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Test Day

The Driving Test

When are you ready to take your practical driving test?

You need to be able to demonstrate a safe and competent level of driving at all times. When you can confidently and consistently deal with all road and traffic conditions and complete each of the set piece manoeuvres first time, you are ready to take the driving test. Most importantly, you should be aware that you may pass the driving test! This means that you will be on your own from then on, no help or guidance from anyone. When you feel confident to be able to do this – have a go.

What can you expect on the day?

Whether you go for the driving test in my car or your own car, the driving test will be conducted in the same way.

  • First you will be asked for your documents by the driving test examiner – you will need your driving licence (with photo ID if you have an older driving licence) and you will need to present your theory test pass certificate.
  • Then you will be asked to sign a declaration form stating that the vehicle is insured for your use on the driving test. This will not be a problem if using my car.
  • You will be asked to lead the way out to your car. You will be ask if you would your driving instructor to accompany you on the test.
  • Before you get into the car, you will be shown a registration number plate to read at about 20.5m (67ft). If you cannot read the number, the correct distance will be measured and you will be asked again. If you still cannot read the number, the test will have failed the driving test and you will need your eyesight tested.
  • You will then be asked two “Show me – Tell me” questions.
  • On successful completion of the show me tell me questions, the driving test examiner will invite you to make yourself comfortable in the car while he notes down the car’s registration number and checks the car’s roadworthiness.
  • Once the driving test examiner gets in the car, he/she will explain the rules of the driving test to you.
    • Basically, follow the road ahead unless road marking or signs direct you otherwise. If he/she wants you to turn off to the left or right, he/she will give you the direction in plenty of time. If you do not hear or do not understand the direction given, simply ask them to repeat it.
  • The driving test will last for approximately forty (40) minutes and will include the following conditions
    • Urban roads and back roads
    • Main roads possibly of a higher speed limit
    • Dual-carriageways up to national speed limit (70mph)
    • Country roads up to national speed limit (60mph)
    • You will only be expected to perform one of the set piece manoeuvres on the test
      • Turn in the road (Three Point Turn)
      • Reverse into a limited opening on the left/right (Reverse around a corner)
      • Reverse Park – either in a car park into a parking bay or on the road behind a parked vehicle.
    • There is approximately a one in four chance of having to perform an emergency stop. This is NOT conducted on every driving test.
    • At several points during the driving test, you will be asked to park in a safe place and then simply pull away again. Possibly on a hill and from behind a stationary obstruction.
  • At the end of the driving test, the driving test examiner will ask you to switch off the engine and will then inform you as to your success or failure.
  • Regardless of pass or fail, the driving test examiner will ask you if you wish the driving faults to be explained. This is always a good idea, especially if you have not passed, but even if you pass this may still be some useful advice.


What happens if you pass?


If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March 2004 the examiner will ask you if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically.

If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within four weeks of you passing your practical test.

If you pass your test but do not want to use this automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March 2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner. On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you need to do next. This involves sending your licence and appropriate fee to DVLA who will then check your application and issue you with a new full licence.

What happens if you fail?

If the worst happens you will need to take the driving test again. You must wait a minimum of ten working days before attempting the driving test again. You can, if you need, take the driving test an unlimited number of times before finally passing. Just be aware that your theory test pass certificate expires after two years from the date of issue!

If you were unhappy with the result and feel the driving test was not conducted fairly or properly, you may appeal. Ask your driving instructor for advice on this. In very rare cases a free retest may be given but the driving test examiners decision is final and will stand.

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