The Practical Driving Test.
Documents you must bring with you to your practical test.
Your theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you’re not exempt from taking the theory test
Your photocard driving licence.
You must bring your signed driving licence and a valid passport if you have an old-style paper licence.
Your driving test will not go ahead, and you will lose your fee if you don’t bring the correct documents.
What happens during the test
Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you will need to perform an eyesight check. You will then need to answer one vehicle safety question (tell me) before you drive away. You will need to answer a show me question whilst driving during the test.
You’ll 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
New-style number plates start with two letters followed by two numbers and three letters ( AB 51 ABC).
You’ll fail your driving test, and the test won’t continue if you can’t pass the eyesight test.
The Independent driving section of the test
Your practical test will include around 20 minutes of independent driving.
During your driving test, you’ll have to drive independently by either following:
- traffic signs
- Satellite Navigation
- a series of directions
- a combination of both
Forgetting the directions
It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember every direction or if you go the wrong way.
To drive independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.
The examiner will confirm the directions to you if you ask for a reminder of them.
Going off the independent driving route
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 independent driving.
Poor traffic signs
The examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign if there are poor or obscured traffic signs. You won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
Your driving test result
You will pass your test if you make 15 or fewer driving faults with no serious or dangerous mistakes.
When the driving test has ended, you can call your instructor to come over if they didn’t go with you on your driving test. At present, driving instructors or anyone else cannot sit in on a driving test during the Covid pandemic. Your driving instructor can listen to the result and help you with any feedback afterwards. The examiner will tell you if you passed or not and explain how you performed throughout the practical test.
The different types of faults
Three types of faults can be marked:
dangerous – involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
serious – could potentially be dangerous
driving – not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout your test, it could become a serious fault.
If you pass your test
The examiner will give you a pass certificate if you pass the test. They will also ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically.
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
You can book another test straight away, but you will have to wait ten working days before you can take another test. Working days don’t include Sundays and public holidays.
Feedback on how Eco-efficient your driving is
The examiner will also give you feedback about how Eco-efficient your driving is.