Practical test for cars explained



Your driving test will start with an eyesight check and some vehicle safety questions. You will then start your practical driving test which will include some specific manoeuvres.

The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises. 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.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is now able to offer tests outside the normal test times at a number of test centres. This provides customers a wider range of appointments over an extended working day.

Practical tests are generally available at all permanent test centres. 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 7.30 am and 3.20 pm Monday to Friday.

The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:

  1. Can drive safely
  2. Know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving.

The test will include an eyesight check (if you fail this, your test will not continue). The eyesight test requires you to read a number plate that is a certain distance away. For more information about the eyesight check please use the 'Driving eyesight requirements' link below.

After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions. You will then be examined on your general driving and on one reversing exercise. The reversing exercises will be chosen from:

  1. Reversing into a parking bay
  2. forward into a parking bay
  3. Reverse park
  4. park on the right side of the road

You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

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