Practical Test

Once you have passed your Theory Test you can book and take the Practical Test.

It is conducted by a DVSA Examiner, takes approximately 40 minutes and will test that you can drive safely and can demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the Highway Code.

Included at the beginning of the test is an Eyesight Test. You must be able to read a vehicle number plate at a distance of 20 Metres for a vehicle with a new style number plate, or 20.5 Metres for a vehicle with an old style number plate.
If you fail this, the test will not continue and your test fee will be lost.

Since 2005, you will also be asked 2 questions relating to vehicle safety and maintenance one "show me" and one "tell me" question (see the footof this page). If you answer one or both questions incorrectly one driving fault will be recorded.

Most test routes involve town driving and often single and dual carriageway roads with speed limits of more than 30mph. During the test you will have to complete one out of the following three manoeuvres.

  • • Left Reverse                    
  • • Turn in the Road              
  • • Parallel Park or Bay Park
  • One in three test candidates will also be asked to do an emergency stop as well.
    You may also have to perform a hill start and an angled start.

    You will also be asked to complete the independent driving section of the test. This part lasts for approx 10 minutes. You will be asked to drive either by following the road signs or you will be given a series of verbal instructions and shown a very simple diagram to clarify where you are to go. The test may use a combination of both. The examiner will pull you up at the side of the road to give you the directions and show you the diagram. Don'tworry if you forget the directions or go wrong. You just need to show that you can make your own decisions and you can ask for a reminder of where to go. You will be told when this section of the test starts and when it has finished.

    The Examiner is looking for a safe, systematic and smooth drive. Fifteen minor faults, called driving faults are permitted. If you accumulate more than fifteen faults or get one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. Driving faults are faults that do not cause potential or actual danger to other road users.

    You will be told at the end of the test if you have been successful. The examiner will offer you a de-brief on your test result whether you are successful or not.

    If you fail, you can book another test straight away but cannot take another test for at least ten working days.



    Official DVSA video: Show me, Tell me