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Reversing Around A Corner
Turning In the Road
Reverse Parking


If you have passed your theory test, the last step to gaining a full driving license is the driving practical test. The purpose of the practical Driving Test is to find out whether you can drive safely, without supervision, on the roads.

All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard, they do not have a pass or fail quotas. So long as you demonstrate the standard required you will pass your driving test.

Make sure you take the following with you on the day.

  • your provisional UK driving licence
  • your theory pass certificate
  • a car - most pupils will use their instructors, but if you want to use your own car, that's allowed too.
Your instructor will usually offer a final lesson immediately before your test appointment, to do a refresher of everything you've learned, discuss any last-minute concerns, and to generally 'warm-up' before the real thing.

You are allowed to take someone with you on the test. This person must be over 16 years of age and cannot take any part in the test.

The examiner will ask you if you want your driving instructor or observer to come with you on 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.
  • independent driving.
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.
Eyesight check

You'll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
  • 20 meters for vehicles with a new-style number plate.
  • 20.5 meters 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.
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.

If you need to ask the examiner to confirm or remind you of a direction then do so, you will not be penalized, as loge as you ask in good time.

What if you go wrong way: taking the wrong turn is not a fault as long as you do it correctly (e.g. correct signal and road position etc. for the direction you took).

Driving test routes aren't published, so you can't 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.

Reversing your vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
  • parallel park at the side of the road.
  • park in a parking bay - either by driving in and reversing out or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do).
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic.
Independent driving

You'll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:
  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs
The examiner will tell you which you have to follow.

They'll set the sat nav up for you. You can't use your own sat nav.

If you can't see traffic signs

If you can't 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 won't 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.

The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.

Driving test faults and your result

There are 3 types of faults you can make:
  • a dangerous fault - this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • a serious fault - something potentially dangerous
  • a driving fault - this isn't potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault
Pass mark

You'll pass your driving test if you make:
  • no more than 15 driving faults (sometimes called 'minors')
  • no serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called 'majors')
If you pass your test

The examiner will tell you:
  • what faults you made, if any.
  • give you a pass certificate.
  • ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically - give the examiner your provisional licence if you want to do this.
Apply for your full driving licence within 2 years of passing your test if you don't want to get your licence automatically.


DVSA do not conduct tests in a bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. We will arrange another appointment at no further cost. Candidates should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will go ahead.

If the driving test is not completed for reasons attributable to you or your vehicle, you will have to take another test at your own cost.


You must pass your Theory Test before you are allowed to apply for your Practical Test. You will need to take a theory test if you want a license for a new category of vehicle, for example, if you have a car license and you want a motorcycle licence you will need to take a theory test.

If, however, you want to upgrade within a vehicle category you will not normally need to take a theory test. For example, if you have a full automatic car licence and you want a manual car license, you will not have to take a theory test.

Please check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency if you are unsure if you should take a theory test.

  • To get you a successful pass in the fewest number of lessons.
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