The best resource to prepare for the Q-SAFE practical driving test is a qualified driving instructor. Although family and/or friends will supervise for most of your required experience, the knowledge and experience of a professional driving instructor is vital to your progress.
Lessons with a professional will make you a safer driver and better prepare you for the test. Ultimately, the early investment in these lessons will save you time and money by increasing the likelihood that you'll pass on your first attempt. Driving instructors know what testing officers assess and, as locals, know the Department of Transport learner test routes. A few well-timed lessons with a professional will give you an advantage on the day of your test.
How do I choose an instructor?
Choose a local driving instructor who knows the test routes you will be required to take. This will be most of the instructors in your area, so an important factor when deciding is that you’re comfortable with them. Use the first few lessons to test the waters and see if you get along well with the instructor. Make sure you have a good relationship before you commit to more lessons as you’ll be spending a lot of time (and money) with them.
You can find local instructors in a number of ways:
- Google driving schools/instructors in your area
- Ask friends who they’ve used
- Use a site like drivinglessonguide.com.au
Sites like drivinglessonguide.com.au present all of the relevant information you require when making a choice and you can filter searches on your preferences.
This makes finding a local instructor a lot easier as instead of combing pages of search results to find an instructor, you can simply search for instructors in your area and compare them based on gender, vehicle type and hourly rate.
You can also read reviews provided by learners who have been with the instructor previously. This means you’re less likely to encounter someone you won’t get along with and can focus on learning to drive. They also have a 3-strike policy to stop instructors who repeatedly receive complaints from listing. So you’ll only see the best driving instructors in your area and be able to quickly and effectively compare their services.
When to take lessons?
QLD Driving Test recommends lessons at specific stages of learning.
When you get your learner licence you should take a few lessons so you can learn positive driving habits early. Although a great resource, family/friends may have bad habits gained over years of driving experience. Although it'll be accidental, they may pass these poor behaviours on and this could affect you down the line when you need to get rid of them to pass. Lessons when you get your Ls can set you on a path to success.
When you’re about to finish your hours and take your test you should start taking lessons again. You should be ready to pass the test and drive independently. From here a driving instructor will simply put the finishing touches on your skills so you’re absolutely ready to pass the test. They will also be able to show you the local Department of Transport test routes and test you on the manoeuvres in the places you’re likely to be asked to complete them in the test.
It’s also a good idea to have a final driving lesson the day before or before the test on the day. This lesson should consist of your instructor acting as a testing officer (just giving directions). This will give you a feel for the test conditions and the instructor can provide constructive feedback so it’s fresh in your mind for when you sit the real thing.