Training for your car test will take place in my Ford Focus 1.8 TDCi Estate. It is fitted with dual controls for your own safety. It is a very comfortable, easy to drive vehicle and has a manual gearbox. However, should you wish to learn in an automatic vehicle, and you have one available, then I am happy to train you in your own vehicle.
Once you have obtained your provisional licence you can start your practical lessons whilst preparing for your theory test. I offer free access to a web based theory test package. For further details, click on the links below.
The steps are simple:
- 1. Apply for your provisional car driving licence.
- 2. Pass the car theory test.
- 3. Pass the car practical test.
This can be achieved in two ways:
- 1. By completion of Form D1. This can be ordered from the DVLA form ordering service at https://forms.dft.gov.uk/order-dvla-forms/ and is posted to the DVLA. This method will cost you £43.
- 2. On line at https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence. This method will cost you £34.
There are other websites that will offer the application process but many of these will charge you an admin fee for their service, resulting in additional cost to you.
It may take up to 4 weeks for your licence to arrive. Once your licence is returned to you, you can then start your practical driving lessons.
The theory test consists of two parts, the multiple choice test and the hazard perception test. The fee for the theory test is £23 and can be booked on line at https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test. Again, please beware of other websites that offer a theory test booking service but charge an additional admin fee for this service.
The Multiple Choice Test
Before the test starts you’ll be given instructions on how the test works. You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.
A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select the right answer to the question by touching the screen.
The pass mark for the multiple choice part of the theory test is 43 out of 50. You will have just less than an hour to answer the questions.
The Hazard Perception Test
First, you will be shown a short video clip about how the hazard perception part works. You will be presented with 14 video clips which feature everyday road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards. Each clip will last about one minute.
To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum points you can score on each hazard is five. You will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test: as on the road, you will only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.
The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.
The hazard perception part of the driving theory test has recently been updated using computer generated imagery (CGI).
At the end of the test
At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you’ll be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions.
You don't have to answer the questions if you do not want to and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions don't affect the result of the test.
When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you won’t be allowed to enter it again. You will be given your result and feedback information within 10 minutes of finishing the test.
After passing the theory test
You will receive an embossed pass letter detailing the results for the theory test you have completed.
If you have passed, you will receive your theory test certificate which includes your theory test number.
Your theory test certificate is valid for two years from the date you passed it. If you do not pass your practical test within this two year period, you will have to take another theory test.
If you fail the theory test
If you fail you should look at the feedback given on the letter and identify why you failed. If you want to book another theory test you can book a test straight away, but you cannot take the test for another three clear working days. So, if you failed your first test on Monday afternoon, you will have to wait until Friday morning before you can take your next theory test.
Once you have passed your theory test, you can book your practical driving test. The test lasts for 42 minutes and the current cost is £62.
A new format to the driving test is being introduced on 4th December 2017.
For practical driving tests taken up to and including 3rd December 2017
At the beginning of the test you will be asked if you would like your instructor to sit in the back of the car during your test. It is entirely your choice if you do, or don’t. After this you will have an eyesight check. This is completed by simply asking you to read a car number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres. Following the eyesight check you will be asked two vehicle safety (Show Me, Tell Me) questions. These are available to download at the bottom of this page.
Once this has been completed, the driving part of the test will begin.
You will be examined on your general driving and on one manoeuvre. There are four manoeuvres that the examiner can choose from. These are the turn in the road, reverse around the corner, the parallel park, and the bay park. In addition, you may be asked to perform an emergency stop.
During the road part of the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. You will be asked to pull up at the side of the road on several occasions. On one occasion you will be asked to pull up on a hill to show the examiner that you can perform a hill start. There will be a 10 minute independant driving period where you will be asked to follow signs for a particular destination, or given 3 directions to follow. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result.
For practical driving tests taken from 4th December 2017
At the beginning of the test you will be asked if you would like your instructor to sit in the back of the car during your test. It is entirely your choice if you do, or don’t. After this you will have an eyesight check. This is completed by simply asking you to read a car number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres. 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 ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving. The ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) will be asked while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers
You will be examined on your general driving and on one manoeuvre. There are three manoeuvres that the examiner can choose from. These are the parallel park at the side of the road, park in a bay (either reversing in and driving out, or driving in and reversing out, the examiner will tell you what they want you to do) and being asked to pull up on the right, reverse back 2 car lengths and then moving off, re-joining the traffic.
In addition, you may be asked to perform an emergency stop.
During the road part of the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. You will be asked to pull up at the side of the road on several occasions. On one occasion you will be asked to pull up on a hill to show the examiner that you can perform a hill start. There will be a 20 minute independent driving period which will normally involve you following the directions from a sat nav. The examiner will provide the sat nav with a pre-programmed route for you to follow. One in five tests will not involve using a sat nav. You will be asked to follow direction signs instead. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result.
The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more driving faults will mean a failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test.
After the practical test
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. The examiner will give you feedback on your performance during the test. If your instructor accompanied you on the test then he will know the reason for the test fail. If he did not, then you will be asked if you would like to have your instructor present during the debrief.
If you pass, the examiner will issue you with a pass certificate and offer to send your licence away for you to have the full B category added to it.