Practical Driving Test
Before you do any driving you’ll be asked to perform an eyesight check and then be asked a vehicle safety question at the test centre before moving off with one show me question on the move. You’ll then be tested on your general driving ability, including one reversing exercise.
The ‘Driving’ part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for evidence you’ve reached an overall safe standard of driving, as you carry out both general and specific manoeuvres. You can make up to 15 minor driving faults and still pass the test, but 16 or more minor faults results in a fail. However, if you commit just one serious or dangerous fault, you’ll fail the test automatically.
You will be asked to drive without step-by-step instruction from the examiner for about 20 minutes, showing that you can make decisions by yourself. You will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav! One in five tests will not use a sat nav but ask you to follow a series of Road signs.
The examiner will always ask you to pull up at the side of the Road before using the sat nav or asking you to following Road signs to a destination. They will not be given to you on the move.
You must bring the following items with you to the test. If you don’t, the Driving Standards Agency (DVSA) may refuse to carry out the test and you may lose your fee
- An appropriately insured and licensed vehicle, displaying L- Plates, that’s suitable for the test – don’t worry my School car is perfect for the job and readily available!
- The appropriate theory test pass certificate.
- Your appointment letter confirming your test time and date.
- Your photo card licence. If you don’t take your licence, your test will not take place and you’ll lose your fee.
- If you have an old-style paper licence, you must take your signed driving licence and separate approved photo identification with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask: If you don’t understand what the examiner has asked you to do, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to repeat the instruction.
Think positive: Before you start a manoeuvre, repeat to yourself three times silently “this is a piece of cake”. Think positively at all times. You can do it!
Making a mistake: If you feel you’re messing up a manoeuvre, just pull forwards and do it again correctly. As long as you haven’t done anything wrong, such as touching the kerb or failing to make effective observations, you can still pass.
Stalling: if, unfortunately, you stall, deal with it and move on. As long as you don’t stall in a dangerous situation, such as on a roundabout and as long as you handle it properly, this needn’t count as a major fault and you can still pass your test.
Have I already failed? If you feel you’ve made a mistake, don’t instantly assume you’ve failed it may only have been a minor fault. Put it behind you and carry on driving as well as you can.
Keep your eyes on the road: Resist the temptation to look at the examiner and what he or she is writing. You will not be able to deduce anything anyway. Keep your attention on your driving and the road ahead!