Driving Test Information

The Practical Test

The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes.

Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises.

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.
The Practical Driving Test (car) The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is now able to offer tests outside the normal test times at a number of test centres. This provides customers a wider range of appointments over an extended working day.
Practical tests are generally available at all permanent test centres. Saturday and weekday evening tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday.
The driving test is straight forward and has been designed to see if you:
Can drive safely
Know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving
What will the test include? The test will include an eyesight check (if you fail this, your test will not continue). The eyesight test requires you to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres.
After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions. A Tell Me question before you drive away from the test centre and a Show Me request while you are on the move. These are basic safety checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use. Although some checks may involve the candidate opening the bonnet to identify where the fluid levels would be checked, candidates will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.
You will then be examined on your general driving and on one reversing exercise.
You will be asked to drive independently for approximately 20 minutes, following a set of directions given to you by your examiner either via a satellite navigation system or by asking you to follow road signs.
To help you to understand where you are going, the examiner may offer you a diagram.
It does not matter if you do not remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way – that can happen to the most experienced drivers. Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it is safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you are going.
The one reversing exercise will be chosen from:
• Parking on the right-hand side of the road – then reverse in a straight line for a couple of car lengths.
• Left Reverse parallel parking.
• Forward Bay Parking, either to the left or the right. You are then asked to reverse out of the space and follow directions to the exit.
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.