You can take your instructor with you on your test – for support and feedback
Taking your practical driving test
The practical test makes sure you can drive confidently and safely in different road and traffic conditions, and that you know The Highway Code (and can show this by the way you drive). It lasts about 40 minutes.
For about 10 minutes of the test you’ll drive independently: your examiner will ask you to follow signs or give you directions to reach a destination. This is so you can show you’ll be able to drive safely on your own after you’ve passed your test.
You’re allowed to take your instructor with you on your test, or anyone who’s over 16.
It’s useful to have your instructor or the person who trained you to drive with you: they can help you work on any problems the examiner notices, either to help you pass next time or if you want to keep learning after you pass your test. Having someone you know with you can also help you to stay calm during the test.
Almost everyone gets nervous about their driving test: you’ve done months of preparation and you really want to pass. Here are some tips to help you:
It might sound obvious, but don’t take your driving test until you’re ready. Lots of people fail the driving test just because they haven’t taken enough lessons to pass. There’s no point in taking the driving test until your driving instructor says you’re ready. You’re likely to waste your time and money if you take it too soon. Don’t worry if you think you should be making faster progress. On average it takes people 45 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of practice with relatives or friends to learn to drive.
You can find out the top 10 reasons that people fail the driving test (and how to avoid them) over on BuzzFeed. If you’re regularly making these kinds of mistakes on your driving lessons, you’ll need more practice before you’re ready to pass your test.
Almost everyone gets nervous about their driving test. Who wouldn’t? The driving examiner knows you’ll be nervous and will do their best to put you at your ease. Remember, your examiner wants to make sure you’re safe on the road. They’re not trying to catch you out. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, just ask.
To pass your test, you'll need to keep your nerves under control. Try these things to help:
Don’t book your test at a time when you know other stressful things are happening, such as school exams
Make sure you get a few good nights’ sleep before your test - you’ll feel more stressed if you’re tired
Avoid too much caffeine before your test: it might make you feel jittery and nervous
Arrive at the test centre about 15 minutes before your test is due so you’re not hurried but you’re also not waiting too long.
Talk to the examiner during the test if you want to – but remember that they might not say much because they don’t want to distract you from your driving
Be positive: focus on passing your test rather than worrying about failing it.
If your examiner sees more than 15 driving faults during your test or one serious or dangerous fault, you’ll fail your test.
If you fail, you’ll be given a driving test report showing the faults you made, and your examiner will also explain to you why you haven’t passed. Although you’ll probably feel disappointed, listen carefully to the feedback because it will help you get things right next time.
You can’t retake your test for at least 10 days, so make the most of this time: talk to your instructor about what you need to work on and get as much practice as you can.