The Practical Driving Test

The Practical Driving Test

The practical driving test lasts approximately 40 minutes. Throughout your test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

First your eye sight will be checked. You need to be able to 

  • read an old style number plate at 20.5 metres or
  • read a new style number plate at 20 metres

Next you will do the “Show Me, Tell Me” test. You will be asked one question on a safety aspect of the car. If an incorrect answer is made this will result in one driving fault being recorded.

After that you will be given directions to be followed by the examiner as you head out onto the road. Your test will take in a variety of roads and different traffic conditions on which you will be examined. 

The majority of tests today (approx five out of six) use sat nav as instruction as to which roads to take. On tests which do not use Sat Nav, part of the test will involve some independent driving whereby you will be asked to follow road signs or a series of directions. You will also be asked to perform one reversing manoeuvre and possibly also an emergency stop. 

During the drive a further question will be asked and you will need to perform this task on the move. It can range from sounding the horn, opening and closing a window or using other ancillary controls on the car.

You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass your test. However, you will fail if you commit 16 or more faults or incur one serious or dangerous fault. You will be informed of the result immediately at the end of the test.

The Route

There are various different routes over which the examiner could take you. If you ask to be reminded of the directions the examiner will confirm them to you. If you go off the independent driving route it will not affect the result of the test unless you commit a driving fault.

If you do go off the route or take a wrong turn the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving. If there are poor or obscured signs the examiner will give directions until the next traffic sign that can be seen.  

The reversing exercise will be chosen from:

  • pulling up on the right hand side of the road, reversing back approx 2 car length and then merging into traffic to continue.
  • Driving into and stopping in a parking bay and then reversing out.
  • reverse parking (either a parallel park or reversing into a parking bay)

You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

The Weather

Don’t forget to check a weather forecast for the day of your test. – Newport, Isle of Wight

How much does the Practical Driving Test Cost?

The current price is is £62.

How do I book a Practical Driving Test?

  • To book your practical test online click here
  • To book by phone call the DSA on 0300 200 1122

You will need a valid UK driving license and a valid debit / credit card for payment.

What happens after the Practical Test?

The examiner will tell you if you have 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 you will be issued with a pass certificate by the examiner. If you wish your new license to be sent to you, the examiner will take your provisional license and your new license should arrive in two to three weeks. If you fail the test you can re-apply to take a new test immediately, but cannot take another test for ten working working days.