HOW THE PRACTICAL DRIVING TEST WORKS
If you are taking your test with us, we will normally meet you 1 hour before the test starts. This gives you around 40 minutes to 'warm up' and get comfortable in the car before arriving at the test centre car park 20 minutes before your test. We find it useful to run through the 'show me, tell me' Safety Check Questions at this point to ensure you are familiar with the cars controls etc and relax for a few moments. Around 10 minutes before your test we will move the car into one of the marked bays used for starting and finishing tests, and then walk over to the waiting room where we will meet the examiner. Once in the waiting room make sure your mobile phone is switched off, get your driving license ready and try to relax.
Once the time for your test has arrived an examiner will enter the room and call your name - they will then check your license is correct and then ask you to sign their form to start the test. At this point they will ask if you would like your instructor to observe your test from the back of the car - this is up to you so choose whichever option makes you feel most comfortable.
The examiner will now take you outside to the car park where they will explain a little about how the test works, and also check your eyesight with a parked car. If you cannot read a number plate from 20.5 metres you will fail your test, and have your Provisional Driving License taken away until you have your eyesight improved - so if you need to wear glasses don't forget them!
Once you have got to the car, the examiner will ask you one of the Safety Check Questions. First they will ask you a 'tell me' question where you have to just say the answer, and then later on whilst you're driving they will ask you a 'show me' question where you have to demonstrate something.
Next, the actual driving starts. The test normally lasts 38 to 40 minutes and will include one manoeuvre, some Independent Driving and possibly a controlled stop exercise. Drive safely (more detailed tips can be found on the Driving Test tips page) and at the end you will return to the test centre car park and switch off the cars engine.
The examiner will finish their paperwork and then tell you if you have passed or not, and also give feedback on your driving including any driving faults they noticed. If you have passed they give you a Practical Test Pass Certificate and also arrange for your Provisional License to be replaced with a full Driving License. If you did not pass then take your copy of the test result as it details where you need to improve before you have another go. You can book another test straight away, but there must be a two week gap in between tests.
After the test we always drive you back to your home/work/school as you would otherwise find it hard to concentrate after your test experience. If you have been successful, have a look at our tips for driving on your own, and we hope you enjoy your shiny new driving license!