The Driving Test FAQ


How much does the driving test cost?

Weekdays = £62

Evenings (4:30pm onwards), weekends and bank holidays = £75

Are you struggling to get a short notice driving test? We can help!

Using our short notice driving test booking service, you can get a short notice driving test up to 75% quicker. This service and the driving test fee are provided completely free of charge to all learner drivers doing one of our intensive driving courses. However, the service is available to anyone, even if you do not take lessons from us!

What is the best time or day for a driving test?

From our research we have found that between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday, first thing in the morning at weekends, bank holidays and during school holidays are the best times and days for a driving test. The reason for this are as follows:

Weekdays (10am-2pm)

  1. Most people have already driven to work
  2. No school run traffic
  3. The bus lanes are often useable
  4. Less pressure on manoeuvres

Weekends & Holidays

  1. Less normal traffic for the time of day
  2. Less people driving to or from work
  3. No school run traffic
  4. The bus lanes are often useable
  5. Less pressure on manoeuvres

This does not mean that these times are best for everyone. Some learner drivers have stated that they felt heavy traffic made it easier for them to pass. The reasons for this are; they drove at a lower speed which gave them more time to process information, it was easier to emerge because people were only travelling slowly and many would let them out of junctions, the driving test routes seem shorter. However, manoeuvres were reported to be more difficult during busy times.

Do driving test centres or examiners have quotas?

This is a common driving test myth. Many people say that driving examiners have quotas and have to pass or fail a certain amount.

Driving test centres (DTCs) collect statistical information about driving test results and these are stored on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) database. These stats are often confused with quotas!

It's not unsual for a learner driver to use these stats as an excuse for failing their driving test. Often this is because they have been told by others that the stats are quotas. The myth gets passed from learner to learner or even sometimes from parents, other family members or friends that think it's true.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) also collects statistical information about driving instructors, driving instructor trainers and driving examiners too.

The statistical information is used for maintaining standards and improving driver training, instructor training and examiner training. It is also used to improve the testing of drivers, instructors and examiners too.

I have a full foreign driving licence. Do I have to sit the driving test?

There is no easy answer to this question without knowing the following:

  1. How long you have been in the UK
  2. If you are just visiting the UK
  3. If you are resident in the UK
  4. Which country you have come from

You might be able to simply exchange your full foreign driving licence for a full Great Britain (GB) driving licence without sitting the driving test, especially if you passed your driving test in an European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country.

The United Kingdom (UK) government has created an easy way for you to check this online. You can check online to find out if you can drive in Great Britain (GB) on a non-Great Britain (GB) licence. You can also check online to see if you can exchange your foreign driving licence.

What do I need to take with me on my driving test?

Assuming that you have a driving instructor and you'll be using their car. (Recommended)

You'll need to take with you on your driving test:

  1. Your photocard driving licence
    (Since 8 June 2015, the D740 paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence issued after 1998 is not valid and will no longer be issued or requested during a driving test. If you have an existing D740 paper counterpart, it should be destroyed).
  2. Your theory test pass certificate
    (Although it's very rare that the examiner asks for it. You should also take with you your theory test pass certificate).

I have an old style paper licence. What should I do?

The old style paper driving licence was issued before 1998 and is still valid. However, if your name or address has changed since it was issued or you need to renew your licence, you’ll need to let the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) know. You’ll need to provide a passport photo and your new licence will be a photocard one instead. You can change or update your licence at a local post office.

What if my name is different to what is on my driving licence?

There are a couple of common reasons why someone's name has changed. These are:

Marriage

If you got married and booked a driving test in your new surname, but the name on your driving licence is still in your old family name. You'll need to take both your driving licence and marriage certificate with you for your driving test. If you don't have a driving test already booked, you should use a D1 form to change your surname on your driving licence. You can order a D1 form online direct from the DVLA or get a D1 form from a post office.

Deed Poll

If you changed your name by deed poll and booked a driving test in your new name, but the name on your driving licence is still in your old name. You'll need to take both your driving licence and deed poll with you for your driving test. If you don't have a driving test already booked, you should use a D1 form to change your name on your driving licence. You can order a D1 form online direct from the DVLA or get a D1 form from a post office.

Either way, you'll still need to complete a D1 form either before your driving test or immediately after driving your test!

What if my address is different to what is on my driving licence?

If you have moved to a new permanent address, then you will need to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the change. You can change the address on your driving licence online or by post. To change the address on your driving licence by post, simply complete the 'changes' section on the letter D741 that came with your driving licence, then send both your photocard driving licence and the letter D741 to DVLA Swansea SA99 1BN or if you can't find the letter D741, you can use a D1 form. You can order a D1 form online direct from the DVLA or get a D1 form from a post office.

At the start of the practical driving test, the driving examiner will ask you if you still live at the address on your licence. If your new address is permanent and not temporary, you'll need to say no, but I have just updated my address online or I have completed the changes section on the letter D741 and will sent it off after the test or I have completed a D1 form to send off after the test. Whichever is applicable to you.

NOTE: Do not put your driving licence in the post if you have a driving test booked in the next month or so. The examiner will ask to see your driving licence and without it, your test will be cancelled. Updating the address on your driving licence online is the easiest, quickest and safest way to do it. However, you will still probably have to wait 2-3 weeks for it to arrive in the post.

Can my driving instructor sit in on the driving test?

At the start of the practical driving test, the examiner will ask you if you would like your driving instructor to sit in on the driving test and be there at the end for the debrief. If you would like your driving instructor to accompany you during your driving test and/or be there for the debrief at the end, say yes.

Can my driving instructor act as an interpreter?

As of 7th April 2014. You cannot use a foreign language interpreter on your driving test. With the exception of the Welsh language.

You can only use an interpreter for sign language if you have hearing difficulties. They must be at least 16 years old and can be a friend, family or your driving instructor.

Can my driving instructor help me during my driving test?

Your driving instructor cannot help you during your driving test. However, your driving instructor can help with opening the bonnet if you are struggling, but that's as far as it goes.

How far do I need to be able to read a number plate on my driving test?

You need to be able to read with or without glasses or contact lenses an old style number plate from a minimum distance of 20.5 metres or a new style number plate from a minimum distance of 20 metres on the driving test.

Old style (A123 ABC)
New style (AB51 ABC)

New style number plate first registration from 1 September 2001.

You only get three attempts to read a number plate. On the third attempt the examiner will measure the distance and, if you still can't read the number plate you'll fail your driving test and your licence will be revoked. You'll need to get a letter from an optician and corrective lenses, such as; glasses or contact lenses. You'll then need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that you have been to the opticians before you'll be able book a driving test with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), as your licence would of been revoked.

If you have any concerns about your eyesight. We recommended going to an Optician and getting an eye test before learning to drive.

What is the show and tell part of the driving test?

You will be asked one 'tell me' question at the start of your practical driving test and one 'show me' question whilst driving. There are 22 questions in total!

Visit the show and tell Q&A page

What is the independent drive part of the driving test?

On 4 out of 5 tests the driving test examiner will set the route on a TomTom Start 52 satnav which you'll use for navigation for around 20 minutes (half of the practical driving test). Alternatively, you'll be asked to follow the road signs and markings to somewhere. It's important that if following directions from the satnav that, you still keep an eye on the road signs and markings as satnavs are not always 100% correct. You need to use your own scanning, observations and judgement skills at all times even when following directions given by a satnav.

What if I take the wrong route on my driving test?

If you go the wrong way, the driving test examiner will automatically re-route you or if following directions from a satnav, the satnav will recalculate the route. You may be completely unaware that this has even happened. If unsure of where to go, politely ask the driving test examiner to repeat the directions or comfirm the direction given by the satnav. You will not fail your driving test for going the wrong way.

What if I accidently go down a dead end road?

If you accidently go down a dead end road, the driving test examiner will ask you to pull up on the left in a safe place. The driving test examiner will then ask you to turn the car around. You can either do a left reverse or a turn in the road whichever is the most practical for the situation. It's your choice on which one you use, but do remember the examiner will mark you accordingly. You need to be able to turn the car around safely, under full control, with due regard for other road users.

Which manoeuvre will I have to do on the driving test?

You will be asked to do one of the following manoeuvres; parallel park, bay park fowards, bay park backwards, pull up on the right.

Will I fail my driving test for hitting the kerb?

You will not normally fail your driving test for just gently touching or skimming the kerb, but actually hitting or mounting the kerb will definitely result in failing your driving test.

If there is a pedestrian near to where you 'touch or skim' the kerb, this may result in failure dependent on how badly safety & control was compromised.

Will I have to do an emergency stop on my driving test?

The emergency stop is done on 1 in 3 tests. That means there's a 1/3 chance of you getting it.

How long does the driving test take?

Around 30-40 minutes depending on prevailing traffic conditions.

How many driving faults can I get on my driving test?

You can get a maximum of 15 minor driving faults without failing your driving test, but one serious or dangerous driving fault will result in you failing your driving test. You can also be given a serious driving fault and fail your driving test, if you make the same minor driving fault 4 or more times dependent on the type of driving fault. Minor driving faults should be spread out across the DL25 driving test report form with no obvious areas of weakness.

What's the difference between a minor, serious and dangerous fault?

An example of a minor fault would be that you didn't look left at a junction as you emerge left. A serious fault would be marked if there is a pedestrian walking or standing near the corner, and a dangerous fault would be marked if the pedestrian was stepping out into the road and the examiner had to stop the car because you'll hit them.

When do I find out the results of the driving test?

You will be told the result of the driving test when you get back to the driving test centre. If you've requested that your driving instructor be present for the debrief, ask the examiner to invite your instructor to listen in. If you have failed, it's really important for your driving instructor to listen to the reasons for the failure in order to be better prepared to help you on future driving lessons!

What happens if I have passed my driving test?

The examiner will inform you that you have passed your driving test and you may be given a debrief on any minor faults. The examiner will give you a DVSA 10 driving test pass certificate and offer to send off for your full driving licence for you. If needed, you can use the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) 10 driving test pass certificate as proof of full licence entitlement whilst you wait for your new shiny full driving licence to come in the post. It normally arrives in 2-3 weeks.

Do I need to do the Pass Plus Course?

You do not legally need to do the Pass Plus Course. However, you can gain valuable experience and confidence on roads that were not covered whilst learning to drive. With a little searching, you can find some great insurance discount offers.

Many new drivers fear driving on the motorway. The Pass Plus Course helps those new drivers to overcome this fear and become confident at entering, making progress, lane discipline, overtaking, exiting and reading the road signs & markings.

Rural roads are the most dangerous roads due to their features such as; bends, hills, dips, surface, width, animals, tractors and other vehicles. They are often not covered when learning to drive in towns and cities. Many new drivers every year end up injured or killed on rural roads, but those who've done the Pass Plus Course are a lot less likely to become one of them.


Contact numbers for DVLA & DVSA

DVLA: 0300 790 6801
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturday, 8am to 2pm

DVSA: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday, 8am to midday

Useful external links

Check if you can drive in the UK
Exchange you foreign licence
Change the name on your licence
Change the address on your licence
Order a D1 form online
Find nearest driving test centre
Book your driving test
Check your driving test
Change your driving test
Cancel your driving test
Refund of expenses for cancelled tests
Apply for your full driving licence
Councils offering Pass Plus discounts
Driving test stats
Manoeuvre stats
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DISCLAIMER
Although we make every effort to ensure that the questions and answers (Q&A's) and website links on this page are correct and current. We except no liability for the correctness or use. If you find any questions and answers (Q&A's) to be incorrect or outdated, or if you find any broken or invalid website links, please let us know so that we can update it. Thank you!