THE PRACTICAL DRIVING TEST
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE TEST?
There are 5 parts to the driving test:
An eyesight check
‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
General driving ability
Reversing your vehicle
The test is the same for both manual and automatic cars.
HOW LONG THE TEST LASTS
You’ll drive for around 40 minutes.
You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving test because you’ve been banned from driving.
You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate.
New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.
You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.
'SHOW ME, TELL ME' QUESTIONS
You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
‘Tell me’ question at the start of your test, before you start driving
‘Show me’ question while you’re driving.
You can find The Official 'Show Me, Tell Me' Questions here.
YOUR GENERAL DRIVING ABILITY
You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways.
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow.
Driving test routes are not published, so you cannot check them before your test.
PULLING OVER AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
Normal stops at the side of the road
Pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
A hill start.
You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.
The examiner will ask you to do one of these Reversing Manoeuvres:
Parallel park at the side of the road
Park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which)
Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
The manoeuvre can be done during the Independent Driving part of the Test.
During the Independent Driving part of your Test, you will be asked to either follow directions from a Sat Nav, or to follow Road Signs for approximately 20 minutes during your Test.
The Examiner will explain which of these you will be asked to perform.
IF YOU CANNOT SEE TRAFFIC SIGNS
If you cannot see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.
GOING OFF THE ROUTE
The examiner will not give you a fault for taking a wrong turning. They’ll help you get back on the route if you do.
IF YOU MAKE MISTAKES DURING YOUR TEST
You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious.
OTHER PEOPLE AT YOUR TEST
Your driving examiner’s supervisor might sit in on your test to watch your examiner’s performance. If you refuse, your test can be cancelled and you’ll have to book another test and pay again.
USING THE OPTIMUS CAR
When you take your test, it's important to drive a car that is reliable and that you feel comfortable in. The car must also meet the legal requirements.
This is easy if you choose to take your driving test in the Optimus car, because all this is taken care of. And, of course, I will make every effort to come to the test centre with you (diary allowing!).
If you want to take the test in your own car, you'll have to make sure that the car is legally roadworthy. This means it must have a valid MOT certificate if it's over three years old and it must be fully insured.
The examiner will ask you to sign a declaration that your insurance is in order before going ahead with the test. If your car doesn't meet all the stipulated regulations, your test will be cancelled and you'll lose the test fee you have paid.
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