Image by Christopher Elison

On the day of your Practical Driving Test you must make sure you bring with you:

  • Your theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you are not exempt
  • Photo card provisional licence

You must also bring an appropriately insured and licensed vehicle suitable for the Practical Driving Test.

What will I be asked to do on my Practical Driving Test?

On your practical driving test you will need to drive safely and skilfully in various road and traffic conditions. The examiner will give you clear directions and in good time, and you will be asked to carry out set exercises.

Before you can start the driving part of your practical driving test you must complete an eyesight check to ensure that you can read a number plate on a parked vehicle. You will also be asked vehicle safety check questions known as “Show Me, Tell Me”.

Once you begin driving, there should be no surprises, as your instructor will have thoroughly prepared you for everything you’ll need to do. Simply keep calm and concentrate on your driving. If you make a mistake, don’t panic, it will make things worse! It’s more than likely a minor mistake and doesn’t necessarily mean you have failed your test.

Manoeuvres in the Practical Driving Test

You will only be required to complete one manoeuvre on your practical driving test, from one of the following:

  • reverse around a corner
  • turn in the road
  • reverse parking – either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road

Independent Driving in the Practical Driving Test

Your practical driving test will also include the Independent Driving which will last for approximately 10 minutes. You will receive step by step instructions from the examiner which you must follow, whilst proving that you can drive safely and make decisions independently.

What will the examiner be looking for on your Practical Driving Test

As you perform your practical driving test the examiner will assess your driving, and he/she will often be marking something down on a piece of paper. Again, this is nothing to worry about. They are simply making a record of your test and are required to mark down any driving faults you make.

Practical Driving Test faults

There are three different types of fault:

A Minor Fault – this is not potentially dangerous, however, if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault. You are allowed to make up to 15 driving faults in your test and still pass. If you make 16 or more you will fail your DVSA driving test.

A serious fault – this is something that could potentially be dangerous. If you make a serious fault on your test you will fail.

A dangerous fault – this involves actual danger to either yourself, the examiner, another person or property such as a parked car. If you make a dangerous fault on your DVSA driving test you will fail.

At the end of your Practical Driving Test

Providing you have not accrued 16 or more minor faults, or a single serious or dangerous fault, you will pass your practical driving test.

On arrival back at the test centre your examiner will go through your driving test report. You may want to ask your instructor to come and listen to the explanation.

Even if you’ve passed, it’s still worth listening to what the examiner has to say because they’ll be pointing out your minor faults. This way you’ll become aware of the small mistakes you make whilst driving, enabling you to do your best to eliminate them and become a better driver.

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