Paisley Driving Test

Test Centre Paisley

This page is to help your memory. It is a collection of some of the simple things that have confused/failed people over the years. The 'usual suspects' in the paisley area with street view pictures where possible.

The Test Centre Itself.

You will be nervous. Get the test off to a good start. Have a good look around before you move off, and remember to look both ways at the end of the car park.

Next is the dreaded roundabout. Yes you will probably be nervous still. It is right at the beginning of the test but be patient and wait for a nice gap to emerge. Don't let a rush of blood to the head cost you the test. It is much safer here to spend an extra ten seconds waiting for a suitable gap in the traffic than it is to go for one that is a bit tight. When your opportunity comes take it quite briskly.

Mini Roundabouts.

Your approach speed to any junction is dictated by the amount you can see in both directions. You are going right or left at this roundabout. Should you treat it as an open or closed junction?

Small Roundabouts but not mini roundabouts.

Again, because you cannot see much to your right, it is a closed junction and your approach speed should be baby steps. The other thing that confuses people here is that there is one lane leading into the roundabout and two lanes on the roundabout itself. If you are going ahead use the left lane through the roundabout. If you are going right stay close to the roundabout in the right lane until preparing to exit the roundabout in the left lane on the new road.

Unmarked Crossroads.

Again your approach speed is dictated by the amount you can see both ways. Unmarked crossroads are usually found in older residential areas. Treat them as closed junctions. Baby steps at approach and have a good look in all directions before entering the junction.

One Ways and Stop Signs.

It is simply a matter of seeing the signs. There are multiple clues on a one way street, from the one way sign at the beginning and middle of the road to the double give way road markings and the warning sign alerting you to traffic crossing a one way street at the end.

The stop signs are big and red. You really cannot miss them. You MUST stop at the line. Then if you cannot see both directions because of obstructions it is ok to edge it out. Remember your driving test is about displaying you can safely control the vehicle and also demonstrating that you know the rules of the road. Not stopping at a stop sign can be a 3 point offence.

Lonend and Complex Junctions

Coming to any complex junction the idea is to take in the information from the signs and begin to plan and adjust your road position depending on where you need to go. Next there are the road markings. Pay attention to the information painted on the road, make adjustments if needed and then stay in your lane in the junction. If you find yourself in the wrong lane for where you want to go it is fine. Go wherever that lane takes you and then get turned around later and come back to continue the journey. It is much safer doing this than last second panic corrections. The picture below is of Lonend - you can see the middle lane is the preferred one for right turns.

The Road Leading Up To St James Roundabout & Joining Dual Carriageway.

There is almost always parked cars on this bend and the warning sign for queues ahead is always flashing because of the traffic lights just around the bend. Try to be in the left lane at the lights.

Then you have the change in speed limit. Do not go above 30mph before you go through the sign. That's how the police earn their money and it would cost you the test.

Then we have the slip road to join the A737 at St James. This is a nasty little stretch of road because it is shorter than most other slip roads and the bushes on your right hand side obscure your approach to other drivers. The key here is good forward planning and effective observations. Get your signal on so other drivers notice you coming early, start using your right wing mirror often and as soon as it becomes effective. Make use of the limited space you have. Adjust your speed to find a gap, let a fast approaching car pass and slip in behind them or be prepared to accelerate and get in front of some one going slowly.

Coming Off The Dual Carriageway at St James Roundabout.

Usually when you join a slip exit you would stay biased towards the direction you are going at its end, right lane for going right, left lane for ahead or left. If you go this route on your test you will always be going right towards Paisley at the roundabout. However there is an obscured speed restriction that we must obey. This means that if we stayed in the right hand lane we may hold up traffic behind us. Yes they would be speeding but they aren't sitting a driving test. For that reason stay in the left lane in this instance, comply with the speed limit and then plan on getting into the right hand lane make good use of your mirrors. Be careful of other drivers exiting the dual carriage way still at high speed coming down the slip exit in the right lane as they probably will not have seen the 40mph limit.

The roundabout itself straight forward. It is just a big right hand turn. Stay in the 'PLEY' lane until you are passing the last exit you want and be planning on getting into the left lane to exit the roundabout. Be careful on getting into the left lane as there may be a naughty driver trying to pass you on the left. Yes it would be his mistake as he will have negotiated the roundabout in the wrong lane. However it is a mistake we can anticipate and keep ourselves safe. Make sure you check your wing mirror and left blind spot for getting into the left lane. A blind spot check here is useful because your mirrors are not as effective on bends. If you cannot get into the left lane do not panic. Just leave the roundabout from the right lane and then get yourself into the left lane on the straight section of road.

After you leave the roundabout make sure you comply with the speed sign leading up to the traffic lights. Be at 30mph before you cross the sign.


Most roundabouts use the left lane for going ahead. Except when road markings indicate otherwise. The two roundabouts in Linwood have designated the right hand lane for travelling ahead.