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How I Passed My Thai Car Driving License Test And Got My Thai Driving License Today

Monday 9th September 2013

Wow! I can hardly believe it – I passed the Thai practical driving license test today and got my Thai driving license. This is the fourth time I have attempted to pass the Thai driving license test and finally I succeeded.

Photo Of My Brand New Thai Driving License

Screenshot of Alans Thai Driving License

Alans Thai Driving License

There it is, my Thai driving license valid for one year.

The Re-Test Today Was Far From Easy – But I Did Learn A Trick

I was out on my private test track early this morning practicing the manouvers for this afternoons practical test at the official testing site at Pakchong (Pak Chong) in Thailand.

I did about 20 parallel parking into the box manouvres and failed (by hitting posts) on about three of them. I did notice that after about five manouvres I was loosing concentration.

The stopping on the white line I had a lower success rate. About 20% success.

I wasn’t recording these test exercises as I did before. We have gone past statistics now.

My Performance On The Real Official Thai Driving License Test Track

I only had parallel parking and stopping on the white and yellow lines to do having already passed the reversing test.

First The Parallel Parking Test

From the practices I had been doing on my own private test track I knew every move to the centimeter.

But I screwed up right at the beginning.

When you start the reverse the nearside rear wheel has to be withing 10 cm of the nearside post. At that point you stat your revering turn.

But my rear wheel was about 30 cm away and the narrow distance between the posts didn’t give me enough room make a correction. I tried and hit a post with my wing mirror. It was only a millimeter and I suppose they didn’t see it because technically it was a fail.

As you will have read on the Best Thai Car Driving License Test Videos Post my technique is to enter the box on 2 moves and exit on 4 – total 6.

But for some reason I couldn’t get into the box on 2 moves. It seemed shorter than my test track and the fact that I started from the wrong position didn’t help.

I was getting desperate now. Another failure staring me in the face. Because I hadn’t started from the ideal position. I had no choice but to sacrifice another two moves to get into the box. Total moves now is 4 so only 2 to get out! In effect that meant a simple straight reverse up to the the rear posts then exit in one risking clipping the nearside rear wheel on the first post. (I did this on the first test)

I managed it but it was literally with a millimeter’s clearance.

To be honest I had stopped counting the gear changes – such was the tension. I just knew instinctively that I didn’t have too many lives left! Then it was round to the stopping exercise.

Stopping On The White And Yellow Lines

I always found this difficult on my own private test track.

Stopping exactly on the yellow I had mastered by lining the yellow line up with the front wheel mud flap about 50 mm from the top by leaning out of the window.

But stopping on the white line was another matter.

This is a white line 100 mm wide and 140 mm from the edge of the curb. You have to stop with both nearside wheels on this line and both front wheels exactly on the yellow line. (The latter as I explained I mastered).

By standing for half an hour or so and watching people attempting this test before I had my go was very informative and useful.

I was watching the people stopping and seeing if the inspector failed or passed them. This is what I learned:-

  • If you hit the kerb with your wheel (I thought this was a sure failure) but are able to continue it’s OK.
  • If you park in the 140 mm zone between the white line and the kerb it’s OK as long as both nearside wheels are on the white line.
  • You only fail if:-
    • You hit the kerb that you mount it or you can’t proceed without reversing.
    • You don’t have both nearside wheels at least partly on the white line.

As to stopping directly on the yellow line (which I have perfected) that didn’t seem to matter today but I have seen people failed on other days for not doing it.

How About My Stopping Test?

Seemed it was perfect.

I had been practicing at home in our beautiful retirement home in Pakchong (Pak Chong) and as I have said in another post the stopping lines on my own test tract are not an exact mimic of the official one because you approach the official ones from 90 degrees whereas mine are parallel to the drive.

So I practiced at home by driving close to the start of the white line then turning towards it to simulate the 90 degrees turn on the official driving test track. This practice plus allowing my wheels to get closer to the kerb did the trick. I passed this test too!

The Relief When He Handed Me The Passed Papers!

When I had finished this last manouver I had no idea whether I had passed or failed again. So image my relief and joy when he handed me the passed papers! And Kanyah’s relief was actually traumatic to witness.

No Joy To Be Enjoyed In Success

Sadly, although we were both relieved to be rid of this damned driving test curse there wasn’t much you to be had. I had a celebratory bottle of Leo at the nearby shop (much to Kanyah’s disgust) then we went home.

A Little Luxury Denied

There is a riverside restaurant in Pakchong (Pak Chong) that is pretty (ish) but being beside the river it is a relaxing respite for me.

I often asked Kanyah to go there but for her it’s too expensive and food it not so good.

She is right of course but she did promise to take me ‘when you pass your driving test’.

That time is now Kanyah. But no she refused.

Then the heavens opened and there was no point anyway, the way the rain was falling you’d be as wet as if you had jumped into the river yourself.

So it was off to home with satisfaction but no celebration.

That’s how my life is in retirement in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

Car Freedom Is Not Mine Yet

You could be forgiven for thinking (as does Kanyah) that now I have the Thai driving license I will be free to take the Toyota Vigo pickup and go where and when I want. Not so.

Freedom doesn’t come so easily.

First off before I take the car (I expect – I haven’t tried it yet) more than just down the road I’ll be quizzed and challenged by Kanyah. “Why do you want to do that” and “petrol is too expensive.”

But the biggest challenge yet to be sorted out before I drive anywhere is:-

Car Insurance

Kanyah has a typical Thai approach to driving on the roads. Scant care for driving licenses or insurance.

But before I venture out I want to be sure that I and the car is covered by comprehensive insurance. They call it No. 1 here.

This is the next battle I face with Kanyah. I’ll just insist that my name goes on the insurance documents and that it’s fully comprehensive. May be expensive but I can’t go digging into my pockets to pay for a major accident. I know she’ll argue until she’s black in the face that this isn’t necessary.

Watch Out For Joyous Times Ahead – ?

Getting the Thai driving license is supposed to give both of us some freedom and flexibility to travel around. The purpose of which is to get more (or in my case some) enjoyment from life. Let’s see how that pans out. Stay in touch by joining the Announcement List

Thai Driving License Driving Test Track for Sale

The first thing Kanyah did (made me do) when we got home was to pack away my own personal private Thai driving license test track. See photo below:-

Photo of Thai Driving License Driving Test Track for Sale

Thai Driving License Driving Test Track for Sale

Now I no longer have use for it it’s up for sale:-

  • Pass your Thai driving license test as I did
  • One careful owner – used only 1,000 km
  • Portable – can be used anywhere
  • Guaranteed to work – I passed my Thai driving test using it
  • Flexible – make it any size you want to suit your car
  • Full instructions included

Asking Price Only 10,000 Baht ($300 or £200) ONO.

Flexible payment terms available:-

  • PayPal
  • Cash – GBP (£), Thai Baht
  • Cheque
  • Canned or bottled Guinness
  • Air ticket to U.K.

Free Delivery

I will deliver free of charge to your pickup truck. (Your pickup must be parked in our drive)


Free to the buyer these invaluable bonuses to help you pass your Thai driving license test:-

  • Videos of me on the private test track performing the manouvers
  • Written description of the manouvers and how to perform them
  • Detailed drawings of the test track complete with dimensions
  • Tips on how to pass your Thai driving license practical test from my own real-life experience

 PS Thank You All

Traumatic would be too strong a word to describe this particular episode of our retiring in Thailand journey.

Tense certainly. Fraught certainly. But no quite traumatic.

For me anyway. For Kanyah it seems like it was (and still is) traumatic – but then she seems to turn everything into a trauma.

But what I want to say is to all those people who have supported me through this Thai driving test rigour is Thank You.

Please don’t under-estimate the value of your support. Simple words of support like “You can do it mate” spurred me on to do those practice sessions every day that eventually lead to passing the test.

Thanks to all of you.

I Failed My Practical Thai Driving Test Again Today!

Yes, full of confidence that I would surly pass today I failed – again!

Before we go into why I failed, just look at the results I was getting on my own Thai driving license test track.

Results From Driving Tests On My Own Private Thai Driving License Test Track

Here are the results of four days of practicing the Thai driving test manoeuvres:-

Scanned Image of Thai Driving License Test Track Results 130904

Thai Driving License Test Track Results 130904

Let me summaries these results:-

Parking (Reversing into the box) 29 out of 30 attempts

Stopping (Stopping on the white and yellow lines) 37 out of 46 attempts.

How could I possibly fail on the day of the re-test?

Reasons Why I Failed The Thai Driving License Practical Test Again

Depends on what type of person you are.

As an engineer I do a logical assessment as follows below, but other people (like my wife, Kanyah) would blame me fro poor performance, the Gods or the day. (Wednesday when I took my test is a notoriously bad day for business she tells me)

Here is my logical assessment of why I failed my Thai driving test the first time.

1. There Must Be A Reason

If something works – or it doesn’t – there must be a reason say the engineers and scientists. And me.

So there is a logical reason why I can get the outstanding near 100% success rate on my test track and fail at the official Thai driving license test center at Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

Here are some possible reasons:-

  1. It was the wrong day
  2. The Gods were having an off day
  3. The actual track is different from my test track
  4. I don’t understnd the rules
  5. I am under psychological pressure which affects my performance
  6. I rush instead of taking my time

3. The Actual Track Is Different From My Test Track

Dismissing the first two possible reasons let’s examine the most logical, number three “The actual track is different from my test track”.

The Parking Box

I must admit that the reversing lane seemed narrower than my own test track and the parking box seemed a bit shorter.

Whereas at home I can reverse into the box and get the nearside rear wheel in the box in one movement here it took two manouvers. And to get the front offside wheel into the box is normally one manouver at home but on the official test day it took two manouvers.

I’d say that the driving official test track was smaller than my private test track. Look doesn’t have to be by much a few centimeters is all we are talking about.

Action Plan 1: Go back at the week end and measure the real driving license test track again.

Action Plan 2: Before that move the posts closer together on the test track and more practice.

Another thing I was aware of is that one of the sticks in my rear view mirror was bending away from me instead of standing upright. Therefore I couldn’t accurately judge my distance and I may have been stopping shorter than I needed to.

4. I Don’t Understand The Rules

The 7 Gear Change Rule

I was told at the beginning by Kanyah that when reversing into the box you are only allowed to change gear seven times.

That’s not a problem because as I said I can do it three and sometimes in two only.

But getting out of the box is more difficult than getting in because the rear wheels are trailing and it’s not easy to get the rear wheels out of the box and in line with the reversing lane. Three of four gear changes are needed.

On this test day I didn’t count how many gear changes I made to get in ot to get out of the box. I just made sure I didn’t hit any posts and took my time.

I failed for going over seven gear changes.

The Seven Gear Change Rule Explained.

Well now I have learned that that the maximum of seven gear changes applies to the whole manouver ie getting both in and out of the box. Seven gear changes (which means seven changes of direction) is all you are allowed to get in and out of the box.

Why didn’t she tell me that in the beginning?

A Close Look At The Seven Gear Change Rule For The Thai Driving Test

Your only have seven gear changes. You need (on average) three to get in and since getting out is ore difficult you need the other four.

But let’s just look at that more closely and count those up:-

Getting Into The Box

1 Reverse in as far as possible on full lock to get the the rear wheels in the box.

2 Forward on full opposite lock to get the front wheels in.

3 Reverse to get the car parallel to the box and the wheels parallel to the car.

Getting Out Of The Box

4 Forward on full lock to get the front wheels out.

5 Reverse as far as possible.

6 Forward again on right and left lock to get the rear wheels as far out as possible.

7 What can you do with this. only Reverse is a gear change. And if you reverse you’ll not have No. 8 to drive down the reversing lane.

So you only have 6 gear changes available to you!

It’s quite obvious. Seven is an odd number so if you change direction seven times you will be going in the wrong direction on the last change.

So the seven gear changes is a myth. You only have six. 3 In and 3 out!

And that’s difficult because you need four to get out!!!

The Stop Line

No doubt about it here. My test track is certainly different from the real track.

My own stop line is on the drive at 90 degrees to the length of the drive. The approach is parallel to the white line. (Which in turn is parallel to the drive)

The actual test track has the approach at 90 degrees to the white  line making getting the car parallel to the white line in a short distance very difficult and something I have not practiced.

It’s Like A Roman Amphitheater – Only The Lions Are Missing

Don’t think that this just a driving test. You and the tester.

Far from it. This is entertainment.

The drivers bring their family their friends,  who bring their friends to watch this amazing spectacle. This feast of masochism where out of 50 would-be drivers only two or three win the freedom of the roads.

The rest are doomed to repeat it again in five days – but unlike the Roman Amphitheater they are not slain – merely humiliated.

In fact I was wondering why the Thais didn’t throw in a few lions just to gore up the show a bit. Probably ’cause there aren’t any lions left in Thailand.

This huge audience certainly puts the performers. I tend to be thinking more about giving them a good show rather than concentrating on getting the pass. Heh! I’m a Farang after all. Gotta show these Thai’s what a Farang can do. Never mid the test results let’s put on a damn good show for them.

Joking Aside – This Is no Longer A Joke

Failing the first time is understandable. I had no idea what the test was and what the rules were.

Failing the second time could be excused.

Failing the third time after building a replica of the the driving test center’s own test track and getting near 100% success rate on it is ridiculous.

It’s now gone beyond a joke. Now it’s serious. I need that driving license and I have to pass the test.

More than that, it’s now personal. The testers and the Thais there know me now. I’m the farang who can’t pass the test. This can’t go on much longer.

If I was Thai I could just melt into the background and exit quietly. Not so a farang. When I’m on the test track I can hear them saying “Look it’s a farang”.

Kanyah Went Ape!

Lovely as Kanyah is when she’s in a good mood, she does have a terrible temper. On this occasion (of me failing the Thai driving test the third time) she went absolutely bananas to put it mildly.

“Why didn’t you do what I said” she screamed.

(Thought to myself “well if I could do it I would have done it wouldn’t I”, but being wiser kept my mouth shut.)

I tried to explain that her blaming me would not in the least help me to pass the test on the next attempt.

No. Wrong strategy.Just wait until she cools down. Like next year.

My Fourth Test Is Tomorrow!

While the heavens open and we are getting all the rain we should have had over the last month in one day I go out to practice parking because my next re-test is tomorrow!

I can manage 2 in and 4 out butt am prone to hitting sticks.

Not a good omen and the weather isn’t helping.

Not looking forward to tomorrow at all.


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