The Driving Test 

Getting a Provisional License

Before you are able to take driving lessons you must meet the minimum age requirement which is 17 years, you will also need to apply for a provisional driving licence, you can apply for this up to two months before your seventeenth birthday. You can find out more information online at DirectGov website. There is a current, standard fee of £50 for your provisional licence and once you pass your driving test the DVLA will change your provisional licence to a full driving licence free of charge.

The Theory Test

Studying for and Booking the Theory Test

Before you can apply for your practical test you must have passed your theory test. This is usually a good idea to do once you have had a couple of practical driving lessons and you have had first-hand experience putting the Highway Code into practice. More information is available on the theory test section of the DirectGov website. You can book your theory test at a test centre nearest to you online. There is a current, standard fee for the theory test which is £23.

What to Bring with You

Once you have booked your theory test you will need to bring both parts of your provisional driving licence with you (the photocard and the paper document) before you can take the test. If you have the old style provisional licence (without the photocard) you will be required to bring a valid passport as proof of your identity. If these items are not presented upon your arrival you will not be allowed to take the test which will result in you losing your test fee.

Multiple Choice and Hazard Perception

The theory test is carried out in a room where you will use a computer to answer the questions which appear on the screen.

The first part of the test is Multiple Choice; all you have to do is choose, and click the right answer to each question. You shall be asked fifty questions in fifty seven minutes, in order to pass you need to obtain a score of forty three or above. The second part of the theory test is the Hazard Perception where you will be shown fourteen different video clips in which case you shall be expected to click the screen when you notice a hazard developing. In order to pass this section you will need to obtain a score of fifty out of seventy five.

Both the Multiple Choice and the Hazard Perception parts need to be passed in order to pass the theory test. Once you have finished your test you will need to wait in the reception area to obtain your results.

Once you have successfully passed your theory test you are eligible to apply for your practical test, when you are ready.

Learning Resources

There are a number of books, websites and CD ROM’s for the computer which are designed to prepare you for the theory test. There is an online version of the Highway Code which can be accessed here, which is useful to help you study the theory of the road, signs, observations, speed limits and how you should approach different types of road. You can also practice for your multiple choice part of the theory test online via theory-tests.co.uk, whilst this section enables you to practice a few Hazard Perception tests.

The Practical Test

Booking the Practical Test

Once you have passed your theory test and you are ready to book your practical test you can do so online from the DSA website. The current fee for a practical test is £62 during the week and £75 during a weekday evening/weekend.

The Practical Test

The practical test will last approximately 40 minutes, depending on your test route. You shall be asked to present your provisional licence before you go out for your test, you will then be asked to read a registration plate from a distance to ensure that your eye sight is suitable to drive with. Once you have done this your examiner will take you over to the vehicle you will be driving during your test and you shall be asked two Show me/Tell me questions, one show me and one tell me, which you will be expected to answer correctly (if not this will result in one minor) – your instructor should go through these before you test, there are a list of potential Show Me/Tell Me questions to help pupils revise.

Once your test is over if you have one major that is a fail, you can have up to fifteen minors, but anymore than this and your test will also result in a fail. Try not to worry on the day; an examiner will be looking for a smooth, safe ride with a driver who feels confident controlling the car.


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