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The Practical Test

Please review this page before booking your practical test as it lists dates that I am unable to attend.

You can book your Practical Test appointment directly with the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) either by phone or online. Also consider the time of the day and corresponding traffic when booking your test.

0300 200 1122

The fee to the DVSA for the Practical Test is, at January 2011, 62 (weekdays) or 75 (weekends).

You can provide the Instructor's ADI number to complete this, though please note this is not currently mandatory and you can skip it ; Nathaniel Reed's ADI number is 347572. Your Practical Test is usually a two hour lesson, with the DVSA's 35-40 minute examination included within this. Please note, there would be a lesson fee AND an examination fee to be paid to undertake this. The DSA exam fee would be pre-paid.

In order to sit your practical test, you MUST present to the DVSA examiner your plastic provisional licence.

If you are worried about nerves on the day of your test, I have found that certain homeopathic (alternative) remedies could be a solution. Several of my pupils have recommended this, and in particular have used 'Rescue Remedy' or 'Kalms'. This, and many other calming medicines, are available from either the chemist or the larger chains of supermarket. As always, though, I would urge you to try the medicine a few weeks before the test date to determine if any unwanted side effects might occur, and then, if beneficial, to resume taking the medicine a few days to a week before the scheduled test.

Another useful tip to help prepare for a driving test is to review online map services for the suburbs and known routes that an examiner might lead you on. This will allow you to more fully recognise where you are whilst you are on your driving test, and mentally prepare you for certain junctions ahead of you that may be a little more challenging.

What to expect on your Practical Test

  • The Pre-Test drive

    For the first 45 minutes or so of your lesson, you will drive the instructor's car and you will be asked to try and include one or two 'manouevres'. This is simply to ensure you are as comfortable and as calm as possible just prior to your exam.
  • 10 % GRADIENT

  • At the Test Centre

    Your instructor will then direct you to the Practical Test centre. Most centres nowadays are in the town suburbs or even at an out-of-town purpose-built modern building. Toilets and vending machines are available, and you sit with your instructor in the waiting room.
  • The DVSA examiners will punctually arrive from their adjoining office, and call out your name. They will lead you to a side table where you will be asked to present your plastic photocard licence, confirm your name and address, and to sign a declaration of consent. The examiner will then ask you to lead the way to your vehicle. If you would like your instructor to accompany you, you will have to request this of your examiner. ONE WAY

  • The Eye Sight test

  • RIGHT CHEVRONS Just before reaching your car, the examiner will ask you to read a number plate to verify that your eyesight meets the minimum required condition. If there is any problem in reading a plate the first time, the examiner will ask you to read a second one ; failing this, the examiner will then return to the office to obtain a tape measure : this will allow you a third and final opportunity to read a measured number plate. If you are unable to read this, the test will be cancelled and you will lose your test fee.

  • The Show Me Tell Me questions

    Having successfully read a number plate, you will lead the examiner to your instructor's car. If the examiner wishes to ask you any of the 'Show Me Tell Me' questions involving the under-bonnet checks, then you will need to pop the bonnet, join the examiner, and answer their questions. Otherwise, enter the car and two of these questions will be asked of you. You can find the list of questions here ; the page will allow you to print them out too.

    From December 2017 one of the 'SMTM' questions may be asked to be demonstrated as the candidate drives.

  • The Test drive

    Once you have completed your cockpit drill, the examiner will ask you to pull away and join the traffic. Follow the directions given by your examiner, but if you are unsure of what is requested of you, please feel free to ask for clarification. During the course of the test, the examiner will ask you to briefly pull over and stop and then pull away again about four or five times ; the purpose of this is to ensure you know how to stop the car and where, and how best to safely re-join the traffic.

    You will also be asked to complete at least one 'manouevre' : from December 2017, this could include the 'Parallel Reverse Park', 'Reverse Bay Park', 'Forward Bay Park', 'Park on the Right & Reverse', or the 'Emergency Stop'.

    In addition, the examiner may ask you operate one of the following of the 'Show Me Tell Me' questions : open/close driver-side window, turn on/off the front de-mister, turn on/off the rear de-mister, turn on/off the front windscreen wash, turn on/off the rear windscreen wash, turn on/off the headlights, sound the horn.

    DOUBLE BEND From December 2018, the 'Independent Driving' aspect of the practical test now involves following direction signs or following a satnav for up to 20 minutes. Both occasions will be without directional prompting by the examiner unless clarity is needed or a question of safety is involved - though you are allowed to ask if you get confused or forget the route. The element of distraction is being assessed here along with the ability to drive, and understanding signs and satnav in combination is important.

  • The Test result & debrief

    The test will last about 45 minutes, and the examiner will debrief you at the end of it. To successfully pass, you are allowed to make up to 15 minor faults, and no 'Serious' or 'Dangerous' faults. Sometimes the examiner will invite your instructor to listen in to the debrief. If you have passed - well done !!! - the examiner will take your provisional licence details from which a new full licence can be ordered. Regardless of the outcome, your instructor will drive you home. This is due to insurance issues, as well as the adrenaline pumping through you following your test !

  • Passed ! Well done !! :o)       	  		  Image reproduced by kind permission of AW

  • The 'P' Plate

    Presenting a 'P' Plate on your car is entirely optional. It's a good idea for those who have passed but might not yet feel fully confident in driving amongst traffic ; it also lets other drivers around you know that you have recently passed your test, and they then might give you a little more space and time. You would typically sport a 'P' Plate for 2-4 weeks, ultimately allowing enough time for you to build up your confidence.

  • Insurance for your car

    Find competitive low-cost car insurance for new and young drivers at We Are Marmalade !

  • Marmalade offers an insurance service with a parent or guardian as a named driver, plus a smart black box fitted in your car that records speed and handling. KEEP RIGHT

  • Inclement Weather & your practical driving test

    If your test does not go ahead due to poor weather (eg, snow, local flooding), then that will be decided by the local DSA test centre manager. Your test will be automatically re-scheduled to a new date and test fee will be rolled over to that date. If the new date is not convenient to you or your instructor, the DVSA will be happy to re-arrange it for you.
  • In the light of the recent weather trends, be aware that if you book your practical test in December or January there is obviously a greater chance that it may be postponed ! This might become an issue if your two year theory certificate is due to expire ! MINI ROUNDABOUT

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