The Driving Test
The Driving Test should be a straight forward demonstration of your ability to drive safely and independently, however for many being nervous can be a big obstacle to overcome.
Taking the Driving Tea too earlier without being fully prepaid can be a costly mistake, as well as ultimately taking longer of your we’re to be unsuccessful.
Before taking your Driving Test it is best to be confident of your ability to drive safely on a variety of roads and if you’re still relying on your instructor to ‘help’ then you should probably question if you’re ready to take the Driving Test.
The Driving Test is just an assessment of your ability on the given day, however you should be planning to be skilful enough be able to pass the ‘Safe Driving for Life’ criteria.
Booking Your Test
Where you decide to take your Driving Test is a decision that you can take after seeking advice from your Driving Instructor.
During your lessons you will practice in areas that you might take your test, you will therefore be familiar with the area, but it’s also important to gain practice on a variety of roads.
It makes sense to book your Driving Test around the areas that you have been practicing in, doing this will help you manage difficult junctions and be confident of complex road layouts.
It is important to remember that just driving around test routes will not prepare your for a life time of safe driving, so you will learn on a variety of roads and conditions.
The following Driving Test Centres are available locally;
After taking advice from your instructor about the you will be ready to take your Driving Test, you or your instructor can check test availability at your preferred test centre.
There is usually a waiting list for test availability, this can be a number of weeks so waiting times need to be considered when nearing test standard.
Booking the Driving Test can be done online at the official DVSA website. You should avoid using one of the many booking agent website that will appear on the internet when you search for driving tests, they will charge you a premium and are not official DVSA sites. Use the link below to go directly to the DVSA website to book your Driving Test.
The current cost of a Driving Test is £62 and £75 for a weekend test slot.
If you are being asked to pay any more, then you are not using the official DVSA website.
Alternatively, you can telephone the DVSA (0300 200 1122) if you need to book additional help for your driving test, as you may have a hearing problems or you may be on the Autistic spectrum, the examiner will then be able to offer more help based on your needs.
On Your Driving Test
At the start of your Driving Test you will be asked to sign the marking sheet, done on an iPad, to confirm that the car you will be using is insured for you to drive and that you have been a resident in the UK for the last 6 months.
The Driving Test is about 40 minutes long, during which you will you will drive on a variety of roads, complete one manoeuvre, driving independently for approx 20 minutes and maybe get asked to complete a controlled stop.
Before the start of your Driving Test you will be asked to read a car number plate from a distance of 20.5m.
This eye sight check must be passed or your test will to be allowed to continue, so if in doubt get your eye sight check well in advance.
You will be asked two vehicle maintenance, safety checks as part of your Driving Test, one of these will be done during your drive.
The first question, generally called the ‘Tell Me” question is done at the start and the second is done as you are driving.
Being confident about using the auxiliary controls of the car while on the move is important, as the examiner will assess your ability to maintain full control of the car whilst operating the required switches.
You can’t fail the test for not knowing the answer, but you will be judged on your car control while you complete the task.
Tell Me Questions
Show Me Questions
What to expect......
You will be asked to complete one of the following manoeuvres;
You might also be asked to complete the Controlled Stop exercise, sometimes called the Emergency Stop. It’s not classed as a manoeuvre, and is attempted in approximately 1 in 3 Driving Tests, so it’s not guaranteed to be done.
You will also be required to drive independently for approximately 20 minutes following a series of verbal instructions from the examiner or using the Sat Nav system that the examiner brings with them for the test. If you are unsure what you are being asked to do, then ask the examiner to clarify the instruction. They don’t mind you going the wrong way so long as you drive safely.
While you are driving the examiner will be recording any driver faults on the iPad they are using. The faults fall into 3 categories, minor, serious or dangerous driver faults.
At the end of your Driving Test the examiner will notify you of the result and give you any feedback in regards to any driver faults that they have recorded.
It’s a good idea to share this report with your driving instructor so they can plan any remedial work in readiness for another attempt at the Driving Test.