Getting Ready to Drive

Getting ready to drive the car

Main skills in this section:

  • mirrors – signal – manoeuvre, position – speed – look
  • using mirrors
  • using signals
  • using controls and instruments
  • moving away and stopping
  • safe positioning
  • anticipating and planning
  • use of speed
  • keeping the car secure

Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre, Position – Speed – Look

What this skill covers:

Making the MSM and PSL routine an integral part of their driving.

What you must know and understand.


Mirrors. Check the speed and position of traffic behind

Signals. Consider whether a signal is necessary. If it is, signal your intention to change course or slow down clearly and in good time

Manoeuvre. Make the manoeuvre if it’s safe. Make sure your position and speed are appropriate, and that they look and act on what you see.


The vehicle is in the correct position for the manoeuvre in plenty of time if need to change direction.


Make sure the car is moving at the right speed and in a suitable gear to manoeuvre safely.


Look – What do you see?

Assess – What are the options?

Decide – Depending on what you see.

Act – Either continue or wait.

Using mirrors

What this skill covers:

Using interior, exterior, flat, concave and convex mirrors. What area each mirror covers and where blinds spots are.

What you must know and understand

Why you need to use mirrors

When you need to use mirrors

How to act on what you see

Wow to carry out all-round visual checks, including blind spots, to make sure it’s safe to move off

The need to check car mirrors often and why it’s important that you do

Using signals

What this skill covers:

Using indicators and arm signals. Brake, reversing and hazard lights.

What you must know and understand

Why it’s necessary to use signals

When and how to use signals

Unnecessary signals

How road signals are used by other road users and traffic controllers

Using controls and instruments

What this skill covers:

Using controls and instruments effectively. Knowing what happens if they’re not used properly.

What you must know and understand




The parking brake

Steering wheel




Warning lights


Windscreen wipers

Hazard lights



Fog lights


Demister and heated windows

You will learn how these may vary between manufacturers.

Moving away and stopping

What this skill covers:

Moving and stopping the car in a controlled way.

Being able to do this on a level road, on a slope, when straight and at an angle.

What you must know and understand

Coordinate the accelerator, clutch and footbrake

Use the steering wheel and parking brake

Find a suitable stopping place

Be observant, knowing where and when to look, what to look for and where there may be Blind spots

You must use the MSM and PSL routine.

Safe positioning

What this skill covers:

Being able to position the car safely on different roads and traffic conditions.

What you must know and understand:

What the normal driving position is

How to position the car on bends, wide roads, narrow roads and one-way streets

What lane discipline is

How to pass stationary vehicles and obstructions safely

The positioning of other vehicles (long vehicles, cyclists etc) and how that impacts on them

Your pupil must use the MSM and PSL routine.

Anticipating and planning

What this skill covers:

Being able to anticipate the risks of driving and plan what to do in a risk situation. This could be from other road users (including emergency vehicles), animals or road works.

What must you know and understand:

How to identify and react to developing hazards

What visual warnings there may be

Times and places of high risk

The risks associated with different weather conditions

Scanning and priorities

You must use the MSM and PSL routine

Use of speed

What this skill covers:

Driving at an appropriate speed, moving with the flow of traffic and not hesitating unnecessarily.

What you must know and understand:

National speed limits

Restricted speed limits

Why they should change driving speed to suit the road, weather and traffic conditions

Why they should drive at a safe speed for pedestrians

What the stopping distances are