The Practical Test

The Practical Driving Test is designed to find out whether you can drive on the roads safely, without supervision. The test is conducted from your local Driving Test Centre by a Driving Standards Authority examiner, who will asses your ability to drive competently and will test you on most of the skills that you have covered in your lessons. The test lasts about 40 minutes and is carried out over a standardised route that includes a range of typical traffic and road conditions.

Throughout the test, your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises. Although you can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure), if you commit one serious or dangerous fault, you will immediately fail.

Your driving test will start with an eyesight check, which you must pass for the test to continue. You will then be asked a number of technical questions about the car, known as 'show me, tell me' questions, as you either have to show or tell the examiner the answer. You will then begin the practical part of the driving test which will include some specific manoeuvres; you must be able to perform these to test standard in order to pass.

In this section, we take a closer look at each of the individual elements of the practical driving test, including details on reporting for your test and how to book.

Booking a Test
How to book, cancel or reschedule your practical test online, by post or over the phone ...
Reporting for Your Test
A checklist of what you'll need to take with you on the day of your driving test ...
Eyesight Check
Checking your vision before the practical part of the test begins ...
Vehicle Safety Questions
Ensuring you know the basic vehicle safety checks that should be carried out before driving ...
Practical Driving Section
Points to watch out for as you carry out your practical driving test ...
The End of the Test
Finding out whether you have passed or failed ...