Learner Lessons - The Practical Test
The Practical Driving Test is designed to show that you can demonstrate through your driving that you know The Highway Code and can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions. The test consists of three parts, which are the Eyesight Check, Vehicle Safety Questions and the Driving Ability. On December 4th 2017 the practical test changed to include following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres.
At the start of the Practical Driving Test, your examiner will ask you to read the number plate on a parked vehicle. You must satisfy the examiner that in good daylight you can read a vehicle number plate at a minimum distance of 20 metres (or 20.5m for old style plates). If you need glasses or contact lenses to read the number plate, that’s fine, however you must wear them whenever you drive. If you fail the eyesight check, your test will not continue.
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19. DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions.
These changes are being made because:
1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner. This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.
2. Following directions from a sat nav
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner. You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it. One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor
You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test - these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
These videos will help you understand the new requirements:
It’s important that your car is in good working order before you start the engine. You need to be aware of what you need to check, how to do it and how often to do it. Advice and information can be found in the car manufacturer’s handbook.
After your eyesight check, your examiner will ask you two questions about carrying out vehicle checks. You will be asked one ‘Show Me’ question, in which you will have to demonstrate how you would carry out certain safety checks, and one ‘Tell Me’ question, where you will have to explain how you would carry out certain checks. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.
Advice and information on how to carry out vehicle safety checks will be given in your lessons, so that by the time you take your test, you will be confident and able to answer all the questions.
Show Me Questions video: One will be carried out whilst driving on the test
Tell Me Questions video: One to be asked by the examiner at the start of the test in the test centre car park
The Driving part of your Practical Test will last about 40 minutes, during which your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
Test routes will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test you will be asked to complete an exercise to show how well you can reverse your vehicle. The examiner will choose one exercise from:
Reversing around a corner
Turning in the road
Reverse parking - either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.
Your Practical Driving Test will also include approximately ten minutes of independent driving; this is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently.
There are three types of faults that can be marked:
A dangerous fault – involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
A serious fault – could potentially be dangerous
A driving fault – not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault
You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test, but 16 or more faults will result in a fail. However, if you commit one serious or one 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.
By the time you take your test Lynne will ensure you are fully prepared and you can try some mock tests if you would like to. Lynne has a very high first time pass rate for her pupils and is the highest grade of instructor possible with many years’ experience.