The driving test includes Show me, tell me and Independent driving sectionShow me, tell me, Independent driving, its all here

Driving test what happens on the day?

What happens on the day of the driving test? Do you know what to expect during the test?

DVSA video – the practical test

What happens during the driving test?

The test process:

  • How long is the driving test? – The practical driving test has an eyesight test, “show me, tell me” and about 40 minutes of driving which includes a section of independent driving.
  • Read the car number plate part. Before starting the practical test, the examiner will ask you to read the number plate of a parked car to check your eyesight. Remember to wear glasses or contact lenses if you need them.
  • Show me, tell me part, the examiner will then ask you two vehicle safety check questions known as the “Show me, tell me” questions. If you give the wrong answer to one or both questions you’ll get one minor driving fault.
  • The Driving ability part about 40 minutes (includes the 10 minutes independent section) and is designed to show that you are a competent driver. You’ll be asked to do one of the three reversing movements you’ve practised with your instructor and possibly to make an emergency stop.
  • Independent driving part In a 10-minute independent driving section you’ll be expected to show that you can make safe decisions without prompting. Don’t worry if you get lost; it’s not a test of your navigation skills!

Show Me, Tell Me DVSA videos – Show Me, Tell Me

“Inside the car” “Outside the car” and “Under the bonnet” all the videos are here.

  • Under the bonnet
  • Outside the car
  • Inside the car
  • Tyre checks
  • Oil checks
  • Handbrake checks
  • Fluid checks
  • Brake lights, indicators and horn checks

You can read in further detail the “Show Me; Tell Me, DVSA test questions.

How the examiner marks the practical driving test

During the practical driving test, the examiner will mark you by noting any driving faults you make on a practical test report form DL25.

The driving faults:

  • Minor – you are allowed up to 15 minor driving faults and still pass the test.
  • Serious – none allowed.
  • Dangerous – none allowed.

Even if you feel you have failed the test you should continue to try, as the test will help you to identify where you need more practice.

The seriousness of an individual fault depends on the conditions at the time.

When other road users are affected, a minor error can become a Serious Fault.

The driving examiner will record a Dangerous mistake when they or another road user has been forced to take evasive action.

Take a driving lesson immediately before the test!

You will probably arrive at the driving test centre with your driving instructor.

Most candidates have a final lesson with their instructor just before taking the driving test when they can practice a few driving points.

The key reason for the driving lesson is to get you relaxed and in the right frame of mind for your driving test.

Taking someone with you on the driving test

Your driving instructor, a friend or relative can accompany you on your driving test, they

  • Must be 16 or over.
  • Must sit in the back of the car during the driving test.
  • Can’t take any part in the test.
  • Can be with you after for the result and feedback

Some people find having someone they know with them on the test helps them to stay calm.

When you arrive at the test centre

What happens when you arrive at the driving test centre? You’ll need to:

  • Sign a form and show your provisional driving licence.
  • Have your theory test pass certificate.
  • Meet your driving examiner and head out to the car park to start the test.

Don’t forget to take provisional licence and theory pass certificate with you

Remember to take both your provisional driving licence and theory test pass certificate.

If you forget them, you will not be allowed to take the driving test and will lose your test fee.

Bad weather and the driving test

Sometimes DVSA needs to cancel or stop the test due to bad weather conditions.

When the DVSA call off a test because of extreme driving conditions they notify the candidate by email and automatically rebook the driving test at no additional cost.

The driving test will not take place in dangerous conditions such as fog, flooding, high winds and ice on the roads.

If you are in doubt about your driving test happening on the day due to extreme weather, call your local test centre for clarification.

Driving lessons and practice

Most young drivers will require between 30 and 40 hours of driving lessons with an approved driving instructor.
Image to buy the DVSA Official Theory Test learning to driver products to help to pass the driving test
Combining your lessons with about 20 hours of driving practice with a parent or friend will greatly improve your chances of passing your test first time, especially if you work through the Drivers Record.

What happens when you pass your driving test

You can now exchange your provisional licence to a full driving licence. The driving examiner will inform the DVLA so your full driving licence can be sent to you by post. There is no charge to have your provisional licence converted to a full licence.

Start enjoying your new freedom passing your test is an exciting event in your life but remember:

  • This is only the start to learning to be a skilled and responsible driver.
  • The way you have learnt to drive is the safest way to drive, avoid slipping into bad driving habits.
  • Think bout taking the Pass Plus with an approved driving instructor. You will learn such things as how to drive on motorways, driving at night and in conditions you would not have experienced in your driving lessons.
  • Driving with your friends can be great, BUT make sure you remain totally focused on your driving. The safety of your passengers is your responsibility. Nothing causes more accidents than the driver being distracted.

What if you fail the driving test?

Your driving instructor will explain why you haven’t passed the test and give you a driving test report detailing the faults you made.

Although you can retake your test after just 10 working days, follow the advice of your driving instructor and only put straight back in for your test if you both feel you are ready.

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