The DVSA suggest approximately 45 hours of lessons backed up with additional private practice but this is only guidance as it depends on your age, how regular you take lessons and your level of confidence.
A recent pass was achieved for a pupil who had received 15 hours of regular instruction and no private practice.
A record will be kept of how many lessons you have had plus the subjects covered in each lesson so that you will have a clear indication of your progress.
Your instructor will inform you when you are ready to book your practical driving test.
The practical driving test changed on 4th December 2017. The test now has one manoeuvre plus 20 minutes independent driving where you will be asked to follow traffic signs, a series of verbal directions or both. As well as an assessment on the ability to follow sat-nav instruction. The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they will need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes – roughly half of the test.
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.
The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route – the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test – you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.
One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.
You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
The pass mark is staying the same. So, you’ll pass your test if you make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
The examiner will still mark the test in the same way, and the same things will still count as faults.
The overall time of the driving test won’t change. It will still take around 40 minutes.
The driving test cost will also stay the same.
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions.
These changes are being made because:
The changes follow a:
The proposals were widely supported by the public. The results of the consultation show that:
Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said:
Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people.
These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skill they need to use our roads safely.
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:
DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving.
Making sure the driving test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help you stay safe on Britain’s roads.
It’s vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test.
There are 5 parts to the driving test:
The test is the same for both manual and automatic cars.
You’ll drive for around 40 minutes.
You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving testbecause you’ve been banned from driving.
You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.
You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.
You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways.
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test.
You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.
The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
You’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:
The examiner will tell you which you have to follow.
They’ll set the sat nav up for you. You can’t use your own sat nav.
If you can’t 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 examiner won’t give you a fault for taking a wrong turning.
They’ll help you get back on the route if you do.
You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test 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:
You’ll pass your driving test if you make:
The examiner will:
Apply for your full driving licence within 2 years of passing your test if you don’t want to get your licence 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.
Contact DVLA if your full licence hasn’t arrived 3 weeks after you applied for it.
The examiner will tell you what faults you made.
You have to book another test and pay again. You have to choose a date at least 10 working days away.
You can appeal if you think your examiner didn’t follow the regulations when they carried out your test.
Your test result can’t be changed, but you might get a free retest if your appeal is successful.
Contact your local magistrate’s court within 6 months to appeal in England and Wales.
If you live in Scotland, contact your local sheriff’s court within 21 days.
Your driving test can be cancelled or stopped because of bad weather, problems with your car, or for other reasons.
Driving tests aren’t carried out in dangerous weather conditions, such as when the roads are icy or if there’s flooding, thick fog or high winds.
Call your test centre if there are any of these conditions on the day of your test.
The phone number for the test centre is on your booking confirmation email.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will:
You can change the date you’re given if it’s not suitable.
You can’t claim for any out-of-pocket expenses if your test is cancelled because of bad weather.
You’ll have to book another test and pay again if your test can’t be completed because of a problem with:
Sometimes DVSA has to cancel tests for other reasons, for example, if the examiner is unwell.
You’ll be sent a new date for your test if this happens. You can change the date if it’s not suitable.
You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if DVSA cancels your test at short notice.
When you book your driving test you should say if you have a:
You’ll still have to drive to the same standard to pass, but the examiner can make adjustments for your situation.
You might be allowed more time for your test if you have certain disabilities. It will give the examiner time to talk to you about:
The examiner will use written notes at the start of the test to explain what will happen. If you lip read, they’ll also look at you so you can lip read what they’re saying.
The examiner will usually give directions to you as hand signals. These will be explained to you before your test starts.
You can take a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter with you. They must be at least 16 years old.
Your driving instructor can be your interpreter.
You need to arrange your own interpreter and pay any fees that they charge. You can claim the cost back after your test.
You can take a driving test at any stage of your pregnancy. However, you must be able and willing to do an emergency stop.
When you do the eyesight check at the start of the driving test, you can write down the number plate instead of reading it out loud.
The examiner will make adjustments for the independent driving part of the test if you have learning difficulties.
They might ask if you’d prefer to follow traffic signs instead of verbal directions.
You might be able to choose to follow a set of directions using a diagram. You’ll normally be asked to follow up to 3 directions at a time, but the examiner can reduce this to 2 at a time.
You can take your driving test in your own car rather than your driving instructor’s if it meets certain rules.
Your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if your car doesn’t meet the rules.
Your car must:
The MAM is the limit on how much the car can weigh when it’s loaded. It’ll be in the car’s handbook.
The car must have:
You can use a camera fitted for insurance purposes, as long as it:
You can take the test in a:
If you take your test in a semi-automatic car you’ll only be able to drive automatic and semi-automatic cars once you’ve passed your test.
You can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.
You can use a car with:
Some cars can’t be used in the test because they don’t give the examiner all-round vision.
You can’t use any of the following:
Check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before you book your test if you want to use a: