Taking Your Practical Driving Tests...
Before driving on a public road you will need a valid Provisional Driving Licence. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency application form (Form D1) can be obtained from your local Post Office but you can also apply online from the official Gov UK website.
You can apply for your licence up to 3 months before your 17th Birthday but it will not be valid until you actually turn 17 so you will not be able to take lessons on a public road, or take your theory test until then.
The Practical Test
The driving test is designed for you to show your practical skills and understanding of the Highway Code and the theory of driving safely. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:
can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions
know The Highway Code and can show this through your driving ability
Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you'll have an eyesight check and be asked a "tell me" vehicle safety and a further 'show me' question when you are on the move.
To view these questions, click here.
The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes and take in a variety of road and traffic conditions. Throughout the test your examiner will give you directions which you should follow and he will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You should drive in the way you have been trained and try to stay calm. Treat the test like another driving lesson!
You'll be asked to complete an exercise to show how well you can reverse your vehicle. The examiner will choose one exercise from:
reversing into a parking bay on the left or right
driving forward into a parking bay, on the left or right, and reversing out
pulling up on the right, reversing for two car lengths and moving off
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.
Your driving test will include around twenty minutes of independent driving. This is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently. During your test you will be required to drive independently by either of the following:
Directions given by a SatNav
Don’t worry if you go the wrong way – that can happen to the most experienced driver. Independent driving is not a test of your navigation skills. It means making your own decisions, which includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you are going. If you ask for a clarification of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you.
If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
If you go off the independent route or take a wrong turn, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving. Don’t worry, it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault in the process.
To pass your driving test you must achieve less than 16 minor driving faults and you must not make any serious or dangerous faults.
Remember. There are no pass or fail quotas! So long as you show the required standard, you'll pass your driving test.