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Practical driving Test Information

This page is designed to give you information to help you with the practical driving test. If your question is not answered here please fee free to e mail us and we will be happy to try and help.

How do I book my Driving Test?
You can telephone the Driving Standards Agency on 08700101372 to book your test over the telephone. The lines are open Mon-Fri 8am until 6pm, sometimes you can catch them on a Saturday morning if your are lucky. You can also book online 24 hours a day.

How do I know I am ready to take the test?
Do you feel ready? Discuss this with your Driving Instructor, remember he/she is a professional and knows what the Examiners are looking for. Can you drive for 40 minutes without any instruction or help? If you answer yes you may be ready.

Do you have any special needs?
If you require any special needs facilities at your practical test you will need to request these at the time of booking.

Can I reschedule or cancel a test?
You can reschedule or cancel a practical test either online or over the phone up to three clear working days before the test without loss of fee. The DSA counts Saturday as a working day, this means you can rearrange a test for a Tuesday on the Thursday before. If you do it within 3 days you loose your test fee.

Can I take the test in my own car?
Yes, as long as the vehicle has the required requirements.

What are the vehicle requirements?
As follows:

  • a seatbelt for the examiner

  • a passenger head restraint, this need not be adjustable but must be fitted as an integral part of the seat.  ‘Slip on’ type head restraints are not permissable

  • an interior mirror for the examiner's use

  • L-plates displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle but not interfering with the driver or examiner’s view

  • have a speedometer that measures speed in miles per hour and kilometres per hour

  • have no warning lights showing ie the airbag warning light

  • be legal and roadworthy

What are the test times?
The test times differ at each test centre. Saturday and weekday evening tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 07:30 and 15:27 Monday to Friday. 

What will the test include?
The test lasts 40 minutes and will include an eyesight test (if you fail this, your test will not continue). After the eyesight test you will be examined on your general driving and on two reversing exercises.

What happens during the driving test?
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises.

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped. You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.

What will happen if the weather is bad?
DSA do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. They will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. Candidates should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will go ahead. If the driving test is not completed for reasons attributable to you or your vehicle, you will have to take another test at your own cost. 

Will I be told the result straightaway?
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.

How do I get my driving licence?
If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March, 2004 the examiner will ask you if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically. If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within three weeks of you passing your practical test.

What if I fail?
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You can take another practical test 10 working days after your car or motorcycle test. Ask the advice of your Driving Instructor as to what you should do next.