Driving test procedure explained

What exactly happens on the UK car driving test?

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Driving tests have 5 parts…Let’s see what those are!

Eyesight test

You’ll have to read a number plate.

They will ask you to read a car registration from a distance of 20 metres. You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.

Vehicle Safety Questions

You will have to answer 2 vehicle safety questions

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the “show me, tell me questions”.

  • 1 ‘TELL ME’ question at the start of your test, before you start driving


  • 1 ‘SHOW ME’ question while you’re driving

General Driving Ability

You will drive in various road and traffic conditions.

You will drive on various roads, but not on motorways. The examiner will give you directions that you should follow.

You’ll be asked to pull up on the left and move off during your test 3 times; including:

  • normal stops at the side of the road

  • pulling out from behind a parked vehicle

  • a hill start

You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop (‘controlled stop’); 1 in 3 UK test includes this.

Reversing Your Vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do ONE of the following exercises.

  • Reverse parking on the road, also known as ‘parallel parking’

  • Reverse or forward park in a parking bay

  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic

Independent Driving

You’ll have to drive for 20 minutes independently.

The examiner will ask you to follow either:

  • directions from a satellite navigation

  • traffic signs

The examiner will tell you which you have to follow. They’ll set their satnav up for you. You cannot use your own sat nav. If there’s no traffic sign at your next junction or you cannot see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one. The independent driving is the first 20 mins of your 40 mins test.