The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:
What will the test include?
The test will include an eyesight test (if you fail this, your test will not continue).
After the eyesight test you will be examined on your general driving and on one
reversing exercise. The reversing exercise will be chosen from:
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.
A standard driving test takes about 40 minutes.
What happens during the test?
For the majority of 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. During the test, the examiner
will ask you to carry out set exercises.
During the independent driving section you'll have to drive independently by either
To help you understand where you are going when following verbal directions, the
examiner will show you a diagram.
It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way -
that can happen to the most experienced drivers.
Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving
independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it's
safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you're going.
Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you
make a mistake, don't worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and
may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard
You can make up to 15 driving faults during the test and still pass the test (16 or
more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous 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.
You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16
years old and cannot take any part in the test.
Driving test standards
All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard, they do not
have pass or fail quotas. So as long as you demonstrate the standard required you
will pass your driving test.
Weather conditions/ mechanical problems etc.
The DSA 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 is not payable. Candidates should call the
telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will
If the driving test is not completed for reasons attributable to you or your vehicle,
you will have to take another test at your own cost.