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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 maintenance checks
After the eyesight check, you will be asked two basic vehicle safety / maintenance check questions.  These are commonly know as the 'Show and Tell Questions', as one question, the 'Show', will involve you demonstrating a particular vehicle check (for instance, locating and checking the engine coolant level, which will involve you opening the bonnet of your vehicle) and the other question, the 'Tell', will require you to explain to the examiner how to perform a particular check / vehicle test.

Click here 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.

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 reversing around a corner into a side road, turning the vehicle around in a road (using forward and reverse gears), reverse parking into a designated bay and reverse parallel parking.   Approximately 10 minutes of the test will be a section of independent driving where you will drive without step-by-step directions from the examiner (instead following a series of directions, traffic signs, or a combination of both).  You may also be required to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

Click here for more detailed information about the driving test, and in particular the examination marking criteria under which you will be assessed.

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