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Driving test information
On the exam day
1. Reporting for practical test
Before applying for the practical test, you need to pass online theory test. When attending for your driving practical test you must produce certain documents and have an appropriately insured and licensed vehicle suitable for the dsa test. Make sure you have these documents available when the examiner calls your name.
You must bring the following items with you. If you do not, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) may refuse to carry out the test and you may lose your fee.
An appropriately insured and licensed vehicle, displaying L- Plates (except for taxi and Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) part 2 tests), that is suitable for the purpose of the test
The appropriate theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you are not exempt.
Your appointment letter
  • Both parts of your photo card licence. If you do not take both parts of your licence your test will not take place and you will lose your fee.
  • If you have an old-style paper licence, you must take your signed driver licence and a valid passport - from 1 November 2005 no other form of photographic identification will be accepted.
  • If you misplace your licence, you must apply for a replacement from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which could take up to 15 days. If this happens, you may have to rearrange your test.
    Remember :
    No licence
    No photo
    No test
    - And you will lose your fee!
2. Eye sight test
Before you enter your vehicle the examiner will give you an eye test, you must prove to the examiner that in good daylight, you can read a number plate with letters 79.4 mm height at a minimum of 20.5 m (67 feet). Number plates with a thinner font, typically those introduced after 2001 should be read from at least 20 meters (66 feet). You may wear glasses or contact lenses to read the number plate, however you must insure you always wear them when you are driving in the future.
3. Vehicle safety questions/Show me tell me questions
After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions.
These 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 in 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 questions on fluid levels or tyre pressures.
Candidates will be asked two questions, one 'show me' and one 'tell me'. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.
4. Driving test manoeuvres - Car
During the test, the examiner will ask the candidate to carry out any TWO manoeuvres from the following three:
  • Turn in the road
  • Left corner reverse
  • Right corner reverse (though in practice this occurs very rarely)
    Reverse park (bay park (only in test centre car park) or parallel park) Manoeuvres are selected at random by the examiner selecting a sheet at the test centre, which also determines the test route, and if an emergency stop is done (1 in 3).
Candidates taking the test after having their licence revoked must carry out ALL manoeuvres.
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise

A. Reversing around a corner :
You should be able to reverse your car smoothly, correctly, safely, under full control. The examiner will normally ask you to pull up just before a side road on the left, point to the side road and ask you to reverse into it.
  • You should make sure that you can carry out the exercise correctly and safely
  • Check traffic and road conditions in all directions
  • Reverse around the corner keeping a good lookout for traffic or pedestrians
  • Straighten up your car and continue to reverse for a reasonable distance
  • Pull up in a safe position and wait for your examiners next instruction
Expected outcome / competence :
  • Ability to control the vehicle accurately whilst reversing to the left/right.
  • Effective all round observation throughout the manoeuvre showing consideration to other road users.
  • Poor co-ordination of controls
  • Stalling
  • Mounting the pavement or kerb
  • Turning the steering wheel the wrong way
  • Going wide after the corner
  • Finishing at an acute angle
  • Scrubbing-brushing-touching the kerb
  • Taking an excessive amount of time to complete the manoeuvre
  • No blind spot checks
  • No observation at or before the point of turn
  • Excessive use of the door mirrors
  • Not looking directly behind
  • Not reacting to passing or approaching vehicles
  • Not reacting to pedestrians
  • Waiting unnecessarily for other roads users
B. Turning in the road
You should be able to turn your car around in the road so that it faces in the opposite direction using the forward and reverse gears, taking at least three moves.

Expected outcome / competence
  • Ability to display low speed control and observation skills necessary to carry out this exercise safely with due regard for other road users and pedestrians
  • Poor co-ordination of controls
  • Mounting the pavement or kerb
  • Stalling
  • Turning the wheel the wrong way
  • Taking an excessively long time to complete the manoeuvre
  • No blind spot checks
  • Not looking to the left or right before reversing or pulling forwards
  • Stalling
  • Not looking directly behind

C. Reverse parking/ Bay parking
You should be able to park your car safely either at the kerb (by reversing into the space of about two car lengths) or off the road (by reversing neatly into a bay).

Expected outcome / competence
  • Ability to control the vehicle accurately when parking on the road or into a parking bay.
  • Effective all round observation throughout the manoeuvre showing consideration to other road users.
  • Poor co-ordination of controls
  • Scrubbing/brushing the kerb
  • Unnecessary shunting backwards and forwards
  • Getting too close to the object car
  • Mounting the pavement
  • Turning the steering wheel the wrong way
  • Parking too far from the kerb
  • Stalling
  • Not completing within two car lengths
  • Finishing at an acute angle to the kerb
Car Park
  • Poor co-ordination of controls
  • Ending up straddling two bays
  • Unnecessary shunting forwards and backwards
  • Turning the steering wheel the wrong way
  • Stalling
  • No blind spot checks
  • Relying too much or entirely on the mirrors
  • Ineffective observation
  • Looking but not reacting to other vehicles or pedestrians
  • Waiting too long for other users in the car park
D. The Emergency Stop

Expected outcome / competence
  • Display a high level of skill in bringing the vehicle to a stop, safely, promptly and under full control avoiding locking the wheels.
  • Remember, in wet weather it can take twice as long to stop safely.
  • Late or slow reaction to the signal
  • Applying the handbrake before stopping
  • Skidding out of control
  • Missing the footbrake pedal
  • Letting go of the steering wheel

Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.