What to expect on the practical test
On booking your practical test you will be sent a letter of confirmation.
- Ensure the time and date are correct for your test.
- Check the cancellation date for your test. If you do not cancel your test within the cancellation period, you will lose your test fee.
On your test day you must bring with you:
- Your letter of confirmation
- Your Theory Test pass certificate
- Both parts of your provisional photo card licence.
It’s important that you take both parts of your licence. If not, the test will not take place and you will lose your fee. If you misplace your licence, you must apply for a replacement from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which could take up to 15 days. If this happens, you may have to rearrange your test if you have an old style paper licence, from 1 November 2005 you must bring your paper licence and a valid passport.
We will arrive at the test centre 10 minutes early. Arriving late means that the test cannot be carried out and you will lose your test fee.
At the time of your test, the Examiner will enter the waiting room, call your name and ask you to sign an Insurance declaration. This gives the Examiner a chance to check your signature against your provisional driving licence. The Examiner will then ask if this is your current address on your licence. The Examiner will now ask you to lead the way to your car, and identify it to the Examiner. On the way to the parking area the Examiner should introduce himself and ask you what name he should refer to you as.
At the Parking area the Examiner will select a vehicle at random and ask you to read the number plate out to him. If you get the number plate reading wrong twice, the Examiner will measure out the statutory distance (20.5 metres or 67 feet, if a new style number plate is read the distance is 20 metres or 66 feet) using an official tape. Get the reading wrong now and you fail the whole test. You can, wear glasses when taking the eyesight test. If you do, then you must wear the same glasses throughout the rest of the test.
After the eye test, the Examiner will now ask you 2 questions about the car. The questions can range from tyres, brakes, lights, demisting the windows etc. These are generally known as the show me tell me questions. If you answer one or both of the questions incorrectly this counts as a single driving fault. More than a total of 15 driving faults and you fail.
Now the Examiner will walk around your car. He will take note of the make and model of your car. The Examiner will also check to see if the vehicle is road worthy. He will check the vehicle tyres, lights and windscreen wipers. If the Examiner is happy with it’s condition, he will then join you in the car.
As in your lessons, before starting the car, ensure the vehicle gear is in neutral and the handbrake is on. Start on the Examiners request and then you’re off. The Examiner will make it clear which direction he wishes you to go. If you are unclear, then ask him to repeat.
Throughout the test, the Examiner will be marking your performance on his sheet. You have up to 15 minor faults before a test fail for example, a little late with indicating and 1 serious. The Examiner will be assessing your ability to control the car. Smooth use of gears, clutch, steering and braking. Although if moving off is a little jerky on an occasion or if you happen to stall the car, don’t panic. Continue with your composure and everything can still be fine. The Examiner will also be assessing your ability to control the car given the road conditions. For example travelling round a bend at the correct speed and gear. Giving cyclists enough distance as well as parked cars. Correct observations e.g., junctions and crossroads. Giving due regard to pedestrians and other road users. Mirrors and signals have to be used and at the correct time.
The Examiner will be assessing your ability to navigate crossroads and junctions, watching to see if you use the M.S.M routine.
There will be pedestrian crossings during your test. He will see if you take the appropriate action for these.
You will be asked to park up on the left at various times during the test. Make sure you stop in a safe, convenient and legal position. The Examiner will not trap you by asking you to stop in an illegal place. It will be after one of these “stops” when the Examiner will ask you to do one of the of the 4 manoeuvres listed below. In one in three tests you will be required to to make an emergency stop. The Examiner will make it clear before this exercise his signal which will indicate when you perform the emergency stop. You need to stop the vehicle ‘under control’ Which means you should apply a constant firm pressure to the brake pedal, holding it just short of the point at which the wheels lock. Don’t leave putting the clutch down too long, or you’ll stall the engine. Though, this engine problem can be easily troubleshot, taking it for granted could lead to serious engine damage that may affect your car insurance. When stopped, apply the handbrake and put the gear lever into neutral. Move off again when told. Don’t forget the M.S.M. routine.
During the test, the examiner will ask you to park up on the left. He or she will then explain that you are about to enter the independent part of the driving test. This part of the tests will last around 10 minutes. The examiner will ask you to follow the road signs to a particular location and possibly show you a basic map to help you understand where you are going. You are not assessed for your navigational skills, but your ability to drive safely whilst reading road signs and markings.
You will be asked to do 1 of the following 4 manoeuvres:-
- Reverse around a corner / Left reverse manoeuvre
- Turn in the road / Three point turn manoeuvre
- Reverse park / Parallel parking manoeuvre
- Bay parking manoeuvre
Now it’s off back to the test centre. The Examiner will inform you that the test is over. He will then inform you whether you have passed or not. Either way, you will receive a certificate. At this point the Examiner will ask you if you would like an explanation of any faults that you have occurred.