The Practical Driving Test
Everything you need to know about the UK Practical Driving Test.
Booking the practical test
Once you have passed your theory test we can book your practical driving test and schedule your intensive course of lessons.
Please note: Mark will book the driving test for you. By the very nature of intensive driving courses, this prevents double-booking.
What to expect on the test
The driving test for car drivers is about 40 minutes long, give or take 5 minutes. During which, you will be required to:
Read a number plate (at 20 metres).
Answer one each of the Show and Tell Questions (see below).
Complete one of a possible four parking manoeuvres.
Possibly undertake an emergency stop (this happens only in 1 in 3 tests).
Follow a series of directions known as the independant drive, either by Sat Nav or following sign posts.
To pass, you may have a maximum of 15 minor points and have no serious or dangerous faults.
Show and Tell Questions
During the driving test the examiner will ask you one:
‘TELL ME’ question at the start of your test, before you begin driving.
‘SHOW ME’ question while you’re driving.
‘TELL ME’ questions
1 - Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
2 - Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Refer to one of a possible three places, including the manufacturer’s guide, inside door panel, or fuel flap (that’s where it is in my VW Polo). Use a reliable pressure gauge, always check before long journeys and adjust pressures when tyres are cold. Finally, don’t forget spare tyre, remembering to refit valve caps.
3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
It should be adjusted so the rigid part of the restraint is in line with the eyes or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.
4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
Explain how you’d operate the switch with the ignition on, then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the ABS.
7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
Explain you’d operate the indicator lever with the ignition on, and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.
Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or asksomeone to help.
9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, two checks can be made:
With the engine on, gentle pressure on the steering wheel should result in a slight movement. Alternatively, once moving off and turning the steering wheel will give an immediate indication that it’s functioning.
10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
With ignition on, turn on dipped headlights and operate switch. Check warning light is on. Use only when visibility is reduced by fog.
11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.
With ignition on, operate switch and be certain blue warning light.
12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, and describe how to check level against the minimum and maximum markers.
13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.
Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.
14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.
‘SHOW ME’ questions
While you are driving, the examiner will ask you one of the following, beginning with the phrase:
"When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you…”
“… wash and clean the rear windscreen?”
“… wash and clean the front windscreen?”
“… switch on your dipped headlights?”
“… set the rear demister?”
“… operate the horn?”
“… demist the front windscreen?”
“… open and close the side window?”