Preparing for your Practical test:
Once you’ve passed your theory test, your instructor will tell you how ready you are for your Practical test. Naturally, we want you to pass first time, so here are a few ways we can give you that extra edge. Your Track Record log book keeps tabs on your progress – showing you where your strengths are and what skills you’ll need to brush up on.
Top 10 things to look out for:
The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) regularly publish the top 10 reasons why learners fail their Practical test. To maximise your chances of passing first time, here are some of the big things to look out for:
• Look carefully to judge when best to come out of side roads.
• Use the controls correctly and demonstrate good observation when reverse parking.
• Use the mirrors effectively long before you change direction or slow down
• Use the controls correctly and demonstrate good observation when reversing around a corner.
• Use signals correctly, including how to cancel them and not give misleading ones.
• Move away correctly from stationary positions, including good observation.
• Use the correct road position, particularly on bends, and show good lane discipline on roundabouts.
• Have good steering control, when making left or right turns for example.
• Get in the correct position when turning right.
• Don’t hesitate or cause delay. Always pull out promptly at junctions.
Booking your driving test.
When your Driving Instuctor feels you are ready he/she will discuss this with you.
When you book your test you’ll need:
• Your provisional driving licence
• Your Theory test certificate number
• A debit or credit card for payment
• Your preferred dates and times for the test
• Details of any special requirements such as an interpreter.
The Practical test for car drivers costs £62.00 during weekdays or £75.00 for Saturday and weekday evening tests. After about two weeks, you’ll get your test appointment letter. You can cancel your test for any reason, but you’ll need to give ten working days’ notice to keep your fee. The Practical test can be rearranged up to three times before it’s automatically refunded. Or if you prefer, you can book your own Practical test directly with the DSA by calling 0300 200 1122, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Remember to make sure your instructor is available on the day, and let them know when you get your test appointment letter.
Practical Test Explained
Your driving test will start with the driving examiner checking your documentation, getting you to sign the driving assessment form, then an eyesight check and some vehicle safety questions. You will then start your practical driving test which will include a specific maneuver.
The driving test will last about 35 – 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set manoeuvres.
Taking someone with you on your driving test
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) encourages you to take someone with you on your driving test. This will usually be the person who has taught you to drive, but it could be a relative or a friend. They must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.
The person who goes with you will be able to see how you perform during the test. To get the most benefit from this, it would be sensible to ask your instructor to go with you. They can then give you advice on how to improve your driving, whether you pass or fail.
The eyesight test requires you to read a number plate from : –
20 meters for vehicles displaying the new-style number plate or 20.5 meters for vehicles displaying the old-style number plates
If you fail to read the number plate correctly, you will be asked to read a second number plate. If you can’t answer this correctly, they will get you to read a third number plate at the exact distance above.
If you fail to answer this correctly, then your test will not continue any further.
Vehicle safety questions
You will be asked two vehicle safety check questions.
One ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’.
One or both of these questions
answered incorrectly will result in one minor driving fault being recorded.
These questions are basic safety checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use. Although some checks may involve the candidate opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked, pupils will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.
As vehicle technology advances, more and more vehicles are being equipped with electronic diagnostic systems, which inform the driver of the state of the engine fluid levels and tyre pressures. It will be acceptable for a candidate to refer to the vehicle information system (if fitted) when answering.
You will then be examined on your general driving, including independent driving, one manoeuvre and possibly an emergency stop.
Your required manoeuvres will be either :-
. Reversing around a corner
. Turn in the road using forward and reverse gears
. Bay Parking
. Parallel Park
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow, instruct you when to start the
Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions.
Throughout the test you should drive in the way your driving instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, just put it behind you and continue. 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 faults results in failure. 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.
After the practical test
When the driving test has ended, you can call your instructor over, if they didn’t go with you on your driving test. This is so they can listen to the result and feedback with you. The examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed and will explain how you did during the test.
When you pass…
If you pass your driving test, 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 driving 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.
Please remember that you must apply for your driving licence within 2 years of passing your driving test, or your licence will be revoked and you will have to take the Theory and driving test again.
If you fail the test the examiner will give you some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next driving test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. The earliest that you can take another driving test is 10 working days.