What Happens in the Practical Driving Test

The practical driving test consists of 5 parts which are detailed below. We will advise you when you are ready to take your test, however, you are entitled to book a test at your discretion. Anglia only caters for tests booked at the Wednesbury or Kingstanding test centres. The test will take approximately 40 minutes or 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving test because you were banned from driving.

What you need to take to your driving test

  • Your provisional or full UK driving licence;
  • Your theory test pass certificate;
  • A car with comprehensive insurance. You can use Anglia’s cars. If you choose to supply your own, the car must have an extra interior mirror and L plates displayed on the front and back.

Part 1 – Eyesight check

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate;
  • 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate.

New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC. You’ll fail the driving test if you fail the eyesight check so do not forget your glasses or contact lenses if you require them!

Part 2 -‘Show me, tell me’ questions

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions called ‘show me, tell me’ questions. You’ll be asked the ‘tell me’ question at the start of your test before you start driving. The ‘show me’ question will be asked whilst you’re driving. A list of example questions are available from the DVSA here.

Part 3 – General driving ability

You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions except motorways whilst following the directions given by the examiner. You cannot check the driving test routes because they are unpublished so expect to drive on unfamiliar roads. The examiner may ask you to carry out an emergency stop

You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test including:

  • Normal stops at the side of the road;
  • Pulling out from behind a parked vehicle;
  • A hill start.

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Part 4 – Reversing your vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:

  • Carry out a parallel park at the side of the road;
  • Park in a parking bay either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out. The examiner will decide on which manoeuvre to carry out;
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths and then rejoin the traffic.

Part 5 – Independent driving

You’ll be required to drive for about 20 minutes by following either directions from a sat nav or traffic signs. The examiner will decide on which method you will use. They’ll set the Sat Nav up for you. Anglia will provide one because you aren’t allowed to use your own.

If you can’t see a traffic sign because it may obstructed by a lorry, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one. The examiner won’t give you a fault for taking a wrong turning and they’ll help you get back on the route if you do.  

Driving test faults

There are 3 types of faults you can make:

  • A dangerous fault – this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property;
  • A serious fault – something potentially dangerous;
  • A driving fault – this isn’t potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault.

If you make a mistake don’t worry. It might be a minor driving fault which may not result in a fail. Keep calm and collected.

Pass mark and next steps

You’ll pass your driving test if you make:

  • No more than 15 driving faults (sometimes called ‘minors’)
  • No serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’)

When the driving test has ended, you can call your instructor over if they didn’t sit in on your test so they may listen to the result and feedback with you. The examiner will tell you what faults you made regardless if you pass or fail. If you pass, you will receive a certificate and the option to trade your provisional license for a full UK license. You can start driving immediately after without having to wait for your full license to arrive.

If you fail your test, you can book another date so long as it is 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.

Visit our useful links page for additional info and to book all driving tests.