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Practical Test

The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises.


You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). If you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test.

The practical driving test (car)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is now able to offer tests outside the normal test times at a number of test centres. This provides customers a wider range of appointments over an extended working day.

Practical tests are generally available at all permanent test centres. Saturday and weekday evening tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday.


Test Routes from the New Multi-Purpose Test centre

In October 2010 the DSA introduced a section to the test called Indepenant Driving. The purpose of this is to ensure that you can follow direction signs or instructions when you get in the car for the first time on your own. For this reason, test routes are no longer published. However, we understand the areas where the tests are carried out and as part of the training we will be teaching you to drive in some of these areas.

The driving test is straight forward and has been designed to see if you:

  • Can drive safely
  • Know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving.

What will the test include?

The test will include an eyesight check (if you fail this, your test will not continue). The eyesight test requires you to read a number plate that is a certain distance away. For more information about the eyesight check please use the ‘Driving eyesight requirements’ link below.

After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions. You will then be examined on your general driving and on two reversing exercises. The reversing exercises will be chosen from:

  • Reversing around a corner
  • Turning in the road
  • Reverse parking
  • You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

Vehicle safety questions(Show Me Tell Me)

These are basic safety checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use. Although some checks may involve the candidate in opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked, pupils will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.

As vehicle technology advances, more and more vehicles are being equipped with electronic diagnostic systems, which inform the driver of the state of the engine fluid levels and tyre pressures. It will be acceptable for a candidate to refer to the vehicle information system (if fitted) when answering questions on fluid levels or tyre pressures.

You can find source material in the DSA publication ‘Driving the essential skills’ and ‘ The official DSA driving test’. Advice and information on how to carry out vehicle safety checks can also be found in the manufacturer’s handbook.

Candidates will be asked two questions, one ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.

Practical Test Questions