The Practical Test

How do I book my Practical Test?
The easiest way is to book online. You get a choice of centres, dates and times. All you need is your provisional driving licence number, your theory test certificate number and a credit or debit card. To book online, please click HERE
You can also book by telephone by calling 0870 0101372. You will need your licence number and a credit/debit card.
To book by post you can either pick up a form from your local driving test centre or download a copy from the above link (under publications). This way you can pay by cheque. 

What is involved with my Practical Test?
The driving test for a car is designed for you to show you understand and can demonstrate your knowledge of the Highway Code and the theory of driving safely. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises.The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions and know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving.

At the Test Centre
You will normally arrive at the the test centre about 10 minutes before the start of the test. Once parked up you will wait in the test centre for your examiner. After checking your licence, they will ask you to sign a residency and insurance disclaimer.

Taking someone with you on your Driving Test
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) encourages you to take someone with you on your driving test. Your examiner will ask at the start of your test if you would like someone to sit in with you on your test. They will also ask if you would like this person to sit in on the debrief at the end of the test, They will usually be the person who has taught you to drive, they could be a relative or friend, they must be over 16 years old, they cannot take any part in the test and they will be able to see how you perform during the test. To get the most benefit, ask your instructor to go with you. They can then give you advice on how to improve your driving, whether you pass or fail. After meeting your examiner, the next two stages are:

1. An eyesight check.
if you fail this, your test will not continue. (Full details HERE)

2. Show Me / Tell Me Questions.
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test - these are known as the Show Me / Tell Me .You’ll be asked the:

‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving

‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.

To Download a full list of Questions and Pictures relating to your Tuition vehicle, Click HERE

Driving ability
The driving part of your test will last about 38-40 minutes during which you will be examined on your general driving and ability to reverse your vehicle safely. One exercise will be chosen from Pulling up and reversing on the right, Parallel Parking, Bay Parking (either Reversing into a space or Driving in Forward and Reversing out. Reversing into a Bay will be carried out at the Test Centre car park (if available) and the Forward Bay Park will be carried out in a car park during your test (eg Supermarket or Retail Park).

You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise. (1 in 3 Tests only).

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it as it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. However, if at any time your examiner considers your driving to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

Independent Driving.
Your practical driving test will include approximately 20 minutes of independent driving. This is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently.

During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.

You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.

You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.

One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.

Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.

The independent driving route.
If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you. If you go off the independent driving route it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault. If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving. If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.

Your driving test result
When the driving test has ended, you can call your instructor over if they didn't go with you on your test. This is so they can listen to the result and feedback with you. The examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed and will explain how you did during the test. During the test you are allowed a maximum of 15 minor faults. You are not allowed any serious or dangerous faults. If you do commit either of these faults, the examiner may decide to finish the test early if the fault was too dangerous or they do not think you are capable of continuing the test. You can take another practical test ten working days after your failed car test.

Driving test standards.

All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard, they do not have pass or fail quotas. So as long as you demonstrate the standard required you will pass your driving test. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions.

Driving tests in bad weather
The DSA does not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. The DSA will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. You should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether your test will go ahead.

Vehicle problems
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.

For Full details on the Practical test, Click below.