The Driving Test
The driving test will include an eyesight check that requires you to read a number plate that is a certain distance away.
After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions (known as Show Me, Tell Me). These are basic safety checks that you should carry out to ensure the your car is safe drive. Some checks may involve you opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked. You will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.
You will then be examined on your general driving , independent driving about 5 to 10min and on one reversing exercises which could be either reversing around a corner, turning in the road bay parking or reverse parking none as parallel parking. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions in plenty of time however if instruction is not given you should follow the road ahead and you must obay all sings and road markings. The test routes you follow will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, you will be asked to carry out set exercises.
Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
The practical driving part should last about 30 to40 minutes. During the test the examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test but just one serious or dangerous fault will mean a failure. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.
You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.
If you pass and have a photocard driving licence the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within four weeks of you passing your practical test.
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You must wait at least 10 working days before you take your next test.
Practical driving tests are available between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday. You can also book a test for a Saturday but will pay slight more.
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Changes to the test from December 2017
What happens during your driving test will be different from 4 December 2017.
Find out what happens during the test if you take it before 4 December 2017.
There will be 5 parts to the driving test:
The test will be the same for both manual and automatic cars.
How long the test lastsYou’ll drive for around 40 minutes.
You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving testbecause you’ve been banned from driving.
Eyesight checkYou’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.
‘Show me, tell me’ questionsYou’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety tasks.
You’ll be asked the:
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test.
Pulling over at the side of the roadYou’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
Reversing your vehicleThe examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
Following directions from a sat navThe examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up for you.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test.
Going off the routeYour test result won’t be affected if you take a wrong turning, unless you make a fault while doing it.
The examiner will help you get back on the route if you do.
If you can’t see traffic signsIf you can’t see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.
If you make mistakes during your testYou can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious.
The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.