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Driving test foods to avoid

Carrying out three-point turns, reverse parking and emergency stops all under the watchful eye of an inscrutable examiner is enough to turn any nervous learner to jelly.

While plenty of practice and remaining calm are top tips for navigating the anxious experience as smoothly as possible, what you eat before you slide into the driver’s seat is often overlooked.

But experts at the UK’s fastest-growing leasing firm Select Car Leasing says the type of fuel you put into your own system could be key to tearing up your L plates as soon as possible – and also avoiding embarrassing situations.

Managing Director Graham Conway said: 

“There is plenty of advice around about how you should give yourself the best chance of passing your driving test, and being able to control your emotions is right up there. But being able to control your digestive system and bodily functions could be just as important.
“We recommend anyone booked in for their test soon reads the list below and steers clear of some of these potentially hazardous snacks.”

Earlier this year, research by Select Car Leasing revealed that a 72-year-old man from England was top of the practical driving test failure charts – only passing at the 43rd attempt.

Meanwhile, a male in his 40s racked up 157 failed theory tests, at a total cost of around £3,600, before finally making the grade.

Select Car Leasing’s Menu for Driving Test Success:

Spicy food

Not only can the aroma of strong garlic and spices be unpleasant to those who haven’t eaten them, they can also cause problems in the digestive systems that could lead to embarrassing emissions mid-test.

Much better to wait until after receiving your pass mark and celebrating with a curry or Chinese takeaway at home.

Other ‘gassy’ foods

The gas warning doesn’t stop there. Baked beans, vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage, along with sugar-free products like chewing gum are also best swerved.

The latter contain artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, xylitol and erythritol that can’t be fully absorbed in the intestine – allowing bacteria to ferment and causing embarrassing gas and bloating.


Picture the scene: One minute you’re driving like a dream, making smooth progress along the road under the speed limit.

Then crash… the sugar you overloaded into your system through sweets and cakes wears off and you feel an almighty slump.

It’s natural to feel a bit low on energy before a tense event such as a driving test but it’s much better to have an apple instead of a bag of sweets as it contains natural sugars as well as vitamins and minerals that will have you feeling at your best.

Fatty foods

Anything that makes your body work harder to digest is bound to leave you feeling sluggish and drowsy, and fatty foods are high up on the list.

Studies show that those who eat meals higher in fat are more likely to fancy a nap in the afternoon.

So if your test appointment is post-lunch, a portion of pie and chips would not be the wisest choice.

Too much or too little water

Being as your brain is three-quarters water, it’s best to remain hydrated before your driving test to keep you sharp and alert.

But over-do it and your mind won’t be on the job of pulling off some slick manoeuvres and impressing the examiner, but rather thinking about how long it is until you can go to the toilet.

And what you should eat

A light meal of salad, vegetables and a small portion of protein should leave you feeling full of energy to tackle your driving test with aplomb.

Stick to water or fruit juices instead of diuretics such as coffee and tea, and you will give yourself the best chance of success behind the wheel.

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Tuesday, 18/01/2022