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Practical Driving Test Information

This information has been reproduced with the kind permission of the DSA and is updated by Learner One Driving School as regularly as possible. To ensure any information is accurate please visit DVSA.

After passing the theory test you can apply for your practical driving test.

Booking your Test
Contact the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency on from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can book online. To book a practical test, either with an operator over the phone, or online, you will need:

  • a valid UK driving licence
  • a theory test certificate number
  • a valid debit or credit card for payment (Visa, Mastercard, Delta, Visa Electron, Switch/Maestro and Solo cards are accepted)

To book a practical test by post you will need an application form. Application forms are available online or on request from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency booking line.

Please note: LEARNER ONE offer a free booking service to all of their customers.

Your test vehicle
Cars or vans presented for test must be:

  • a four wheeled vehicle of no more than 3500 kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass)
  • capable of a speed of at least 62.5 miles per hour (mph) (100 kilometres per hour (km/h))
  • be fitted with:
    • a seatbelt for the examiner
    • a passenger head restraint, this need not be adjustable but must be fitted as an integral part of the seat. ‘Slip on’ type head restraints are not permissable
    • an interior mirror for the examiner’s use
    • L-plates displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle but not interfering with the driver or examiner’s view

Category B vehicles must also:

  • have a speedometer that measures speed in miles per hour and kilometres per hour
  • have no warning lights showing ie the airbag warning light
  • be legal and roadworthy

Reporting for your practical test
You must take the following items with you to your driving test. If you do not, your test may be cancelled and you may lose your fee.

  • an appropriately insured and licensed vehicle, displaying L- plates that is suitable for the purpose of the test
  • the appropriate theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you are not exempt
  • your photo card licence. If you misplace your licence, you must apply for a replacement from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which could take up to 15 days. If this happens, you may have to rearrange your test

THE PRACTICAL DRIVING TEST

The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:

  • can drive safely
  • know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving

What will the test include?
The test will include an eyesight test (if you fail this, your test will not continue). After the eyesight test you will be examined on your general driving and a reversing exercise. The reversing exercise will be chosen from:

  • reversing around a corner
  • turning in the road
  • reverse parking
  • reverse bay park

You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

A standard driving test takes about 40 minutes.

What happens during the test?
During the driving 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, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises.

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.

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

Weather conditions/ mechanical problems etc
DVSA do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. Another appointment will be arranged at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. 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.

Driving test report (DL25) explained

.pdf Driving test report explained (36K)

Show me/Tell me questions
Candidates will be asked two questions, one ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded. Please find examples of safety check questions here.

After your practical driving test
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.

If you pass… Automatic driving licence issue
If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March, 2004 the examiner will ask you if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically.
If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within three weeks of you passing your practical test.

Sending your licence to DVLA
If you pass your test but do not want to use this automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March 2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner. On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you need to do next. This involves sending your licence and appropriate fee to DVLA who will then check your application and issue you with a new full licence.

Pass Plus
DSA recommend that new drivers who have just passed their practical test consider taking Pass Plus modules. Pass Plus is a course of six extra modules taken with a driving instructor after passing your test. Please find further information here.

If you fail…
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You can take another practical test 10 working days after your test.

Special Needs
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency is committed to equal opportunities for all, providing a number of facilities for candidates with special needs or physical disabilities. When booking your practical test, please let the DSA know if you:

  • are deaf or have severe hearing difficulties
  • are in any way restricted in your movements
  • have any physical disability

No matter how serious your disability might be, you will still take the same driving test as every other test candidate. However, more time is allowed for the test. This is to allow the examiner to talk to you about your disability and any adaptations fitted to your vehicle.

Vehicle adaptions
More information about vehicle adaptations for disabled motorists and the elderly can be obtained from the Mobility Advice and Vehicle Information Service (MAVIS).

Using an interpreter
You may bring your own interpreter for your practical test as long as they are:

  • not a driving instructor
  • over 16 years of age

You will be responsible for arranging your interpreter and for any fees incurred.

Please click here for Show me / Tell me information.