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The Driving Test

The driving test was initially introduced in the UK in 1935. During the intervening years several amendments have been made to keep the test up to date and make it more relevant to producing drivers capable of being safe road users in the 21st century.

There are 5 parts to the driving test , these include;

1. Eyesight Check

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

2. Show Me, Tell Me

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety checks.

3. 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 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.

4. Reversing

The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:

  • reverse around a corner

  • turn in the road

  • reverse park - either into a parking bay or parallel park at the side of the road

5. Independent Driving

You’ll have to drive for about 10 minutes by following either:

  • traffic signs

  • a series of verbal directions

  • a combination of both

The examiner can show you a simple diagram to help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions.

You can’t use a satnav.

During the test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions.

During the test you should drive as your instructor has taught you. If you make any mistakes don't worry about it, it might be a less than a serious driving fault and may not affect your result. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test. (16 or more will result in failure). However if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any point the examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

For more information on the practical driving test watch the official driving standards agency video on the right hand side of this page.

> Book your driving test online now



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