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There are 5 parts to the driving test:
The test is the same for both manual and automatic cars.
You’ll drive for around 40 minutes.
You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving test because you’ve been banned from driving.
You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, eg AB51 ABC.
You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.
You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety checks.
You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways.
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test.
You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.
The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
You’ll have to drive for about 10 minutes by following either:
The examiner can show you a simple diagram to help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions.
You can’t use a satnav.
If you can’t see a traffic sign (eg because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.
You can ask the examiner to confirm the directions if you forget them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction.
Your test result won’t be affected if you go off the route, unless you make a fault while doing it.
The examiner will help you get back on the route if you take a wrong turning.
You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your result if it’s not serious.
The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.
Driving test faults and your result
There are 3 types of faults you can make:
You’ll pass your driving test if you make:
The examiner will:
Apply for your full driving licence within 2 years of passing your test if you don’t want to get your licence automatically.
You can start driving straight away when you’ve passed your test. You don’t need to wait for your full licence to arrive.
Contact DVLA if your full licence hasn’t arrived 3 weeks after you applied for it.
The examiner will tell you what faults you made.
You have to book another test and pay again. You have to choose a date at least 10 working days away.
You can appeal if you think your examiner didn’t follow the regulations when they carried out your test.
Your test result can’t be changed, but you might get a free retest if your appeal is successful.
You have to appeal to a magistrate’s court or sheriff’s court.
You must appeal to a:
Driving tests aren’t carried out in dangerous weather conditions, eg when the roads are icy or if there’s flooding, thick fog or high winds.
Call your test centre if there are any of these conditions on the day of your test.
The phone number for the test centre is on your booking confirmation email.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will:
You can change the date you’re given if it’s not suitable.
You can’t claim for any out-of-pocket expenses if your test is cancelled because of bad weather.
You’ll have to book another test and pay again if your test can’t be completed because of a problem with:
Sometimes DVSA has to cancel tests for other reasons, eg if the examiner is unwell.
You’ll be sent a new date for your test if this happens. You can change the date if it’s not suitable.
You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if DVSA cancels your test at short notice.