Driving Test

Lydia Wright 25.10.17

Lydia passed first time in York with just 3 driving faults.

The practical driving test is designed to see if you:

  • can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions
  • show knowledge of the Highway Code though your driving

As long as you show the standard required, you’ll pass your driving test. There’s no minimum number of lessons you must have or hours you must practice driving before you take your test. There are no pass or fail quotas.

You need to have passed your Theory Test before you can apply for and take your practical driving test.

Test Fees & Booking

When booking your driving test make sure you go the official gov.uk page. Some websites will book the test for you and charge a booking fee on top. Make sure you pay no more than the fees listed below.

Click here to go to the official site to book your test.

Practical test type Weekday price Weekday evening (4:30pm onwards), weekend and bank holiday price
Car £62 £75

The Test

What to take to your test

  • your UK driving licence
  • your theory test pass certificate
  • a car – most people use their instructor’s car, but you can use your own as long as your car meets certain requirements.

What happens during the test?

The test will last for around 35-40 minutes and the examiner will explain what they want you to do at the beginning of the test and as you drive round.

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.

1. Eyesight Test

Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you’ll have an eyesight check. You will 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

If you fail the eyesight test you will fail your driving test.


Blake passed his test first time with just 3 driving faults.

2. Show me, Tell me

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions. These are also known as the ‘Show me, Tell me’ questions.

The examiner will ask you one ‘tell me’ question at the start of your testl and one ‘show me’ question whilst you are driving.

You cannot fail your driving test if you get one or both of these questions wrong. Failing to answer one or both of these questions will result in one minor driving fault.

For a copy of the questions click here

3. Driving ability

The test will last about 35-40 minutes. Throughout the drive the examiner is looking for a safe standard of driving across different road and traffic conditions. You will not be asked to go on a motorway.

The examiner will give you directions throughout the test. Follow these and drive as your instructor has taught you. The drive should include normal stops; setting off from an angle (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle) and a hill start. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop and a hill start.

4. Reversing the vehicle safely

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

5. Independent driving

You will 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.

If using a sat nav, the examiner will provide and set up the sat nav for you.

If following traffic signs and you cannot see the sign, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next sign.

It doesn’t matter if you forget what signs to follow and ask, or if you go the wrong way as long as you remain safe. Your test result won’t be affected if you go off the independent driving route, unless you make a driving fault.

The examiner will help you get back on the route if you go off it or take a wrong turning. You can then continue with the independent driving.

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.

The Result

Alice Wood 04.04.17

Alice passed her test first time with just two driving faults.

Once you have completed the test and arrived back at the test centre, the instructor will ask you to turn the engine off will take a few minutes to complete their mark sheet. This will be the most agonising wait of your life. The examiner will then ask if you want to call your instructor over (if they have not gone with you on the test) and will hopefully give you the good news that you have passed your test and explain how you did.

You will pass your driving test if you make:

  • 15 or fewer minor driving faults
  • no serious or dangerous driving faults

There are 3 types of faults that can be marked:

  • a dangerous fault – involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • a serious fault – something potentially be dangerous
  • a driving fault – not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout t it could become a serious fault

If you pass your test…

The examiner will give you a pass certificate. They will also ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically. If so, they will take your licence from you.

Once you have passed your test you can start driving straight away – you don’t need to wait for your full licence to arrive.

If you don’t pass…

The worst news you will hear. Unfortunately you have to wait another 10 working days before you can take another test if you don’t pass. Working days don’t include Sundays and public holidays. We can work on any errors made during the test before your next test.

If you have a disability, health condition or learning difficulty

When you book your driving test you should say if you have a:

  • disability
  • health condition
  • learning difficulty

You’ll still have to drive to the same standard to pass, but the examiner can make adjustments for your situation.

If you have a disability

You might be allowed more time for your test if you have certain disabilities. It will give the examiner time to talk to you about:

  • your disability
  • any adaptations fitted to your car

If you’re deaf or have a hearing impairment

The examiner will work with you to find the best way to communicate. If you are worried about this, your instructor can speak to the examiner also. The examiner may use written notes at the start of the test to explain what will happen. If you lip read, they’ll also look at you so you can lip read what they’re saying.

The examiner will usually give directions to you as hand signals. These will be explained to you before your test starts.

Using a sign language interpreter

You can take a British Sign Language interpreter with you. They must be at least 16 years old.

Your driving instructor can be your interpreter.

You need to arrange your own interpreter and pay any fees that they charge. You can claim the cost back after your test.

If you are pregnant

You can take a driving test at any stage of your pregnancy. However, you must be able and willing to do an emergency stop.

If you have reading difficulties

When you do the eyesight check at the start of the driving test, you can write down the number plate instead of reading it out loud.


  1. Driving tests should not be booked without the prior consent of your instructor. You and your instructor should first discuss your driving ability and competency to complete the test before a test is booked. You must also consult the instructors availability before committing to a test. Your instructor is not responsible for any tests booked during times when the instructor is not available.
  2. The driving instructor’s car is available for test at the same rate as a normal 1 hour driving lesson. You will discuss with your instructor how much time is needed for the test and any practice you wish to have beforehand on the day.
  3. Students should notify their instructor of the time, date and location of their driving test. No responsibility will be taken the driving instructor for incorrect driving test information provided by the student.
  4. Students will only be allowed the use of the driving instructor’s car for a driving test if the driving instructor agrees they meet test standards. The driving instructor reserves the right to refuse use of the car for the practical driving test if, in their professional opinion, the student has not reached a sufficient standard of competence, to take full responsibility for the safety of the vehicle and other road users.
  5. Where the use of the car is withheld for a driving test, the driving instructor will, where possible give enough notice to enable the student to cancel the test without the loss of the test fee. This may not always be possible with intensive courses. No responsibility will be taken by the driving instructor for withdrawing the use of car when the student is deemed to be not ready for test.
  6. Where the test is cancelled by the instructor due to a fault with the car, illness or any other reason that is the responsibility of the driving instructor then the student will be entitled to the cost of their next driving test fee to be paid for by the driving instructor.
  7. The driving test fee will not be reimbursed where the student is given sufficient notice to cancel their driving test appointment without the loss of the test fee.
  8. Where the test is cancelled by the DVSA, the full test fees due to the instructor for driving lessons and use of car on test are still payable in full, unless cancelled in accordance to our normal period cancellation policy.
  9. Where the test is cancelled at short notice by the DVSA, it is possible to claim back a proportion of the lesson fees and other expenses from the DVSA. This is the responsibility of the student.
  • Where a test is cancelled due to the student’s documentation not being in order, because the student is ill, the student has given incorrect driving test information or for any other reason that is the responsibility of the student, the driving instructor are not responsible for any test fees. The full fees due to the instructor for driving lessons and use of car on test are still payable in full unless cancelled in accordance with the normal notice period.

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