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Practical Driving Test

Summary

The Practical Driving Test will last between 38 and 40 minutes. It will include 10 minutes of independent driving, 1 reversing manoeuvre and possibly an emergency stop.  Please note that plans are in place to revise the driving test to assess your ability to drive independently in modern conditions.  These changes are listed below.

What will I be expected to do during the test?

On your practical driving test you will need to drive safely and skillfully in various road and traffic conditions. The examiner will give you clear directions and in good time, and you will be asked to carry out set exercises.

Before you can start the driving part of your practical driving test you must complete an eyesight check to ensure that you can read a number plate on a parked vehicle. You will also be asked vehicle safety check questions known as Show Me, Tell Me.

Once you begin driving there should be no surprises as we will have thoroughly prepared you for everything you will need to do. Simply keep calm and concentrate on your driving. If you make a mistake, don’t panic! It is more than likely a minor mistake and does not necessarily mean you have failed your test.

Manoeuvres

You will only be required to complete one manoeuvre on your test from one of the following:

  • Reverse around a corner
  • Turn in the road
  • Reverse parking either into a parking bay or parallel parking at the side of the road
Independent Driving

Your test will also include an independent driving section which will last for approximately 10 minutes. You will receive step by step instructions from the examiner which you must follow whilst proving that you can drive safely and make decisions independently.

What will the examiner be looking for?

As you perform your practical driving test the examiner will assess your driving and he/she will often be marking something down on the marking sheet. Again, this is nothing to worry about. They are simply making a record of your test and are required to mark down any driving faults you make.

Practical Driving Test faults

There are three different types of fault:

  • A Driving Fault – this is not potentially dangerous, however, if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault. You are allowed to make up to 15 driving faults in your test and still pass. If you make 16 or more you will fail your test.
  • A Serious Fault – this is something that could potentially be dangerous. If you make a serious fault on your test you will fail.
  • A Dangerous Fault – this involves actual danger to either yourself, the examiner, another person or property such as a parked car. If you make a dangerous fault on your test you will fail.
How will we prepare you for your test?

Leading up to your practical driving test we will carry out mock tests. These will include getting familiar with the test routes and independent sections. We will also focus on getting your manoeuvres to test standard. On your last few lessons we will introduce you to the DL25 or the official Driving Test Report. We will look at it so you are familiar with what the examiner is looking for and the common errors that can occur on test.

The Revised Driving Test

The government is committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.  Changing the driving test will help to do this by making it a better assessment of your ability to drive independently in modern driving conditions.  The changes are to:-

  • increase the independent driving part from 10 to 20 minutes
  • ask candidates to follow directions from a sat nav during the independent driving phase
  • replace the reverse around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvres with more real-life scenarios, eg driving into and reversing out of a parking bay
  • ask 1 of the 2 vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving, eg asking them to use the rear heated screen

There is no definitive date when the revised test will be rolled out.

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