Driving Test in Ireland

Driving Test in Ireland

Driver testing in Ireland is carried out directly by the RSA, Road Safety Authority. Testing takes place at test centres throughout the country, and in most instances, the test will be arranged for the chosen centre on the application form.

All drivers must take a driving test after they have been issued with two 2-year learner permits. Before you apply for a third or subsequent learner permit for any category of vehicle, you must show evidence that you have applied for, or recently failed, a driving test. You cannot take a driving test for at least six months after getting your first learner permit in the case of motorcycles, cars and work vehicles.

Applying for the test

Waiting times vary from county to county, so it is advisable to apply for a test about six months before the expiry of your second learner permit. The test is standard and all test centres use the same testing procedures.

Preparing for the test

A driving test is designed to make sure that you:

Before your driving test, you should study the Rules of the Road. You should also practise driving as much as possible on all types of roads and in all types of traffic situations. This will improve your driving techniques and build your confidence.

On the day of your test, give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the test centre with a few minutes to spare. If your first learner permit was issued after 4 April 2011, you should bring your logbook from your Essential Driver Training (EDT). When your name is called and you are brought into the examination room, your test officially begins.

Technical checks

First you will be asked some questions on the Rules of the Road. Next, if you are doing a driving test for categories B (car), EB (car with trailer) and W (work vehicle), you must explain some technical checks.

The instructor will bring you out to your vehicle and will ask how you would carry out a technical check on three of the following: steering, horn, brakes, tyres, lights, reflectors, indicators, engine oil, coolant, and windscreen washer fluid. To get access to some of these parts, you will have to demonstrate how to open the bonnet and close it securely.

Practical test of skills

Your driving test will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The examiner will give you clear instructions throughout the test, but if you don’t understand something, ask them to repeat it. Do not panic if you make a mistake during the test. It may not be as serious as you think and it may not mean you have failed.

You will be assessed in the following situations: moving off, driving in traffic, stopping, reversing round a corner, a turn about, a hill start and parking.

The aspects of your driving that will be assessed include:

  • Road positioning
  • Overtaking and passing
  • Anticipation and observation
  • Use of mirrors and signals
  • Progress
  • Speed
  • Compliance with traffic lights
  • Road signs and road markings
  • Proper use of your vehicle controls

You can also expect to make a number of left and right turns, encounter a roundabout and stop at traffic lights. At some point during your test, the examiner will ask you to demonstrate hand signals.

When you return to the test centre, your examiner will bring you back into the examination room to give you the result. If you pass, you will be given a Certificate of Competency, which is valid for two years. Once you have this certificate, you can apply for a full driving licence. If you fail to apply for a full licence during the two-year period, you will have to take your driving test again.

If you fail your driving test, you will be given a detailed list of your mistakes. You should study the list and work on the mistakes before you sit another driving test.

If you are looking to start driving or to apply for a driving test, please contact A New Driver to learn more on how we can help you pass your driving test.


Driving Test on Automatic Cars in Ireland

Driving Test on Automatic Cars in Ireland

With the increased popularity of electric and hybrids cars, some learner drivers are now happy to take their driving test on automatic cars. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that if you pass your test in an automatic car, you can only apply for a full driving license to drive an automatic car. If you later want to apply for a full driving licence for a manual car, you will have to pass a test in a manual vehicle before applying for a full license to drive it.

When taking a driving test on an automatic car in Ireland, here is what to keep in mind:


Keeping up with the speed limit when able to do so.

Moving out from junctions and roundabouts when safe to do so and not delaying for too long when not deemed necessary.


Maintaining position to left to centre of the lane you’re driving in where applicable when driving on a straight lad.

When taking a left turn avoiding swinging wide and maintaining a position reasonable close to the kerb when necessary.

When taking right turns avoid cutting the corner and maintain position left to the centre of the road when waiting to take a right turn.

Choosing the appropriate lane on approach to roundabouts and maintaining that position where necessary.


Checking mirrors before either signalling left or right or on approach to roundabouts when necessary.

Indicating when overtaking a hazard such as a cyclist, obstruction on the road or where you feel you are going to cross the line in the middle of the road.

Vehicle Control

Driving with adequate control of the accelerator and brake maintaining smoothness of both controls.

Applying the handbrake when necessary on hills and if a pause becomes a wait. For example in a queue of traffic.


Carrying out effective observation where necessary:

On approach to roundabouts looking to see if safe to go if clear.

Before emerging from a T junction, scanning in both directions that it’s safe to go.

Just before moving off from the kerb. For example, when moving off doing the hill start after you do the left reverse. Check mirrors, signal right, check blind spot over right shoulder.

Turnabout/3 point turn

Carrying out effective observation before and during the manoeuvre.

Doing the manoeuvre with adequate control of the brake and accelerator when necessary.

Left reverse

Reversing back with mostly looking back in the direction of travel looking forward every car length or so.

You can adjust your left mirror for this manoeuvre to see the kerb but don’t over rely on it doing the manoeuvre.

Reversing the car back at a slow walking pace. The examiner isn’t looking for speed. They are looking for control of the car and effective observation when necessary.

When you’ve finished the manoeuvre stopping within half a metre from the kerb.



Learner Drivers Avoiding to Take Tests

Learner Drivers Avoiding to Take Tests

Learner drivers have been avoiding to take their driving tests.

Taking your driving test is imperative if you wish to achieve positive results. Avoiding it, it’s only going to lead to delays, frustrations and bad driving habits. 

More than 120,000 learner permit holders who obtained their first licence between 1984 and 2016 have never taken a driving test, new figures show.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) said the 125,860 learner permits issued between 2016 and 1984 remain active, meaning they are being renewed every year.

Under the current rules, a driver can renew their learner permit once they have booked a driving test. They do not need to provide proof of having sat the test and there is no legal requirement for a learner driver to take one.

The issue also partly explains the proportion of drivers who fail to show up for their test, with an RSA spokesman saying about 10 per cent of applicants, up to 500 a week, fail to attend.

The RSA said while longer waits for a driving test were an issue for some drivers between 2016 and last year, the average waiting time nationally now stands at 8.4 weeks, following the hiring of additional testers.

The figures were released by the RSA following a Freedom of Information request from The Irish Times and cover the time period from 1980.

The authority said the recent Clancy Amendment – which introduced penalties for learners who drive unaccompanied – has led to a 30 per cent increase in driving test bookings. It believes the legal change will see the number of long-term learners permit holders gradually fall.

If you are looking to take your driving test you can click here to contact A New Driver.

(Source: The Irish Times)

Roundabout Rules in Ireland

Roundabout Rules in Ireland

Many roundabouts have different road layouts, but let’s have a look at the roundabout rules in Ireland.

It is not possible to cover all possible layouts, however, the general rules given are a basic guide for approaching any roundabout.

If a roundabout is controlled by traffic lights, the traffic lights must be obeyed. Motorists should be aware of other road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders, large or long vehicles and so on, who may have to change their position on the road to get around the roundabout safely.

It is also important to watch out for pedestrians who may be attempting to cross the roundabout. Enquiries relating to particular roundabouts may be directed to the Gardaí or to the local authorities. By law, a driver must enter a roundabout by turning to the left. Failure to do so is an offence.

If you are guilty of this offence and you pay the fixed charge, you will get one penalty point on your licence. If you choose not to pay the fixed charge and go to court instead, you will get three penalty points on your licence if you are convicted.


Not every roundabout is the same. they are different shapes and sizes and can have different numbers of exits. some are controlled by traffic lights. The purpose of having a roundabout is:
to reduce delays – traffic flows smoothly compared to the stop and go traffic at normal intersections such as at traffic lights, to significantly reduce the risk of collisions
to reduce pollution – emissions from vehicles on roundabouts are less than they would be at traffic light junctions.

Golden Rule

This ‘golden rule’ should help motorists to drive safely at any roundabout regardless of the number of exits: think of the roundabout as a clock.

If taking any exit from the 6 o’clock to the 12 o’clock position, motorists should generally approach in the left-hand lane.

If taking any exit between the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock positions, motorists should generally approach in the right-hand lane.

If there are road markings showing you what lane you should be in, follow those directions. Traffic conditions might sometimes mean you have to take a different approach but, in the main, the ‘golden rule’ will help you to drive safely on almost any roundabout.

Approaching a roundabout

Conditions at roundabouts may vary. When you’re coming up to a roundabout, look for directional arrows, road markings or signs which might be indicating which lane you should use for the exit you’re taking.

Move into the correct lane in good time. use the 12 o’clock ‘golden rule’ to help you plan a safe course of action unless road signs indicate otherwise.

Treat the roundabout as a junction, yield to traffic coming from the right, but keep moving if the way is clear.

Making a left turn

Approach in the left-hand lane, indicate ‘left’ as you approach and continue to indicate until you have taken the left exit. Going straight ahead (or any exit to the left of 12 o’clock);

Approach in the left-hand lane (unless road markings say otherwise) but do not indicate ‘left’ until you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take. Where traffic conditions dictate otherwise, for example, a long line of traffic in left lane signalling left or road works in the left lane, you may follow the course shown by the broken red line. Taking any later exits (those past 12 o’clock – Right);

Approach in the right-hand lane (unless road markings say otherwise), indicate ‘right ‘on your approach and leave your indicator on until you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take. then change to the ‘left’ turn indicator.

(source: RSA.ie)

New Laws and Penalties for Learner Drivers in Ireland

New Laws and Penalties for Learner Drivers in Ireland

Here are the new rules for learner drivers in Ireland. It’s important to book your driving test asap and avoid punishment.

Drivers holding a full Irish license who allow learner drivers to use their car unaccompanied could end up behind bars under new legislation which came into effect last month in Ireland.

The so-called ‘Clancy Amendment’, means motorists could face new penalties if they allow learners to drive their cars without the proper care.

Previous Rules

Until now, learner drivers had to be accompanied by someone who holds a full licence. If a learner driver was caught driving unaccompanied, they could face a maximum fine of €1,000, and the person who owned the vehicle would not face any punishment.

New Rules

The new rules state that motorists who let learner drivers use their cars unaccompanied will face jail time or fines under new laws. Unaccompanied learner drivers may now have their vehicle seized by gardaí.

In addition, anyone who loans a car to an unaccompanied learner driver faces prosecution and having their car impounded, following the amendment to the law.

The Clancy Amendment Law

The amendment is named after the Clancy family, who lost two members in a crash involving an unaccompanied learner driver three years ago in Ireland.

Noel Clancy lost his wife Geraldine (58) and daughter Louise (22) on December 22, 2015. At the time, Mr Clancy even came across the accident on his way home and offered to help, not realising who was in the overturned car.

Mr Clancy has repeatedly called for stricter measures to crack down on unaccompanied learner drivers. He said in 2016: “I think it is important to reflect on the question, on any given day, (of) how many learner drivers are on the roads of Ireland unaccompanied. I am calling on the minister to implement legislation so that allowing one’s car to be driven by an unaccompanied learner driver is an offence and would make both the car owner and driver equally accountable in law.

The RSA said a learner permit is not a licence and drivers are at risk, due to their inexperience, when they’re learning to drive.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said on Friday that he hopes the legislation will help to save lives: “Unaccompanied learner driving is illegal and it is dangerous. Once and for all we need to stamp out the entirely false notion that once someone has a learner permit they are free to drive as they wish. A learner permit is not a driving licence. It does not grant the holder the automatic right to use a car for commuting or socialising purposes, unless, of course, that learner is accompanied,” he said.

Quick Guide For Road Works Warning Signs

– By ANewDriver

Warning signs for road work will warn you of hazards ahead, such as roundabouts, crossroads, dangerous bends or anything else that would call on you to drive more carefully.

You should always take special care when you see a warning sign. If you fail to observe these signs you could create an emergency. Like other warning signs, these are diamond or rectangular in shape and have a black border and black symbols or text. However, they are orange in colour instead of yellow.

Sign for roadworks ahead Roadworks ahead
Sign for one-lane crossover out One-lane crossover (out)
Sign for one-lane crossover back One-lane crossover back)
Sign to move to the left (one lane) Move to left (one lane)
Sign to move to the right (one lane) Move to right (one lane)
Sign to move to the left (two lanes) Move to left (two lanes)
Sign to move to the right (two lanes) Move to right (two lanes)
Sign for an obstruction between lanes Obstruction between lanes
Sign showing end of obstruction between lanes End of obstruction between lanes
Sign showing start of central reserve or obstruction Start of central reserve or obstruction
<empSign showing end of central reserve or obstruction End of central reserve or obstruction
Sign showing lanes diverging at crossover Lanes diverge at crossover
Sign showing lanes rejoining at crossover Lanes rejoin at crossover
Sign showing two lanes crossover (back) Two-lanes crossover (back)
Sign showing two lanes crossover (out) Two-lanes crossover (out)
Sign showing single lane Single lane (for shuttle working)
Sign showing two-way traffic Two-way traffic
Sign showing road narrows from left Road narrows from left
Sign showing road narrows from right Road narrows from right
Sign showing road narrows on both sides Road narrows on both sides
Sign showing nearside lane (of two) closed Nearside lane (of two) closed
Sign showing offside lane (of two) closed Offside lane (of two) closed
Sign showing offside lane (of three) closed Offside lane (of three) closed
Sign showing nearside lane (of three) closed Nearside lane (of three) closed
Sign showing two offside lanes (of three) closed Two offside lanes (of three) closed
Sign showing two nearside lanes (of three) closed Alternative Sign showing two nearside lanes (of three) closed Two nearside lanes (of three) closed.
Two alternative styles.
Sign showing offside lane (of four) closed Offside lane (of four) closed
Sign showing nearside lane (of four) closed Nearside lane (of four) closed
Sign showing Two offside lanes (of four) closed
Two nearside lanes Closed Two nearside lanes (of four) closed
Sign showing Side road on left Side road on left
Sign showing Side road on right Side road on right
Sign showing Site access on left Site access on left
Sign showing Site access on right Site access on right
Sign showing Temporary traffic signals ahead Temporary traffic signals ahead
Sign showing Flagman ahead Flagman ahead
Sign showing Queues likely Queues likely
Sign showing hump or ramp Hump or ramp
Sign showing uneven surface Uneven surface
Sign showing slippery road Slippery road
Sign showing loose chippings Loose chippings
Sign showing pedestrians cross to the left Pedestrians cross to left
Sign showing pedestrians cross to the right Pedestrians cross to right
Sign showing Overhead electric cables Overhead electric cables
Sign showing detour ahead Detour ahead
Sign showing Detour to left Detour to left
Sign showing Detour to left Detour to right
Sign showing road closed Road closed
Sign showing diverted traffic left Diverted traffic left
Sign showing diverted traffic Diverted traffic Right
Sign showing diverted traffic Diverted traffic
Sign showing diverted traffic Diverted traffic
Sign showing end of detour End of detour
Sign showing detour destination Detour destination

Information plates at roadworks

Sign showing distance (200m) Distance
Sign showing length (for X km) Length
Sign showing direction Direction
Sign showing direction and distance Direction and Distance
Sign showing end End
Sign showing cautionart speed (35km/h) Cautionary speed
Sign showing slow Slow
Sign showing concealed entrance Concealed entrance
Sign showing type of works Type of works
Sign showing use hard shoulder Use hard shoulder
Sign showing hard shoulder closed Hard shoulder closed
Sign showing unfinished road surface Unfinished road surface
Barrier boards (red and white) Barrier Boards
Chevron boards (black and yellow) Chevron board
Sign showing speed limit (30km/h) ahead (200m) Speed limit ahead

Manual traffic control sign at roadworks

Sign showing flagman ahead Flagman ahead
Sign showing Stop Stop
Sign showing Go Sign showing Téigh (go in Irish) Either form of Go or Téigh can be used


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What is EDT?

Essential Driver Training – EDT – is a mandatory training course that teaches fundamental driving skills to learner car drivers. It is part of the RSA’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) scheme and is intended to improve road safety.

Even if you are not required to complete EDT, you may still choose to take an EDT course, as it can help increase your chances of passing the driving test and will help make you a better safer driver.

A NEW DRIVER is run by James Hickey – a fully qualified and patient Driving Instructor with over 10 years of experience.

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How To Stay Cool During Your Driving Test

How To Stay Cool During Your Driving Test

By AnewDriver

We all suffer with nerves from time to time; however, a driving test is probably one of those times when your nerves may affect you more than usual. If you’re feeling anxious about your test, or even nervous about driving lessons, here are some helpful tips on ‘how to stay cool and stop your nerves during your driving test.’

driving test

1. Practice as much as possible

This may be an obvious tip, however the more you are in the car driving, learning and practising your maneuvers and gaining experience, the less likely you are to make a mistake on the big day.
If there is a particular maneuver, or area you are unsure with, make sure that leading up to your test you perfect it with your instructor. You could also head out with a family member, or friend to help practice, however try not to pick up any bad habits from the experienced driver next to you.

2. Eat Well!

A person’s diet can have a huge affect on their stress levels. There are also many foods that can radically reduce anxiety. Almonds, for example, contain the nutrient Zinc, this is key for maintaining a balanced mood and will also keep hunger at bay during your test, whilst porridge with blueberries are filled with antioxidants that are said to be extremely beneficial for relieving stress. Bananas are great for stopping hunger pangs, but also as a ‘driving test nerves breakfast’, as it contains tryptophan, which the human body converts into serotonin – more known as the happy hormone. Dark chocolate is also great for this too, however, if you don’t fancy filling up on food before your test, simply distract your nerves with a mint, or chewing gum instead. And let’s not forget about the drinks: No caffeine intake before the test! Instead, try herbal teas, fresh juices or just water.

3. Get Comfy

As well as ensuring a good night’s sleep, plenty of practice and a healthy breakfast, when it comes to the moment when you step into the car, make sure you take time to breathe and create a safe environment around you. Open the window a little for some fresh air; check your seat so that you’re not hunched or cramped and double check your mirrors are in the correct position. You’re in no rush to get started so start everything in your own time and put yourself in full control.

4. Don’t be afraid of Silence

Your instructor may have been chatty on your lessons, talking you through maneuvers and giving advice, but when it comes to your test, you may experience a long period of silence other than simple navigation instructions. Learn to accept this and instead, use it to your advantage so you can focus your full concentration on the road ahead.


5. Faults

If you feel you have made a mistake on the day, don’t panic! You may feel it was a huge mistake, but your examiner might think differently. Don’t let it affect your drive ahead and try to relax. Some learners have even admitted that after thinking they had failed with a mistake, they relaxed more and enjoyed the drive, only to be told at the end that had in fact passed.

6. Don’t tell the world

Try not to tell everyone you know that you have a test coming up. Instead, limit the news to close friends and family as the more people that know, the more anxious you will be for the end result. Good Luck!

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Top 10 Driving Test Failure Points


A lot of Learner Drivers ask themselves what are the most important points to watch for before and during their Test. So here is the Top 10 Driving Test Failure Points to consider for your Driving Test:

1. Nerves:
They cause you not drive at your best and have a significant effect on your decision-making. Try not to think too much about the test. Do your best and remember if you fail, you can always do it again!

2. Clutch:
If you have a bad “coasting” problem on the clutch you will have NO chance of passing the test. I will demonstrate and explain how to fix your bad habits on the clutch.

driving test

3. Reverse around a corner:
Major failing point for a lot of test candidates. I´ll show you a techniques how to do it and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

4. Observation:
Incorrect/ineffective observation moving off, turning right and left plus roundabouts, changing lanes,overtaking, and slowing down/stopping.

5. Reaction to Hazards:
Little or no anticipation or reacting late to a hazard or possible danger ahead i.e a speed ramps or pulling in for an oncoming car on a narrow road etc.

6. Position:
Incorrect position on the straight by driving too far to the right on the road. Too wide turning left or hitting a kerb. Cutting corners turning right or going too far before you turn i.e “swan-necking”

7. Progress:
Taking too long or lack of progress on the straight by driving too slow on the strain and particularly turning right at junctions and traffic lights.

8. Vehicle Controls:
Improper use of or not using accelerator, clutch, gears, foot-brake, handbrake, secondary controls, effectively.

9. Clearance to stationary vehicles:
Not giving the “width of a door” clearance or driving unnecessarily too close to parked vehicles.

10. Traffic signs:
Failure to completely “STOP” at a stop sign.

*TOP TIP: Always make sure to choose an experienced and fully qualified Instructor to help you achieve your goal! James Hickey from A NEW DRIVER has over 10 years of experience in Ireland & UK.

CALL 087 7624223 TODAY to BOOK a lesson!*

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