ADI part two is the exam that many people dread: it’s time to retake your driving test!
This is not just a normal test though. This is an advanced driving test and a very high level of skill is expected. You’ll have to drive using a safe, methodical system that allows you to make progress whenever possible.
You must not display any signs on your vehicle to show that you’re on a test and you’re only allowed 6 small faults in one hour of driving. Faults are picked up are far more easily than they would be on the L test.
How hard is ADI part 2?
Part 2 is very hard because the level of driving skill required to be demonstrated is very high. Imagine a giraffe on stilts standing on top of a stepladder at the top of mountain; that’s how high we’re talking.
The pass rate in Birmingham for 2017/18 was 47.6%
I’ve seen people that have decided to become driving instructors after already passing advanced driving tests in previous jobs. Some were police drivers, fire fighters etc. They’ve failed part 2.
You only have three attempts at part 2. If you fail three times then you have to wait for two years from the date you passed part one before you can start again from part one.
Good quality tuition from an experienced advanced driver is essential if you want to have any chance of passing.
There have been new elements added recently. As with the L test, you now also do show me tell me and follow a sat nav. One in five tests won’t use a sat nav and you’ll follow road signs instead.
Although it’s not easy, the part 2 test is now easier than it once was. When I took mine in 2002 you had to do five manoeuvres and the emergency stop. Now you only get two out of four manoeuvres and maybe an emergency stop.
How most people fail
Here are the top three reasons for failing the part 2 test.
3) Picking up a serious fault, especially by not making enough progress.
Imagine that you’re approaching a roundabout and the left lane, which goes ahead, has five vehicles in it. The middle lane, which also goes ahead, is empty. If a learner was to choose the left hand lane then it wouldn’t be a problem. If you did that on a part two then you would fail for not making sufficient progress by overtaking the other vehicles.
Another common reason for failure is incorrect signals. If you indicate to pull up and move off but nobody is around to see the signal then what is the point of signalling? Do this on an L test and it wouldn’t matter. It would rarely be marked and probably not even mentioned but on a part two it would be reason enough to fail.
2) An accumulation of faults. You’re only allowed 6 small faults in the one hour test which means one little fault every ten minutes. It’s very often the case that people fail due to picking up too many small faults rather than a single serious fault.
An example of a small fault would be if the car is jumping when you’re stopping. Harsh braking will be marked down because it shows poor planning; one of the key elements of advanced driving and an essential skill you must pass on to learners.
Another example is if you are not checking the mirrors enough. This is a common fault that many drivers have and it’s easy to get several mirror marks which push you over the number of faults you’re allowed.
1) You’ll learn what the most common fault is on your training.
Commentary driving is an essential skill that you must master to become a driving instructor. It simply means driving with your mouth. I remember putting it like that to my trainer who took a few seconds to think about it and said “That’s brilliant!”.
You must be able to talk pupils through every last step of what to do in any situation.
This is not actually tested on ADI part 2 but many trainers, including myself, think that it should be.
It’s incredible how many trainers and companies don’t do this as part of their part 2 training. If you can’t do commentary driving then you’ll never make it through part 3 so you may as well start developing the sill when you’re doing your part 2.
This video will give you a good example of what it involves.
Part 2 test routes
I often get asked if I can show people the test routes for part 2. Yes I can but here are some points to consider.
The waiting times for the part 2 and part 3 tests are long, as in several months or more. It’s common for instructors to travel the length of the country to take an ADI test because there may be one available sooner elsewhere.
I traveled from Birmingham to Manchester and Wolverhampton to take my tests. I didn’t have a clue where I was!
This is one reason I tend to make up my own test routes that are not official ones. It prepares people for anything and you’ll be more likely to pass by being able to handle anything that’s thrown at you.
You can easily find ADI part 2 routes on the internet but the routes can change at any time. If you can only drive a route that you’ve practiced over and over in an area that you know then you’re not worthy of passing a part 2 test.
The test routes are carefully planned to include a variety of road and traffic conditions. These are not just random routes thrown together after a few pints.
The test will last for about one hour but it’s the route that is important, not the time. If you get back after 50 minutes then they won’t drive round the block for 10 minutes, you’ll just finish early. If you get stuck in traffic and it takes 90 minutes then the result still stands. If an examiner gets back late then their next test is cancelled.
Can I use my own car?
Yes but you must make sure that it is insured it for the purpose of part 2 training. Some car insurance policies might cover you, some won’t so it’s essential to check. Never just assume.
I’ve known of many instructor trainers that happily drive around in other peoples cars not even knowing that they’re not fully insured. What I’m about to say is something I’ve had confirmed by my insurance company twice.
If I do a lesson in your car then we’ll be covered but only on a third party basis. That means any damage to your vehicle would not be paid for in the event of crash. This is because the car is being used for business purposes, not social, domestic or pleasure.
If you want to use your own car then I’ll need you to email your insurance company and forward me their confirmation email. Make sure you specifically ask if you are covered for ADI part 2 tuition and tests. If not then you can often pay a small amount extra to be covered, as little as £40 for a month or £150 for a year.
On the day of your part 2 test you will need to sign a declaration form in front of the examiner. It states that your car is insured for the purposes of a part 2 test and they can ask to see proof so always take your insurance documents along. If they are in any doubt as to whether the car is insured they will cancel the test and you will lose your test fee.
You can do the lessons and tests in my car if you like. I’m fully insured for all ADI lessons and tests.
How my training for part 2 works
There’s no better way of seeing how you’d do on an advanced driving test than to take an advanced driving test.
Your first session will involve us doing a mock test. You’ll be driving a one hour test route just as you would on the day and it will include everything the real test would.
Part two tests in Birmingham are done from South Yardley test centre on Clay Lane (click here for a map) but we don’t have to go there to do a mock test. I can do them from the Kings Heath or Cocks Moors Woods test centres in south Birmingham. The postcode of Kings Heath driving test centre is B14 5JA (click here for a map).
Unless you have had recent advanced driving lessons then your chances of passing the mock test are very slim. Don’t worry – the aim isn’t to pass, yet!
We’ll see how your driving compares to the standard required and make a list of things to work on. We can spend the rest of the lesson working on those things and you can practise between lessons as well whenever you’re driving.
Once the problems from the previous mock test have gone then we do another mock test. When you can you pass a mock test then you’re ready for the real thing.
You don’t have to pass a mock test before taking the real one but it is nice to go into the real part 2 test knowing you’ve already passed one before.
Then it’s on to part 3.