Months of preparation and thought go into preparing for your driving test – but have you thought about what happens after you pass?

As exciting as your new driving licence is, there are still a few things you need to think about before you get out on the open road.

Read on and find out what happens after your pass your test, if you can drive straight away, and what you still need to do as a new driver.


Will I Receive a Full Driving Licence When I Pass My Test?

When you pass your test, you can either have a new driving licence sent to you, or you can apply for your full licence yourself.

If you choose to have the licence mailed, then the DVLA will send it to the address on your provisional licence.


Can I Drive Right After Passing My Test?

If you pass your theory test and the practical exam, then you can start driving straight away – provided that your car is taxed and insured.

Your examiner will usually arrange for your provisional licence photocard to be sent to the DVLA, so that it can be upgraded to a full driving licence.

You may have to wait up to 3 weeks to receive your updated photocard in the post, but you won’t have to wait until it arrives to start driving.

If your new licence doesn’t arrive within 3 weeks of passing the test, you should contact the DVLA.

You will need to apply for a full licence yourself if you have to make changes to your licence, such as changing your address or photo.


A woman in her car, happy in the driver's seat.

Once you've passed your test, you'll be out on the open road in no time!


Do I Need P Plates After Passing My Test?

Whilst it isn’t compulsory, some drivers do decide to display green ‘probationary’ P plates on their car.

P plates can signal to other road users that you have recently passed your test and are still getting used to driving.

This is a good option if you are still feeling a bit anxious about driving – other drivers should see the P plates and give you more space at junctions and roundabouts.

You can display P plates for as long as you want, and you could even enrol on a Pass Plus course if you want to improve your driving skills on motorways, at night, and in bad weather conditions.

Not to mention that many insurance companies lower premiums for new drivers who have completed a Pass Plus course.


Which Car Should I Buy?

When you are thinking to buy a new car as a first-time driver, you should probably invest in a practical and cost-effective vehicle on the smaller side, which falls within the lower insurance groups and tax bands.

If you are applying for credit for the first time, your credit score is most likely low.

You may have to pay a higher rate of interest on your loan as a result or get a family member to act as a guarantor.

Before investing in a new car, make sure that you can afford the associated insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs.


Should I Get Black Box Car Insurance?

As a new driver, you are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than other drivers – meaning your insurance bills will be higher.

Black box insurance – or telematics – can help safe new drivers get discounts on their premiums.

A black box uses GPS technology to track your driving habits, monitoring the roads you travel on regularly, and the times you tend to drive at.

This information is then sent to your insurance company to determine how safe you are – the better your score, the cheaper your insurance will be at renewal time.


How Do I Tax My Car?

Road tax is required by law to drive in the UK.

You can tax your car online through the DVLA website and pay it annually or monthly.

The price of road tax can vary depending on the make and model of the car you buy, with tax bands being based on engine size, fuel type and CO2 emissions.

If your vehicle is particularly environmentally friendly, then you may not have to pay any tax at all.


Do I Still Need to Practice?

Building up confidence as you adjust to being a new driver is essential.

It can help to drive with a comforting presence in the car for your first few journeys – don’t take any bad influences with you as they could distract you and you could end up with penalty points on your licence.

Make sure that you turn your phone off whilst driving and plan your routes in advance with plenty of time to get to your destination.


We hope that you have enjoyed learning about what happens after you pass your driving test.

If you are a new driver and there is a topic you would like us to cover on the blog, let us know in the comments below.