s requirements to apply for a driving test have changed in recent years.
So what has changed? Well, you now need to have your driving permit (previously known as a provisional licence) for a least six months before your driving test date. You also need to make sure that you complete the required 12 one-hour sessions of driving lessons. This is referred to as Essential Driver Training (EDT) and was set up to teach fundamental driving skills to new drivers. Before signing up to a new driving instructor, it is important to ensure they are approved for EDT training. If not, you must repeat your driving lessons with an approved teacher.
Once you have completed the required driving lessons, you can apply online for your test on the RSA website.
Manual or Automatic Transmission
It may be tempting to buy an automatic car when you’re starting out, but it’s important to remember that if you complete your driving test in an automatic car, you will only be licensed to drive automatic cars. Therefore, if you want to switch to an automatic car or drive someone else’s car later, you’ll need to redo the driving test in a manual car. Read up more on manual vs automatic transmission.
Preparing your Car for the Driving Test
Your driving inspector will examine your car before you begin driving. This will include checking whether you have valid discs for insurance, tax and the NCT. You must also have ‘L’ plates at the front and back of your car. Your car should also be clean and presentable and meet all safety requirements.
Practical Aspects of the Driving Test:
The driving test evaluates various manoeuvres and your overall driving ability. Here’s what to expect:
- Vehicle Safety Check: Before the driving portion, the examiner will assess your car’s safety features.
- Driving Manoeuvres: Expect to demonstrate parking, turning, and emergency stops, among other skills.
- Scoring: Your competence to operate a vehicle safely and competently will be assessed. Minor errors are allowed, but failure will occur from major or dangerous errors.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
- Not checking mirrors regularly.
- Either not signalling or wrongly signalling.
- Not maintaining proper control during manoeuvres.
The journey doesn’t finish after you pass your test:
- Apply for your full driving licence.
- Inform your insurance company to reduce your premium potentially.
- Always adhere to the rules of the road and drive safely.