top of page

The Practical Test is your opportunity to show the examiner that you can put into practice your knowledge of the road and driving skills to be able to drive safely, without supervision.

If you're well prepared from your lessons and practice and you can apply your theory knowledge, then the Practical Test is really straightforward. It's designed to see whether you can drive safely on the roads and can demonstrate your knowledge of the Highway Code. The test lasts about 40 minutes and is conducted by a DSA examiner. They'll tell you where to go and ask you to carry out a range of exercises. You'll be asked to drive on a test route that's designed to test your skills to the full and where possible it will incorporate everyday road and traffic conditions, including hills, traffic lights and junctions.

You can read the Safe Driving for Life article on the top 10 reasons fail their driving test here.


To maximise your chances of passing first time, here are some of the big things to look out for:

  • Making effective observations and good judgement when emerging out of side roads

  • Correct use of the controls and/or good observations when reverse parking

  • Making effective use of the mirrors well before changing direction or slowing down

  • Correct use of the controls and/or good observation when reversing round a corner

  • Correct use of signals including cancelling signals and not giving misleading ones

  • Moving away correctly from stationary positions, including good observation

  • Correct road position, particularly on bends, and good lane discipline on roundabouts

  • Good steering control, such as when making left or right turns

  • Correct position when turning right such as in one-way streets

  • Not hesitating or causing delay, particularly by pulling out promptly at junctions

bottom of page