ICBC shares tips for road test success as demand soars
July 19, 2023
The demand for road tests in B.C. has never been higher. Last month, a record 35,500 road tests were conducted throughout the province, up 24% compared to the monthly average.*
In the last 12 months, ICBC has conducted 33% more road tests (343,132) compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2018 to 2019.**
Not only are more drivers looking to get their B.C. driver's licence than ever before, nearly half are failing to pass their first attempt at a road test. These drivers end up booking additional appointment(s), which puts further strain on road test availability. That's why we're sharing our top five tips to help drivers get ready for their road test and pass on their first try.
“We encourage drivers to take their road test when they've gained a lot of driving experience and feel confident about their skills," said Jerry Boal, ICBC driver licensing office manager. “If you come prepared for your road test, you have a much better chance of succeeding. This helps you avoid another wait for an appointment, and helps other drivers get an appointment sooner."
ICBC's tips for road test success:
1. Start with the right mindset. Warm up your driving skills by driving to your road test location and driving around to get familiar with the area. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment. If you're rushing, it can increase your stress level and not put you in the right frame of mind to take your test.
2. Boost your confidence. Work on some of the more challenging maneuvers you may encounter during your road test, such as parallel and reverse-stall parking. Practice until these maneuvers feel smooth – this will give you a confidence boost during your road test. Ideally, for your road test, use the vehicle you practiced with so that you're comfortable and familiar with the vehicle. Your vehicle will be inspected before the road test begins so make sure it's safe.
3. Observe your surroundings. Some of the most common mistakes made on a road test involve drivers not paying enough attention to their surroundings, such as not shoulder checking when turning, merging or changing lanes and during a parking maneuver. Many drivers don't perform their 360-degree check.
4. Speed maintenance is key. Speeding is a very common mistake during a road test – especially in school, playground and construction zones – where the speed limit can change suddenly. Be aware of the posted speed limits at all times. Watch your speed when driving down or up a hill as the change in elevation can cause your speed to fluctuate quickly. Make sure you come to a smooth stop at intersections and stop signs, and gradually accelerate when it's time to go.
5. Practice, practice, practice. Drive as often as you can. Driving experience and training are essential. Take some lessons with an ICBC-approved driving school if possible. Even one or two lessons can make a huge difference for your road test. Instructors can help you refine your skills, teach you safe driving practices and let you know what to expect on your test. We have many resources on icbc.com to help drivers get ready for their road test, including our Street Sense and Learn to Drive Smart apps, and our Tuning Up for Drivers guide.
More information for new drivers is available on icbc.com.
Editor's note: ICBC's Jerry Boal, driver licensing office manager, is available for interviews this week.
Regional road test statistics:
In May 2023, 25% more road tests (25,825) were conducted in the Lower Mainland compared to the monthly average (20,648).*
In the last 12 months, ICBC has conducted 40% more road tests (247,770) in the Lower Mainland compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2018 to 2019 (176,768).**
In May 2023, 22% more road tests (3,976) were conducted on Vancouver Island compared to the monthly average (3,253).*
In the last 12 months, ICBC has conducted 15% more road tests (39,037) on Vancouver Island compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2018 to 2019 (33,801).**
In May 2023, 16% more road tests (3,776) were conducted in the Southern Interior compared to the monthly average (3,268).*
In the last 12 months, ICBC has conducted 21% more road tests (39,216) in the Southern Interior compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2018 to 2019 (32,375).**
In May 2023, 35% more road tests (1,923) were conducted in Northern B.C. compared to the monthly average (1,426).*
In the last 12 months, ICBC has conducted 12% more road tests (17,109) in Northern B.C. compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2018 to 2019 (15,251).**
*The monthly average was calculated from June 2022 to May 2023.
**Compares the period of June 2022 to May 2023 with June 2018 to May 2019. 258,195 road tests were conducted by ICBC from June 2018 to May 2019.