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Driving Test

About the Practical Driving Test.

The standard learner driving test lasts approximately 40 minutes. (An extended driving test will last about 70 minutes.) To pass the driving test you must demonstrate that you are a competent and safe driver, following the rules and regulations as set out in the Highway Code.

Eyesight requirements for the Practical Test

At the beginning for the driving test, the driving examiner will ask you to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres (if reading a 'new style' plate, i.e. a number plate issue on 1st September 2001 or later - these start with two letters, e.g. XX51 YYY) or 20.5 metres (if reading an 'old style' plate). 

Vehicle safety questions

After the eyesight check, you will be asked a vehicle safety / maintenance check question. Also, when driving, you will be asked to give another vehicle safety control demonstration.

These questions are commonly know as the 'Show and Tell Questions' or 'Show me, Tell me' because one question, the 'Show', will involve you demonstrating a particular vehicle check whilst driving (for instance, operating the demister controls) and the other question, the 'Tell', will require you to explain to the examiner how to perform a particular check / vehicle test (for instance, explaining how to check the brake fluid level). Note that the 'Tell' question may also involve opening the bonnet of your vehicle.

Press here (or the press the button below) for a full list of the car safety check questions you might be asked on the driving test, together with the answers you would need to give. Your Instructor will also go over these with you on your driving lessons.

Out on the roads during the test 

At the start of the driving test, the examiner will tell you to follow the road ahead unless directed otherwise. The examiner will direct you in good time. To test your overall driving ability, you will be taken on a variety of roads having differing traffic conditions including town centre roads and dual carriageways. The examiner will ask you to perform one standard manoeuvre involving reversing, chosen from:

  • Forward parking into a bay and then reversing out.
  • Reverse parking into into a designated bay.
  • Reverse parallel parking.
  • Pulling up on the right, reversing two car lengths, then moving away back into the traffic flow. 

You may also be required to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

Approximately 20 minutes of the test will be a section of independent driving where you will drive without step-by-step directions from the examiner; instead you will need to follow directions from a Satellite Navigation device (Sat Nav) or follow a series of traffic signs. For more information on the Sat Nav part of the driving test, press here (or press the button below).

Further Information

Press here (or the press the button below) for more detailed information about the driving test, and in particular the examination marking criteria under which you will be assessed.

Press here (or press the button below) for some detailed information on the driving manoeuvres the examiner will expect you to perform.

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