What can you expect on your driving test?
Applying for your driving test can be pretty nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first time and
you don’t know what to expect on the day. Don’t worry, the driving test is there to find out whether
you can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions, and know the Highway Code and can
show this in your driving. If you can do all of this, and demonstrate it on test day, then there is no
reason for you to fail. Contrary to popular belief, the examiner is not trying to catch you out, they
will be looking for you to show that you are a safe driver. Here’s what to expect from your test:
What to bring – You will need to bring your driving licence and your driving theory test pass
certificate. If you’ve lost your licence you will need to apply for a replacement which can take up
to two weeks, you must have this for your test. If you’ve lost your Theory Test certificate contact
the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) who will send you a letter with your certificate
number. If you do not bring these documents the test will not proceed and you will forfeit the test
fee. It’s also a good idea to print out your booking information to avoid any confusion.
On the day – your instructor will usually pick you up and give you one final lesson for an hour
before the test. This gives you a chance to settle into the car and focus on what you need to do.
Aim to arrive at the test centre about ten minutes before your test is due to start. If you are more
than five minutes late the test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee. Park carefully. Look
ahead to how you will exit the test centre, so that you have a nice confident start to your practical
test. In the waiting room the examiner will introduce him/herself and ask to see your driving
licence and theory test certificate. If you have brought your own vehicle, you will need to sign a
declaration that the vehicle is fully insured for you to use in a driving test. They will also ask you if
you would like your instructor to accompany you. If so, they cannot say or do anything, but their
presence may make you feel more confident.
Eyesight test – Your examiner will ask you to lead the way to the car. On the way they will point to
a car and ask you to read the number plate. This is the eyesight part of the test. The car will be at
least twenty metres away. If you need glasses or contact lenses to read the number plate, then you
must wear them at all times when you are driving. If you don’t manage the first number plate, you
get two more chances, slightly closer but still at least twenty metres. If you still can’t read the
number plate then you will fail your test and the DVLA will revoke your provisional licence.
Show-me, tell-me questions – Before getting into your vehicle the driving examiner will ask you
two questions known as the “Show me, tell me” questions, which are to do with vehicle safety and
maintenance. The first one you have to show the examiner how to do something, and the second
you tell them something. These may be to do with lights, de-misting, fluid levels or tyres. Your
instructor should have gone through these procedures with you, so you should know, for example,
how to open the bonnet and check the windscreen fluid or oil level. You need to answer both of
these questions correctly or you will earn a minor fault on your test.
The driving part of the test – The driving part of the test lasts for about forty minutes. The examiner
will instruct you where to go and what to do. They will expect you to be able to drive safely on
roundabouts, junctions, cross-roads and one-way systems. They will ask you to carry out various
procedures and manoeuvres which may include: turning in the road, reversing around a corner,
parallel parking, bay parking and the emergency stop. You will also be expected to carry out
Independent Driving – The examiner will tell you that the independent driving part of the test is
about to begin and will show you a simple diagram map. They will give you clear instructions, for
example “I want you to move off, and at the end of the road I want you to turn left. At the
roundabout I want you to turn right, third exit, and then take the second road on the right.” You will
then follow the directions, which will involve about ten minutes of independent driving. The
examiner is looking for you to show that you can follow road signs and safely respond to the road
If, at any time during the test, you aren’t sure what you are supposed to be doing, or you don’t hear
an instruction, don’t hesitate to ask the examiner to repeat him/herself.
Back at the test centre – When you arrive back at the test centre, park and switch off the engine, the
examiner will tell you straight away whether you have passed or failed. They will call over your
instructor (if they didn’t accompany you on the test). They will talk you and your instructor
through the “test report”, explaining any errors you made, and if necessary, why you failed. If you
passed, you will get a test certificate which will replace your provisional driving licence until your
new one comes through. If you failed, don’t worry, keep practicing, take some more lessons and try
again. Your driving instructor will drive you home for a well-earned rest.
To find out more about learning to drive in Glasgow contact TX Driver Training now on 0141 764