Driving test

Driving test is the test which is applied by the Driving Standards Agency to evaluate your practical driving skills. Learning to drive and passing the driving test is primarily a road safety measure. It is designed to ensure that all new drivers can drive alone and safely.

To be able to apply for UK driving test you need a provisional license (you will be asked for its number) and a valid debit or credit card for payment (Visa, Mastercard, Delta, Visa Electron and Solo cards are accepted).

The easiest way to apply for a driving test is by using the online application form from 6:00 am till 12:00 pm, but you can also call 0300 200 1122 from 8:00 am til 6:00 pm or apply by post. Payment can also be made by cheque or postal order, but cash payments are not accepted. A completed application form, with the appropriate fee, should be sent to the: Driving Standards Agency, PO Box 280, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 1FP.

After booking your driving test it is important to check its status - has it been confirmed, when and where has it been scheduled etc. During the checking of your status, you will be asked for the number of your provisional license, the number of your theory test pass certificate and the number of your application reference.

If you would like to cancel or change (the place, date, time etc.) of the previously booked driving test, you can do it at least 3 working days prior to the scheduled date of the driving test. In the case of a cancellation, you should get a full refund of the test fee.

Driving test for a car

During the driving test for a car your knowledge is evaluated in several stages: the Highway Code, the theory of driving safely, driving eyesight requirements and show me tell me questions (vehicle safety checks). The driving part of your test lasts approximately 40 minutes during which your general driving and ability to reverse your vehicle safely in various road situations are examined. You will also be asked to perform one of the reversing maneuvers (reversing around a corner, turning in the road, reverse parking). You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise. In addition, your practical driving test also includes approximately ten minutes of independent driving in order to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently.

Driving test for a motorcycle

During the driving test for a motorcycle you and your examiner ride on separate motorcycles. The examiner uses a radio to give you directions. The driving test for a motorcycle consists of two separate modules.

Module one tests how you accomplish set maneuvers on the motorcycle in a safe off-road area. This module lasts approximately 20 minutes and includes the following specified maneuvers: wheeling the machine and using the stand, doing a slalom and a figure eight, cornering, hazard avoidance and a controlled stop, a U-turn, a slow ride, and an emergency stop. Be aware of the minimal speed requirement of 50 km/h (32 m/h) for the hazard avoidance and emergency stop exercises. At the end of the module, the examiner provides you with feedback. If you have passed, you receive a module one pass certificate.

Module two is the on-road test and lasts approximately 40 minutes. It includes: an eyesight test, show me tell me questions (safety and balance questions), a road riding element that will cover a variety of road and traffic conditions and independent riding. The examiner evaluates your ability to do normal stops, an angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle) and a hill start (where possible).

Independent driving

Both the driving test for cars and for motorcycles include independent driving. This test usually takes 10 minutes. During the independent driving you have to drive independently by either following traffic signs, a series of directions or a combination of both. If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner gives you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you do not need to have a detailed knowledge of the area. It is important to understand that independent driving is not a test of your orientation skills on roads, but rather, it is a test of your ability to make decisions safely on the road.

On the day of the driving test

Bring the following items with you:

• An appropriately insured and licensed vehicle, displaying L-plates, that is suitable for the purpose of the test.

• The appropriate theory test pass certificate (or confirmation).

• Both parts of your valid provisional license (the photocard and its paper counterpart). In case you have an old-style licence without a photo you must also bring a valid passport.

• A compulsory basic training certificate for both modules of the motorcycle test (unless the test is within the Accelerated Access scheme).

• A motorcycle module one test pass certificate for module two of the motorcycle test.

Tips for a successful driving test:

• Do as much driving practice as possible!

• Experience as many driving situations as possible!

• Drive at various time of the day - early mornings, during the day, afternoons, late evenings and nights!

• Drive in different areas – the country side, the city, dual carriageways!

• Drive in various weather conditions!

• Have a driving lesson with your instructor one hour before a real driving test!

In case the worst happens and you fail the driving test, you’ll have to wait at least three working days before being able to take the theory test again for the motorcycle module one test and you’ll have to wait at least ten working days before being able to take the theory test again for the car or motorcycle module two test.

21 Oct 2012