Practical Test

This has been designed to see if you are able to drive safely and to make sure that you know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving.

Independent Driving

From October 2010 the practical driving test is changing to include Independent Driving – see video below.

You must bring the following items with you.

If you do not, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) may refuse to carry out the test and you may lose your fee.

  1. Your appointment letter
  2. Both parts of your photo card license. If you do not take both parts of your license, your test will not take place and you will lose your fee!
  3. If you have an old-style paper license, you must take your signed driver license and a valid passport – from 1 November 2005 no other form of photographic identification will be accepted

If you have misplaced your license, you must apply for a replacement from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which could take up to 15 days. If this happens, you may have to rearrange your test ………. Remember:-

NO LICENCE or NO PHOTO = NO TEST

and you will lose your fee!

The test begins with an eyesight test (if you are unable to read a car number plate from 67 ft (20.5 metres) your driving test will not continue). However, If you get it wrong you will be asked to read a different number plate a little closer.

Think Road Safety!

After the eyesight test, the examiner will ask one “show me” and one “tell me” question relating to mechanical safety and maintenance, before the driving starts. You will not be asked to physically check tyre pressures, oil levels etc, though you may be asked how you would do these things. All the questions and answers are available on the DSA web site at Driving Standards Agency.

Before starting your engine make sure your seat and mirrors are still adjusted correctly, make sure your doors are properly shut, and check the handbrake is on and the gear lever is in neutral.

After a quick look around your car (to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy) the examiner will give you a brief outline as to what will happen on the test. He / she will say something like “We will be out for approximately 35 – 40 minutes and will be driving along roads of varying conditions and I would like you to follow the road ahead, unless the traffic signs direct you otherwise, or unless I ask you to turn, which I’ll do in good time ……….. please move off when you’re ready.”

Once your driving begins, you will be examined on your general driving and on two reversing exercises. The reversing exercises will be chosen from reversing around a corner, turning in the road, parallel parking and bay parking. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise but only 1 in 3 candidates are asked to do this.

Think Road Safety!

The test should last between 35 – 40 minutes and test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. 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.

You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped. Remember, the main cause of failure is simply lack of preparation!

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.

All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard so as long as you demonstrate the level required you should pass your driving test.

DSA do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner so if such conditions should exist, they will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. If in doubt, candidates should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will go ahead.

If the driving test is not completed for reasons attributable to you or your vehicle, you will have to take another test at your own cost.

You will be given the result at the end the test and if you pass you will be given a pass certificate.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.

Take your instructor on your driving test

Throw away your L Plates!