DRIVER & VEHICLE STANDARDS AGENCY DVSA
Approved Driving Instructor ADI

Practical Test

Precisely how you decide to lay out your in-car training sessions is up to you but it needs to be somewhere between 3 and 8 hours per day to make sure you stay on the fast track – you can arrange the details with your instructor.

Our courses are designed so that we can be flexible in terms of how we provide our intensive in-car training sessions but it’s important that you don’t book any time off work on specific days until you’ve confirmed your arrangements and the timing of your lessons with us.

Typically we will be aiming to arrange a test at the end of your course for the afternoon of the nearest Friday – but the aim more generally is always to simply ensure that you are best placed to successfully sit your practical driving test at your local testing centre within the shortest possible timeframe.

Because the UK’s testing body – the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency – doesn’t provide vehicles, you will need to use your instructor’s car to carry out your test. This is another advantage in using our courses because it can be beneficial to sit your test in a vehicle you’ve already had a chance to become accustomed to driving.

It tends to be the case that practical driving tests in London need to be booked at least two or three months in advance but we are almost always able to line up a test for you at the end of one of our courses at much shorter notice.

The reason we’re able to do this is simply because we have such a large number of instructors and an amazing team working consistently in support of them behind the scenes every day – as a result, we are uniquely well placed to be made aware of opportunities to book test slots that open up as a result of last minute cancellations – and we can offer these slots to our course participants.

You might be surprised at just how many practical tests are cancelled each week across the capital and while learners usually need to wait two or three months to sit their tests, we can shortcut that process in a way that helps us fast track our course users and stick to our philosophy of making sure our learners pass their tests as quickly as possible.

Although we at London Intensive are very much geared towards making sure that anyone who attends one of our courses passes their practical test at the first time of asking, there is still a chance that you will be unsuccessful first time around. In this instance we can arrange another test for you and help you prepare again for what will hopefully be a successful second attempt.

There are 5 parts to the driving test:

An eyesight check
Show me, tell me vehicle safety questions
General driving ability
Reversing your vehicle
Independent driving

Eyesight check

You will be asked to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres. Make sure you have your glasses with you because your test will end if you cannot read from the correct distance.

Vehicle safety questions

You will be asked 2 basic vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me questions. Your examiner will ask you:

  • one ‘show me’ question, where you have to show them how you’d carry out a check
  • one ‘tell me’ question, where you have to explain how you’d carry out the check

General driving ability

Your examiner will ask you to drive for around 40 minutes in various road and traffic conditions. Examiner will give you directions that you should follow. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

You will be asked to pull over at the side of the road and pull away during your test, including:

  • normal stops at the side of the road
  • pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
  • moving off on a hill

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

  • reverse around a corner
  • turn in the road

reverse park

You will be asked to drive for about 10 minutes independently:

The examiner will assess your ability to follow a combination of traffic signs and a series or verbal instructions.

  • traffic signs
  • a series of verbal directions
  • a combination of both

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. The examiner will help you get back on the route if you take a wrong turning.

Mistakes made during your test 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.

There are 3 types of faults you can make:

  • a dangerous fault, this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, 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

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’)

If you pass your test your examiner will:

  • tell you what faults you made, if any
  • give you a pass certificate
  • ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you 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.

Show me tell me questions

1. Inside the car

Show me how you would check that the indicators are working – switch hazard warning on and walk round the car making sure all the indicators are working.

Show me how you would check the brake lights are working – turn ignition on, press brake pedal, look for reflections in windows or ask examiner/pedestrian to check brake lights.

Explain how you would check that the power steering is working – by turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an indication that the power steering is functioning.

Show me how you would check the handbrake is working – apply footbrake, apply handbrake, car should be secure and handbrake shouldn’t click more then 6 times.

Show me how you would check that the horn is working – turn ignition on and press the horn.

Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers – turn ignition on and switch on windscreen washer and wipers.

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog lights – turn ignition on, switch on the dipped headlights, switch on fog lights, point to the illuminated warning light on dash board, and explain that fog lights should be used when visibility is less then 100 meters.

Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam – turn ignition on, switch the headlight on then switch it to full beam light and point to the beam light logo on the dashboard.

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows – set all relevant controls including fan, temperature, air direction and demister.

Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey – brakes should not feel soft or spongy and it should be tested as you drive off.

Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted – the head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as your eyes and ears.

Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working – turn ignition on, switch on the headlight and walk round vehicle making sure its working.

Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system – warning light will illuminate on the dashboard if there is a fault with the ABS.

2. Outside the car

Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressure – check manufacturer’s guide, use a pressure gauge, check pressure when tyres are cold.

Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth – there should be no cuts or bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre.

3. Under the bonnet

How do you check the engine oil level – identify dipstick, check oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

How do you check the engine coolant level – identify engine coolant reservoir, level should be between minimum and maximum.

How do you check the brake fluid level – identify reservoir, level should be between minimum and maximum.

Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is – identify reservoir, open cap, look to make sure washer is topped up to the rim.

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