The Driving Test is divided into two sections The Theory & The Practical. The Theory must be passed before you can sit the Practical Test.
The Theory Test
The Theory test comprises of two parts: multiple choice questions based on the Highway Code and hazard perception. Both parts need to be passed to pass the theory test. The practical driving test can only be applied for once a theory test certificate has been obtained.
The Multiple-Choice Part
A question and several possible answers will appear on a computer screen - you have to select the correct answer or answers.
You can move between questions and 'flag' questions that you want to come back to later in the test.
Some car and motorcycle questions will be given as a case study. The case study will:
- Show a short story that five questions will be based on
- Focus on real life examples and experiences that you could come across when driving
- You have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions and the pass mark is 43.
After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
The Hazard Perception Part
Before you start the hazard perception test, you will be shown a short video clip about how it works.
You will then be shown a series of video clips on a computer screen. The clips:
- Feature every day road scenes
- Contain at least one developing hazard - but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards
- A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction.
How the scoring works
The earlier you notice a developing hazard and make a response, the higher you will score. The most you can score for each developing hazard is five points.
To get a high score you need to:
- Respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development
- Press the mouse button as soon as you see a hazard developing
- If you click continuously or in a pattern during a clip a message will appear at the end telling you that you've scored zero for that particular clip.
You have 14 video clips to watch with 15 developing hazards. To pass you require to score 44 marks out of a possible 75.
The Practical Driving Test
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 demonstrate this through your driving
Once you have met your examiner they will:
- Check your driving documents
- Carry out an eyesight check
- Ask you two vehicle safety check questions (Show me Tell Me)
The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes during which you will be examined on your general driving and ability to reverse your vehicle safely. One exercise will be chosen from:
- Reversing around a corner
- Turn in the road (three point turn)
- Reverse parking
- You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.
Your practical driving test will include approximately ten minutes of independent driving. This is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently.
Show me/Tell me
'Tell me' “Questions
Q: Tell me how you would check the brakes are working before starting a journey
A: Brakes should be tested as you set off by applying gentle pressure at slow speed. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack and the vehicle should not pull to one side.
Q: Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked
A: Recommended pressures can be found in the manufacturer's guide. Use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
Q: Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road
A: Tyres should be checked to ensure there are no cuts or bulges. There should be 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. This can be checked with a tyre depth gauge or the depth markers in the tyres themselves.
Q: Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash
A: Adjust the rigid part of the restraint so that it is close to the back of your head and level with your eyes or top of your ears.
Q: Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working (no need to exit the vehicle)
A: Operate light switch (turn on ignition if necessary).
Q: Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system
A: The ABS warning light would become illuminated on the instrument panel if there is a fault.
Q: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil
A: Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
Q: Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid
A: Identify reservoir, check fluid level is between high/low markings.
Q: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level
A: Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap and describe how to top up to correct level.
Q: Open the bonnet, identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level
A: Identify reservoir and explain how the washer fluid should be filled to a level between the min and max markers on the side of the reservoir.
'Show me' Questions
Q: Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey
A: If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
Q: Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep control of the vehicle
A: Apply foot brake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures itself and is not at the end of the working travel.
Q: Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)
A: Check is carried out by pressing gently on the control (turn on ignition if necessary).
Q: Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working
A: Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. You may need to switch the ignition on, however, you should not start the engine.
Q: Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine)
A: Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. As this is now a show me question the examiner may check the brake lights for you. You may need to switch the ignition on, however you should not start the engine.
Q: Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers
A: Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen. You may need to switch the ignition on, however, you should not start the engine.
Q: Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens
A: Set all relevant controls including: fan, temperature, air direction/source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.
Q: Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them (no need to exit the vehicle)
A: Operate the rear fog switch after switching on dipped headlights, check switch is illuminated and explain that they should only be used when visibility is reduced to 100 metres or less.
Q: Show me how you switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
A: Move the stalk attached to the steering column forwards which will illuminate a blue warning light on the instrument panel.