Lucky undies and other L-test superstitions uncovered, but preparation is the real key to avoiding a ‘pants’ driving test, say BSM instructors
‘Lucky pants’, socks, cuddly toys, jewellery and religious objects are among the good luck charms carried by learners to help pass their L-test, according to BSM.
Others seek extra help on the day by saluting magpies, avoiding certain dates and avoiding the path of black cats – but in reality there is no substitute for good preparation, a nationwide survey of BSM instructors reveals.
Mark Peacock, head of BSM, said: “It’s understandable that learners want to do or bring things to help calm their nerves on test day. But the truth is that preparation is everything and ‘luck’ has very little to do with it.
“Passing your test is nothing to do with your choice of pants and everything to do with choosing a good instructor and making sure you take enough lessons, backed up by practice with a relative or friend.”
Tips from BSM include seeking recommendations on instructors from friends and family and choosing someone you feel happy and confident with.
L-test superstitions favoured by nervous learners include:
- Saluting magpies;
- Carrying favourite soft toys to sooth the nerves;
- Wearing lucky underwear, socks or jewellery;
A selection of more worldly advice from BSM instructors for learners serious about losing their L-plates:
- Choose a good instructor. Ask for recommendations from friends or relatives who have learned to drive;
- Make sure you take enough lessons and don’t rush into the test only to have your confidence knocked by failing. According to the Driving Standards Agency, those who pass have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training plus 22 hours of private practice;
- On test day wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and practical shoes;
- Don’t try to impress the examiner – safe, sensible driving is more important;
- According to one instructor, “the best ‘lucky charm’ of all is … a mobile phone … switched off!” A ringing phone can be very distracting in the midst of L-test manoeuvres.