What Shall i expect on the practical driving test?

The practical driving test is the final hurdle in the process of getting your full UK driving licence. To take it, you’ll need a provisional licence and to have already passed the driving theory test with its hazard perception test element.

The practical test is taken at a driving test centre where an examiner with take you through an eyesight check, some vehicle safety questions that are often referred to as the ‘show me, tell me questions’ and around 40 minutes of practical driving assessment.

The driving part of the test will be split into two parts. The first will have you following directions from the examiner and performing various maneuvers. The second part is the independent driving test where candidates are told to follow traffic signs and/or a set of directions accompanied by a simple diagram.

The eyesight check

practical driving test

practical driving test

First things first, the driving test examiner will want to make sure that you can see well enough to take the test. You will be asked to read a standard car number plate at a distance of around 20 meters.

If you are unable to read the numberplate, you’ll be given a second chance on another numberplate. If you fail to read that one, you’ll be given a final chance with the distance accurately measured out. If you fail again, that will be the end of your test.

If you wear glasses or contact ensues to take the eyesight test, you’re required by law to wear them whenever you drive a car or ride a motorcycle. That includes wearing them for the remainder of your driving test.

Vehicle safety ‘show me, tell me’ questions

practical driving test

Being safe on the road isn’t all about your driving, you’ll also need to be able to check that your car is safe before getting behind the wheel. The vehicle safety questions in the practical driving test are designed to verify that you have a basic knowledge of how to do that.

The questions are often referred to as ‘show me, tell me’ questions as the instructor will ask one ‘show me’ question and one ‘tell me’ question. For the show me question you’ll have to demonstrate how to carry out a basic vehicle safety check and for the tell me question you have to explain how you’d do it. For example, you might be asked to show the examiner the oil filler cap and then tell them how to check the car’s oil level.

If you give the wrong answer for one or both parts of the question, you’ll get one driving fault on your test.

What to expect in the practical driving test

So this is it, the part of your practical driving test where you actually have to drive. For the first part of the test, the instructor will give you directions around a set route designed to take in a variety of different road and traffic conditions. You should drive in the way your instructor has taught you and any mistakes will be marked down as faults by the examiner.

In the first part of the test you’ll be asked to complete one reversing exercise; either reversing around a corner, a turn in the road or reverse parking. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

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