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You will be asked two of these questiions at the start of your driving test by the examiner. If you give any incorrect answers, you will score only 1 minor fault - so there is no need to panic if you forget something.


However, the knowledge gained by learning these answers will be very useful once you have passed your test, as it will allow you to operate your own car more effectively, keep it roadworthy and even spot when it starts to malfunction.


To watch a video explaining the Driving Test Safety Check questions:



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    Open the bonnet, then identify the engine oil dipstick (yellow handle on front of engine) and explain how you would pull it from the engine and wipe clean, replace and remove again, then check the oil level against the minimum & maximum markers.


Q    Show me / explain how you would check that the power steering is working before starting a journey.

A    Show how the steering is heavy with the engine turned off, but after starting the engine the steering is much lighter.


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    Open the bonnet, then identify the coolant reservoir (clear bottle to the left of engine) and check the fluid level against the high & low markings.


Q    Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.

A    Apply the footbrake to keep the vehicle from moving. Check the handbrake by releasing, then applying again. When the footbrake is released the car should be held stationary by the handbrake, and the handbrake handle should not be too high.


Q    Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.

A    Open the bonnet, then identify the screen wash reservoir (blue lid to the left of engine) and explain how if the level of fluid is low, you would top it up until full.


Q    Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).

A    Push the horn marking in the centre of the steering wheel to check it’s working properly.


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    Open the bonnet, then identify the brake fluid reservoir (small clear bottle with grey lid behind engine to the left) and check the fluid level against the high & low markings.


Q    Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.

A    Turn on the hazard lights, then walk around car to check all six indicators are working.


Q    Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car.

A    Push the brake pedal (no need to turn on ignition) and ask the examiner to check the lights at the rear of the car.


Q    Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

A    Describe how you would drive slowly, then stop the car. The brake pedal should feel firm, not spongy, and also the vehicle should not pull to one side as it stops.


Q    Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.

A    Describe how you would turn on the dipped headlights (turn ignition on, then rotate end of left stalk up two clicks) and walk around the vehicle to check they are working correctly.


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    The tyre pressures are on a sticker inside the driver’s door. Describe how you would use a tyre pressure gauge to check pressures when the tyres are cool, including the spare.


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    Describe how you would use a tread depth gauge to check the tyres have at least 1.6mm tread across the central ¾ of the tyre, all the way around the circumference. There should not be any damage, such as cuts or bulges.


Q    Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.

A    Turn on the ignition, then pull the right stalk towards you for approximately 2 seconds to operate the wash / wipe system.


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    Push both ‘front demist’ and ‘rear demist’ buttons on the climate controls.


Q    Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light and explain when you would use it.

A    Turn on the ignition, then the headlights (as above) and then the fog lights (rotate inner control on left stalk up two clicks) and check the orange warning light on the dash is illuminated. Explain you would only use fog lights when visibility is less than 100 metres.


Q    Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.

A    Turn on the ignition, then the headlights (as above) and then push the left stalk forwards to switch on the main beam. Show how the blue warning light on the dash indicates the main beam is on.


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    Show how you would check that the head restraint is adjusted to the correct height, by confirming the top of your head is approximately level with the top of the head restraint.


Q    Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.

A    Turn on ignition and point out the yellow ABS warning light on the dash. Describe that if it stays on after starting the car, or came on whilst driving it would indicate a fault.


Note: These answers have been based on a 2015 Kia Rio, so will vary slightly for other vehicles.


Safety questions video

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Driving Test Safety Check Questions