Before you can apply for your practical test you need to pass the theory test, which is made up of two parts: multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception section. The theory test currently costs £23 this covers both parts of the test.
You need a valid provisional driving licence to take your theory test. Once you've got that, you can book your theory and hazard perception tests online, or by phone on: 0300 200 1122 or by using the DVSA LOGO ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE.
The first part of your theory test is a multiple-choice section designed to test your understanding of the rules of the road, including signs, road markings and appropriate reactions to situations. You'll have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions, and need to correctly answer 43 or more to pass.
Questions are chosen at random from a bank of over 1,000 possibilities, and you will be given some questions in the form of a case study. During the test you’ll have the option to skip questions and return to them later.
For this you'll watch a series of 14 one-minute video clips, each showing potential hazards involving road conditions, pedestrians or road users. You respond to each hazard by clicking the mouse button. There are 15 hazards to identify and you can score up to 5 points on each one, depending on how quickly you identify them. You need to score 44 out of 75 to pass.
For both sections of the test you'll need to study The Highway Code, or you can practice on
our free driver pro software through your email address,
Your theory test result is valid for two years. If you haven't passed your practical test within that Two year period, you will need to sit your theory test again.
In your practical test you'll have about 40 minutes to demonstrate everything you've learned in your driving lessons. Before you start the practical test the examiner will ask you to read the number plate of a parked vehicle to check your eyesight, so remember to wear glasses or contact lenses if you need them. You'll then be asked two vehicle safety check questions known as the 'show me, tell me' section. You'll get one fault if you give the wrong answer to one or both questions.
The practical driving test is designed to show that you can drive competently and safely in a variety of situations. You'll be asked to do one of four manoeuvres you've practiced with your instructor, and possibly make an emergency stop. In a 10 minute independent driving section you'll be expected to show that you can make safe decisions without prompting. Don't worry if you get lost, it's not a test of your navigation skills!
You can find out more about the practical test here.
To pass your practical test you need to complete the test with no serious or dangerous faults and with 15 or fewer minor driver errors.
A weekday practical test costs £62. Evening, weekend and bank holiday tests cost £75.
Don't forget to budget for a final lesson if you want one, and the cost of booking the instructor and car for the duration of the test.
Myths about driving examiners abound, and this is one of them. If you are worried about your practical examination, talk to your driving instructor about how the test works and what you may be asked to do on your route.
How do I book a practical test?
You can book your practical test online, or over the phone on
0300 200 1122
However you need to have passed your theory test before you book your practical test.
Yes, you certainly can use one of our cars for your practical test. What normally happens is that you have a short driving lesson just before your practical test and then drive to your test centre. We will generally wait in the centre while you have your test in the car.
There will always be some element of judgement on the part of the examiner when making the assessment, but here are some examples to illustrate what can be considered a minor, serious or dangerous fault.
Imagine turning left from a major road into a minor road and the rear wheel bumps up onto the pavement on the way round. This would be a driver fault (also known as a minor driver fault), and not necessarily a fail.
Imagine that same scenario, but the front wheel bumps up onto the side walk followed by the rear wheel. This would be a serious fault and, therefore, a fail. If a pedestrian is waiting to cross the road and they are forced to move out of the way, then this would be a dangerous driver fault and a fail.
Another example is to imagine emerging left from a minor road to a major road. The gap in the traffic is big enough to move into but the candidate taking the test builds up speed leisurely – obliging the following vehicle to lift off the accelerator. This is a driver fault, not a fail.
Now imagine that the gap in the traffic is smaller but still okay if the candidate is moving at a good pace. If the candidate isn't moving quickly enough and forces the following driver to brake, this would be a serious driver fault, and a fail. A dangerous driver fault in this scenario would be if the gap in the traffic is too small and the examiner has to intervene to prevent candidate from emerging.
What happens during the test?
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. Throughout the test you should drive in the way you have been taught. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driver fault than you think and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe and comfortable standard of driving. You can make up to 15 driver faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you continually to incur the same driver faults, it will become serious by repetition. If you commit or incur one serious or dangerous driver fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.
Driving test standards
All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard, they do not have pass or fail quota. So as long as you demonstrate the standard required you will pass your driving test.
The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. They will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation for the use of the vehicle is not payable.
After the practical test
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can re-quest feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.
When you pass…
Automatic driving licence issue
When you have passed your test, your examiner will ask you if you want him to send you licence off for you. A new licence will be issued automatically by the DVLA.
You will be given a pass certificate to prove you have passed your test. DVLA will send your new licence by post; which can take up to 3 weeks.
Sending your licence to DVLA
If you pass your test but do not want to use this automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March 2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner.
On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you need to do next. This involves sending your licence and appropriate fee to DVLA who will then check your application and issue you with a new full licence.
If you don’t pass…
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback, with your instructor present.
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