The practical driving test is based at one of the many UK Driving Test Centres in the UK or one of the new multi-purpose test centres.
On your test, you will be driving on roads on a pre-set route, accompanied by an examiner from the DVSA. To pass the test, you will need to drive safely in a variety of different road and traffic conditions and commit less than 15 driving faults, and not commit any serious or dangerous faults.
It is best to arrive at the driving test centre 5-10 minutes before your test to allow time for parking up and walking from the car to the waiting room. At the allotted time, an examiner will call your name. He will then check your licence details and ask you to sign a residency and insurance declaration. He will then ask you to lead the way to your car.
On the way to where the car is parked, the examiner will carry out the eyesight test by asking you to read a number plate on a vehicle at a distance of approximately 20 metres. If you cannot read the number plate successfully, the test will terminate there and then.
Before starting off, the examiner will ask you two car maintenance-related questions in the form of a show me, tell me question. If you fail to answer these questions correctly, you will be marked with one driving fault.
You will drive on a range of roads with different layouts and speed limits and you should be able to negotiate any major junction. You will not be asked to use Motorways.
One in every three or four tests will include a controlled stop, also known as an Emergency Stop.
You will also have to perform one out of the following list of manoeuvres:
Turn in the Road
Reverse around a Corner
The driving test usually lasts for 38-40 minutes. At the end of the test, the examiner will inform you whether you have been successful or not, and then will offer you a debrief on your drive. It’s useful if you allow your driving instructor to listen in to the debrief.
The practical driving test will also include a section of Independent Driving. The examiner will either give you a series of directions to follow, sometimes demonstrated with the aid of a diagram or will ask you to follow road signs road signs i.e. “please follow the signs for the train station”.
If successful the examiner will give you a pass certificate and will then offer to arrange for your full driving licence for you, in which case he/ she will retain your provisional licence. You do not have to wait for your full licence to arrive to be entitled to drive on the test.