The Theory and Driving Tests
First and foremost the theory test has to be passed prior to booking the practical driving test.You may book the theory test before your 17th Birthday but must take it on or after that day.The theory test consists of a series of multiple choice questions (pass mark 43 out of 50) and an “on screen “ hazard perception test (pass mark 44 out of 75). The best way to prepare for your theory test is to combine the learning of theory with practice. This will make the theory come alive!
Once the theory has been accomplished we can make preparations for your practical test. When it comes to driving tests, there will always be someone willing to give free advice about what will or won’t happen on the day and what you should or shouldn’t do. ”Move your head alot when you look in the mirrors” (its what you see and register that matters !), ”the driving test in the next town is a lot easier” (are you able to drive competently on differing roads?) It’s all well meant BUT you will pass or fail on your own merit!
If you are fully prepared (which you will be!) ,have listened to guidance and believe in yourself you will find it much easier ! You are allowed 15 minor driving faults but no serious driving faults over the course of the 38 / 45 minute test.Prior to your driving test we will give you several “mock driving tests ” which will be conducted in the same manner to give you an idea of how advanced your driving skills have become.
The driving test was updated on 4th December 2017 to include a 20 minute “independent drive” .On four out of five tests this will be via a Satnav that the examiner will set up ; on 1 out of 5 tests this drive will be following road signs /markings to a destination. This reflects the need for all newly qualified drivers to be able to read and react appropriately to upcoming signs / roadmarkings as though navigating by themselves. One reversing manoeuvre will be selected from a parallel park, pull up on the right hand side of the road then reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the carriageway ,drive into a parking space and reverse out OR reverse in and drive out.
The driving test is designed to examine your ability to drive safely and apply the rules of the road. Passing the test does not mean that you are going to be a good driver, but it does mean a highly-trained examiner considers that you are skilful enough behind the wheel to drive on your own without further assessment!
“Show me, tell me “questions are an integral part of the practical test and are designed to get you ready for using and maintaining your own vehicle. 1 question will be prior to moving off in your test and then 1 show me question on the move.The single “Show Me” question while driving may be phrased “When its safe to do so ,can you show me how to “….
wash and clean the front or rear windscreen; switch on your dipped headlights; set the rear demister; operate the horn;demist the front windscreen or open and close the side window.
Questions about the car
The vehicle check questions are designed to ensure that all test candidates understand basic car care. You will be asked two questions about the operation and maintenance of your test vehicle.
The topic areas for car drivers are: Tyres, brakes, steering, fluids, lights & reflectors, direction indicators & horn. Below are the current questions and answers!
1. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
Ignition on, prompt Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. (May need to switch not to start engine).
2. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
3. Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).
Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (May need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine).
4. Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively, turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
5. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
6. Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear; make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.
7. Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.
8. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
9. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.
10. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable.
N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.
11. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.
12. Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
13. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).
Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).
14. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary.
15. Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working. (No need to exit vehicle).
Explanation: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle. (As this is a “Tell Me” question, there is no need to physically check the lights).
16. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.
Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.
17. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle).
Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.
18. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.
Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.
19. Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.