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Practical Test

What is Practical Test

Your Practical Test is the actual driving examination of how well you drive. You will be given 40 minutes to show the examiner the driving skills you’ve learned with your instructor. The test starts with an eyesight test of reading a given number plate from a distance of about 20.5metres You will then be asked  two safety check questions, a 10 minute independent driving exercise as well as having to do one maneuvers you should have already practiced with your driving instructor. Watch the following video for what to expect on your practical test:

 

 

How to Pass a Practical Test

Study hard and drive well!

You’ll need to have no serious or dangerous driver’s fault and not more than 15 minor faults in order to a pass your test.

You will also find helpful links here so you can pass the driving test easier the first time around.

 

What The New Practical Test Involves:

 

 

Changes that are being trialled

Two new manoeuvres will, for the purpose of the trial, replace the current ‘turn in the road’ and ‘left reverse’ manoeuvres. You should still be taught these, though.

The table below shows the main differences between the current and trial test.

Current test Trial test
‘Show me’ and ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of the test ‘Tell me’ question at the beginning of the test and a ‘show me’ question on the move
10 minutes independent driving using traffic signs or verbal directions 20 minutes independent driving using a satnav or traffic signs
One of the following manoeuvres – turn in the road, reverse around a corner or reverse parking (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road) One of the following manoeuvres – drive in to and reverse out of a parking bay, pull up on the right, reverse, and rejoin the traffic or reverse parking (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road)

Everything else stays the same as the current test. The standard of assessment is the same for both tests.

3.1 Independent driving and using satnavs

We’re going to use satnavs in the independent driving section of the test, and increase the length from about 10 minutes to about 20 minutes.

Slow speed manoeuvres generally don’t lead to serious road traffic collisions. By removing manoeuvres that need us to use backstreets, we can design test routes that are more open and take in faster and rural driving.

Using a satnav also goes someway to addressing concerns that inexperienced drivers are easily distracted, which is one of the main causes of crashes.

We’re moving with technology and the technology that new drivers will be using. Following traffic signs will still be a second option.

Candidates will need experience of following directions from a satnav.

About the satnav

We will provide the satnav, and you can’t use your own. It will be pre-programmed and the driving examiner will fit it to the windscreen.

We’re using a TomTom GO 50 satnav for the trials. We won’t necessarily use this model if this does become part of the test in future.

There may be a need to use the in-car power. We’ll look at this during the trial.

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Following directions

The satnav will provide visual and verbal directions.

It should recalculate and redirect the candidate back onto the programmed route if they don’t follow the directions.

The driving examiner can also step in and give advice to get back on the route.

As long as the candidate deals with this safely, they won’t be marked with a fault.

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Problems with the satnav

The driving examiner will step in to take control if the satnav fails or freezes. They can then go back to giving directions in the same way as they do now.

Where 2 junctions are close together

The driving examiner will give bridging directions if there are 2 junctions close together so that the candidate can plan their drive.

Speed reading on the satnav

The candidate should use the speedometer reading fitted to the vehicle. The satnav might give a slightly different reading.

The examiner will only use the car speedometer reading.

3.2 Pull up on the right

We’re going to ask candidates to pull up on the opposite side of the road, and then reverse for a couple of car lengths.

The exercise is perfectly legal. It’s challenging and is the kind of manoeuvre a driver will do at some point after passing their driving test.

We’ll use roads that represent real-life driving conditions.

This manoeuvre is done more commonly that turn-in-road and left-reverse in real life. It tests the skills that people will need, particularly for those who go on to be professional drivers, eg delivery drivers.

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3.3 Forward parking in a bay

We’re going to ask candidates to drive forward into a parking bay, and then reverse back out of it.

We’ll use public car parks to do this, eg hotels, pubs and other types of locations. Businesses can stop us using car parks on private property, and we’ll be monitoring this during the trial.

Driving forward into a parking bay and then reversing out is the sort of thing most drivers do on a regular basis. It’s a perfectly legal exercise to do.

The skills you need to drive forward into a parking bay are the same as those for any slow speed manoeuvre – control, accuracy and effective observations.

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Parking and reversing

You must reverse either left or right depending on the traffic flow in the car park.

You’re not allowed to drive through a first parking bay and then park in the bay directly in front of that.

When you reverse, you’re not allowed to reverse into any parking bays behind you.

3.4 ‘Show me’ safety question on the move

We’re going to ask a ‘show me’ safety question while the candidate is driving.

This is no different to what you need to do if the car steamed up or you needed to switch on the lights while you’re driving.

The driving examiner will ask the candidate to use a control when they think it’s safe to do so. The candidate then needs to do this when they think it’s safe.

A ‘show me’ safety question will be asked on every test.

A ‘tell me’ safety question will still be asked at the start of the test before the candidate moves off.