The driving test consists of tests of eyesight, safety questions and driving technique. The test will last for 35 to 45 minutes. You must pass all parts of the test at the same time.
The eyesight test
You must be able to read in good daylight with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn, a motor vehicle registration mark containing letters and figures:
79 millimetres in height and 50 millimetres wide at a distance of 20 metres
79 millimetres in height and 57 millimetres wide at a distance of 20.5 metres
If you do not pass the eyesight test, you will not be allowed to take the driving test. The test will be marked as a fail.
After the eyesight test the examiner will ask you 2 safety questions.
The questions will be chosen from the following list: tyres, steering, brakes, lights, reflectors, direction indicators, audible warning device and the liquids used in the braking system, steering system, engine or elsewhere in the vehicle as a coolant, lubricant, cleaner or otherwise.
The driving test
After the safety questions you will then be examined on your general driving and on one reversing exercises. The reversing exercises will be chosen from:
- reversing around a corner
- turning in the road
- reverse parking
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions.
A section of the driving will involve being tested on independent driving. During this part of the test the pupil will be asked to drive for approximately 10 minutes either following a series of directions or by following traffic signs, or a combination of both. If required, the examiner may show the pupil a simple diagram of the intended route to follow. Here’s an example of a diagram similar to the one the examiner will use: Independent driving diagram
Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.
You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.
After the practical test
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.
If you pass…
If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March 2004 the examiner will ask you if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically.
If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within four weeks of you passing your practical test.
If you pass your test but do not want to use this automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March 2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner. On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you need to do next. This involves sending your licence and appropriate fee to DVLA who will then check your application and issue you with a new full licence.
If you fail…
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You can take another practical test 10 working days later.