Practical Test

The practical driving test (car)

DO NOT book your driving test UNLESS you have checked with the INSTRUCTOR that you are ready AND their car is available.

The driving test will require you to drive independently for 20 minutes. The test will last for about 40 minutes.

1. Independent driving part of the test will last for to 20 minutes

During this part of the test, you will be asked to follow signs or directions without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.

2. Following directions from a sat nav

4 out of 5 candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up.

You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.

3. Reversing manoeuvres

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible 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 you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and re-join the traffic

4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving

The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

You’ll be asked the:

  • ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

Read more about

what will happen during the driving test

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