The Practical Test

On the day of the test

You will need to bring your plastic driving license to the test along with your Theory test pass certificate. These days they hardly ever check the theory certificate, but you are still asked to bring it along. But if you can't find it, the chances are it won't be a problem.

Before the test the examiner will ask you to sign the DL25, which is the document that he uses to mark your test.

He will then ask you whether you would like your instructor to come along with you on the test, and whether you would like him/her to be there when the de-brief is given at the end.

You will then be taken outside where your vision will be checked by reading a number plate on a car, which should be around 20 meters away. If you can not read the number plate you will not be able to take the test and you will loose the fee for that test.

The examiner will then offer to tell you about the driving test as you walk to the car.

Before starting the test you will be asked a question about the vehicle. You will also be asked to perform a 'Show Me' question while you are driving. (see the “Show Me – Tell Me” page.)

The practical driving test.

The driving test itself should last around 40 minutes and will include a number of elements. These will be:

A good confident drive, being aware and reacting safely to other road users, road signs and other hazards out on the road.

You will be asked to perform one maneuver as you will have practiced during your driving lessons.
This maneuver could be either a
  • A Forward Bay Park
  • A Pull Over To The Right hand kerb with a reverse before pulling off again
  • A Parallel Park (parking behind another car) or
  • A Reverse Bay Park exercise. (The reverse bay park excersise is not done in St Albans)
You will be also be asked to drive independently for about 20 minutes, either with the aid of a Sat Nav, or you will be asked to follow directions from a simple map that you will have been shown, or alternatively be asked to follow roads signs to a certain destination – or a mixture of the two.

There is also a one in four chance that you will be asked to do an emergency stop

At the end of the test.

At the end of the test the examiner will add up any faults that you made during the drive. You are allowed to make up to 15 minor faults (the 16th will fail you). Any serious or dangerous faults at all and you will fail.

You will then be offered an explanation of any faults that occurred on the test, and if you instructor is listening he can help you correcting any problems in future lessons.

If you pass you will be asked to sign the DL25 again and the examiner will then take your old license and you will get your new license processed for you. It should arrive back with you after about two weeks. But you WILL be able to drive from that moment on, although you may need to inform you insurance company first. You will then be presented with the pass certificate, which you should sign and date before you drive.

If you fail, then you will be given the DL25 with the markings on it which you can take away for future reference. Listen to any comments the examiner makes as it may be vital information to help you succeed the next time. Although no-one likes to fail, it is just one more step towards passing!