Skip to Content
car bonnet open show me tell me questions
white clock learner driver5 minute read Guides Learner Drivers

What are the show me tell me questions?

The complete list of possible show me tell me questions and answers

Kate O'Brien
by Kate O'Brien

During your practical driving test you’ll be tested on show me tell me questions. ‘Tell me’ questions will ask you to explain how you’d carry out a safety task. There are 14 possible ‘tell me’ questions and you’ll be asked one of these at the start of your test before you start driving and after you’ve passed the eyesight test.  

 ‘Show me’ questions will ask you to physically show the examiner how you’d carry out a safety task. There are 7 possible ‘show me’ questions and you’ll be asked one of these while you’re driving the car.  

 The essential car maintenance checklist covers how to do a lot of these safety checks in more detail so it’s worth checking out before your practical test.  

Show me and tell me questions PDF 

 To help you prepare for your practical test, we’ve collected all the possible DVSA 2021 show me tell me questions and answers. We’ve created a PDF version which you can download and print out from here.  

‘Tell me’ questions and answers  

Out of the 14 possible tell me questions, there are 3 questions that will require you to open the bonnet as well as telling the examiner how you’d carry out the check. It’s a good idea to practice opening the bonnet of the car you’re going to be driving on test day.  

 In most cars you’ll need to reach under the dash and pull the lever, this will pop open the bonnet. Then walk round to the front of the car, lift the bonnet slightly until you feel the release catch, then slide it out, lift the bonnet fully and prop it up safely with the strut.  

1. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid 

 Open the bonnet and make sure it’s safely secured. Point to the brake fluid reservoir and tell the examiner that you’d check the oil level is between the min and max lines on the side of the bottle. If the oil level was below the minimum line, you would take your car to a mechanic to fill it up because brake fluid is toxic.  

2. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check the engine has sufficient coolant  

Open the bonnet and make sure it’s safely secured. Find and point to where the engine coolant tank is. Tell the examiner that you’d check the coolant level is between the min and max lines on the side of the expansion tank.  

 If it’s below the minimum required level, you would top it up with anti-freeze solution and water, following the instructions on the bottle of anti-freeze to make sure you use the right ratio of solution to water. 

3. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check the engine has sufficient oil 

Open the bonnet and make sure it’s safely secured. Identify the oil dipstick (it usually has a brightly coloured hoop on the top). Tell the examiner that you’d pull out the dipstick and wipe away any excess oil on it with a tissue. You’d then put the dipstick back into the tube and pull it out again.  

 You would check where the oil line is against the minimum and maximum markers. If the oil was below the minimum indicator, then you’d fill up with oil.  

4. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on  

Tell the examiner that you’d switch on the ignition, turn on your headlights and then push the left stick towards the dashboard to switch from dipped to main beam. Explain that you’d know the main beam is on because the blue symbol on your dashboard would turn on.  

5. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog lights and explain when you’d use them  

Tell the examiner that you’d switch on the ignition and turn the headlights to dipped. Then you’d turn on the fog lights by pressing the switch on the centre console and check the warning light is on. Explain that you’d only use the fog lights when visibility is reduced to 100m or less.  

6. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey 

Tell the examiner that to check the power-assisted steering is working you’d put light pressure on the steering wheel as you start the engine. The steering wheel should move slightly and be light to turn if the power assistance is working properly. If this doesn’t happen, you’d take the car to a mechanic to get it checked.  

7. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car 

Tell the examiner that you’d ask someone to stand by your car in view of your brake lights while you operate the brake pedal. If you didn’t have someone to help you check, you’d park near somewhere reflective like a window and check in your mirrors as you apply pressure to the brake pedal.  

8. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working 

Tell the examiner that you’d switch on the ignition and turn the hazard lights on. Then you’d exit the car and check that all six lights are working, there are two at the front and the rear and one on each side.  

9. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system 

Tell the examiner that you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system because a warning light would show up on the dashboard when you switch on the ignition.  

10. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working 

Tell the examiner that you’d power up the car, turn on the dipped headlights with the switch and then walk around the car to check the headlights and tail lights are working.  

11. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road 

Tell the examiner that you’d first check that there aren’t any cuts or bulges on the tyre wall. You’d then check the tyre tread depth using a tread depth gauge. You’d check the tyre tread is no less than 1.6mm across the central three quarters breadth of the tyre and all the way round the tyre.  

Tip: while the legal limit is 1.6mm, when you’re driving in winter you should aim for a minimum of 3mm.  

12. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash 

Tell the examiner that you would adjust the head restraint so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of your ears, and as close to the back of your head as is comfortable. 

13. Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked 

Tell the examiner that you’d find the correct tyre pressures for your car in the manufacturers guide. In some cars this information will also be in the fuel filler lid or inside one of the inside door frames. You would then use a pressure gauge to check the pressures when the tyres are cold. 

14. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey 

Tell the examiner that before starting the journey you would press the brake pedal and make sure it does not feel spongy or slack. You would then start the car and press the brake pedal to make sure the car does not pull up to one side.  

‘Show me’ questions and answers  

You could be asked the ‘show me’ questions at any time during your driving test. You’ll need to show you can safely carry out a task while driving. If you’re unsure how to do what they’ve asked while driving, your examiner will ask you to pull up on the left when it’s safe. 

1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window? 

Most modern cars have a button to open and close the side window. Make sure you’ve checked where the window switch is in the car you’re going to be taking your practical test in. Avoid doing this at a busy junction or roundabout to ensure safety.  

2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen? 

To demist your front windscreen, use your heater to heat up the glass. At the same time, turn on your air-con to remove moisture from the air and stop the water from condensing again on the glass.  

3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn? 

All you need to do here is tap your horn.  

4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister? 

Press the rear demister button on the dashboard. The symbol on the rear demister button is usually a rectangle with three curved arrows going through it.  

5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights? 

You may already have your dipped headlights turned on if the conditions are poor. If you don’t, turn on your headlights and then push the left stick towards the dashboard to switch from main beam to dipped headlights. Flick them straight back off once you’ve done this.  

6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen? 

Make sure you’ve got a clear path because this will obstruct your view for a few seconds. To wash and clean the front windscreen, pull the stalk and hold it towards you for a few seconds. Make sure you push it away from you afterwards to turn your wipers off.  

7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen? 

To wash and clean the rear windscreen, push the stalk away from you for a few seconds. Make sure you pull it back afterwards to turn your wipers off.  

What happens if you can’t answer the show me tell me questions?  

If you can’t answer one or both of the show me tell me questions you’ll get 1 minor out of a possible 15 minors. Don’t worry, you can’t fail your driving test as a result of not answering the show me tell me questions correctly.  

Preparing for your driving test?  

If you’ve got your practical driving test coming up, check out our tips on how to pass your driving test first time. It might be a good idea to get a bit of extra practice before test day. With our learner driver insurance you can practice with a friend or family member and get cover from 2hrs up to 90 days.  

Kate O'Brien
Kate O'Brien

I'm the social and content executive at Veygo and have been driving for 5 years. I love driving and the freedom it gives you!

Back to top