Congratulations! You’ve passed your test. What do you do next?
Take off those L-Plates, apply for your full driving licence, and immediately tell your insurance
company that you have passed your test so that you are still covered. Then you can take your first
It’s a good idea to take your first drive by yourself early on. That first solo drive can be exhilarating
or nerve-racking, the sooner you do it the better. Take a phone and a map with you, and stick to
areas that you know well.
Should I display P plates? P plates show other drivers that you have passed your test but that you
are new to driving on your own. This should make them a little more patient with you. There is no
requirement to display P plates, and if you do choose to use them, you can leave them there until
you feel confident to remove them.
Don’t be afraid to ask somebody to accompany you the first time you drive in an unfamiliar
situation or conditions, for example the first time you drive in snow, at night, in country lanes, in a
new city or on the motorway. Most driving instructors are happy to provide a post-test motorway
To add to this, you can attend a further course, called Pass Plus, which aims to build on the skills
and knowledge of new drivers. The course usually takes about six hours, with modules on driving
in town, in all weathers, on rural roads, at night, on dual-carriageways and on motorways. Passing
the Pass Plus assessment can often mean that you receive discounts on your motor insurance.
Further into the future you may wish to book a refresher lesson every few years to highlight any bad
habits you may have picked up in your driving; you could undertake further lessons or assessment
to add categories to your driving licence allowing you to drive heavier vehicles, tow a larger trailer
or drive a passenger bus; or you can undertake further training with other organisations such as the
Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Young drivers in particular need to be very careful when they are driving with friends in the car,
particularly if your passengers have been drinking. Staying safe is much more important than
impressing your friends and you are the one responsible for your own safe driving. If you choose to
drive recklessly or carelessly you are the one facing a hefty fine, penalty points on your licence or
possibly causing a serious crash. Just two speeding tickets is enough for you to lose your licence
and have to start all over again with a provisional one. If passengers in your car are encouraging
you to drive too fast or recklessly, or are distracting you, don’t be afraid to pull over safely and ask
them to stop. If you are unable to drive safely, refuse to continue the journey – car accidents are
Passing your test is only the beginning of a lifetime of driving, but you should keep learning as long
as you are driving.