As a coach, you’ll need to prepare your learner for the driving tasks they have to do in the restricted licence test.

Here are the key skills the testing officer will be looking for when performing driving tasks during the test:


Your learner must search forward and to both sides to identify potential hazards, including traffic in side streets ahead, pedestrian crossings, railway crossings etc. Good drivers search out to 12 seconds ahead. This gives the driver more time to respond to any situations that might arise.

Mirror use

Your learner must check mirrors often enough to be aware of surrounding traffic. This means looking in the mirrors:

  • before and after turning
  • when changing lanes
  • when pulling out or returning to the kerb
  • when stopping or slowing down
  • every 8–12 seconds when driving straight – depending on traffic conditions.

As learners gain more experience, checking mirrors should get quicker and become more instinctive.

Looking over the shoulder

Your learner must look over their shoulder in the right direction if there’s any chance of another road user having moved up into their blind spot. This means checking over their shoulder before pulling out from the kerb, turning (if necessary), changing lanes, crossing over cycle lanes or bus lanes, merging or parking.

Speed control

Your learner must travel at a safe speed and within the speed limit. The safest speed may be slower than the posted speed limit, especially when the weather is bad, the light is poor, or there’s heavy traffic. Your learner must drive to the conditions.

When moving to a higher speed area, the higher speed limit does not apply until they drive past the sign.

When moving to a lower speed area, they must already be driving at the lower speed as they pass the sign.


Your learner must brake smoothly and effectively in all situations.

Giving signals

Your learner must signal the direction they’re going to go for at least 3 seconds before going in that direction. This means when:

  • pulling out from or returning to the kerb
  • turning, changing lanes
  • turning left or right at a roundabout
  • exiting a roundabout
  • merging into traffic
  • crossing the centreline or the centre of an unmarked road
  • before parallel parking.

Note: on some smaller roundabouts it may not be possible to signal for the full 3 seconds.

Gap selection

Your learner must choose the first available safe gap before moving into traffic, including at intersections and when merging.


Your learner must position the car on the road in a safe and legal position. That includes keeping a good following distance of 2 to 4 seconds depending on conditions, and keeping a good space around the car in traffic, on both marked and unmarked roads.

Road rules

Your learner must know the road rules and be able to apply them during the whole test.

About the restricted licence test