The Practical Test

The Practical test is a basic test of competence at handling the controls of a motor car and candidates are allowed up to 15 minor faults during the test but no serious or dangerous faults.

The driving test lasts between 35 and 40 mins depending on the route and the traffic conditions. The driver must follow the road ahead unless road markings direct otherwise. The examiner gives verbal instructions when he wishes the driver to turn left/right or to make a stop at the roadside. A 10 minute period of independant driving is included whereby the driver must either:
a) Follow direction signs
b) Follow a series of verbal instructions or
c) Follow a combination of a) and b)

A compulsory manoeuvre is carried out during the test. The examiner requests the driver to perform either:
a) Turn in the Road
b) Reverse into a minor road from a major road.
c) Bay Park
d) Parallel Park

In addition the examiner may ask the driver to perform an emergency stop which must be carried out promptly and safely.

At the end of the test you are given the result. If the examiner records a failure then he will explain the nature of the serious or dangerous fault that occurred. Successful candidates are presented with a pass certificate and can expect the full license to arrive in the post some 10 days later.

Here are some driving test tips:

If you are unsure about an instruction, then ask the examiner early to repeat themselves. Don’t wait until you get to the junction.

You are expected to use all your mirrors effectively (interior and exterior) and at the appropriate times, to demonstrate that you are aware of what is happening around your vehicle. You may notice the examiner staring at you when you approach a hazard. He/she is observing your use of mirrors. Once you have looked in the appropriate mirror/s they will look ahead again.

You need to signal correctly and in good time to let other road users know your intention – other road users need to see and understand what you plan to do.

You will be expected to understand and comply with traffic signs and road markings, as they are there to help you anticipate and plan your journey.

You also need to be able to demonstrate your ability to make progress when the speed signs and the road and traffic conditions dictate it is safe to do so.

Do watch your separation distance from the vehicle in front and also your separation distance from parked cars, use sound judgement when overtaking, meeting oncoming vehicles and when turning right in front of oncoming traffic. At no time be in a situation where you cause another vehicle to brake or swerve to avoid you demonstrate that you are aware of other road users at all times, plan ahead predict how the actions of others will affect your driving and react in good time – be aware of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists etc. act in good time, rather than at the last moment.

Return to the home page.