Driving Test Day: How to Prepare and What to Expect
The day you take your driving test can be one of the most nerve wracking days of your life and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here’s what to expect on test day.
The day of your driving test is definitely nerve wracking for most but it doesn’t have to be! By this point you should have received plenty of instruction and practice. Remember that during your test, you won’t be asked to do anything that you haven’t already done dozens of time before during your lessons.
The night before
It’s important to get plenty of sleep the night before. This will help you focus during the test, if you’re tired you run the risk of your reactions being slower than usual.
The morning of your test
Most driving instructors will recommend that you have a lesson just before your test. This usually lasts an hour and is a chance to “warm up”. Shake off your pre-test nerves and make mistakes so you don’t repeat them during the test!
What to bring for your practical driving test
There are a few things you’ll need to make sure you bring with you for your driving test:
- Your provisional licence – both parts!
- Your theory test pass certificate
- A car – most people use their driving instructor’s, but you can use your own
What happens at the start of the driving test?
Before you begin, the examiner will test your eyesight. You’ll have to read a number plate on a parked car from a distance of 20 metres. If you fail the eyesight check, you will fail your driving test.
Next you will be asked a “tell me” question e.g. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Before 4th December 2017 you will also be asked a “show me” question at the start of your test e.g. can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
What can you expect during your driving test?
The practical driving test takes around 40 minutes. During this time your general driving ability and skills will be tested in a variety of road and traffic conditions.
You will be asked to the following during your test:
Before 4th December 2017
- Pull over at the side of the road – this may include normal stops at the side of the road, pulling out from behind a parked vehicle, and a hill start.
- One of the following manoeuvres:
- Parallel park
- Turn in the road
- Bay parking
- Reverse around the corner
- Independent driving – 10 minutes following traffic signs, verbal directions or both..
- Pull over at the side of the road
- One of the following manoeuvres
- Parallel park
- Bay parking
- Pull up on the right, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic
- Independent driving – 20 minutes following either traffic signs or directions from a sat nav.
- Answer a “show me” question
You may also be asked to complete an emergency stop.
Important things to remember during your test
- You are not a qualified driver so the examiner isn’t expecting you to be perfect.
- Forgetting directions or taking a wrong turning will not affect your test result
- You are allowed to up to 15 make small mistakes or driving faults, often called minors, before your test result is affected so don’t panic if you do something wrong.
- You will fail if you make more than 15 minor faults or have one serious or dangerous fault.
What happens after your driving test?
If you have passed the examiner will:
- tell you what faults you made, if any
- give you a pass certificate
- ask if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically (within 3 weeks) – if yes give the examiner your provisional licence
Congratulations! You can start driving straight away but remember that your Learner Driver Insurance is no longer valid.
If you haven’t passed the examiner will let you know what faults you made. Remember it’s not the end of the world and you can book another test 10 working days away. Take a look at our guide on what to do if you fail your test.