Before a practical driving test can be taken, you must have passed the DVSA Theory Test.
The DVSA practical test currently costs £62.00 (£75.00 for evenings, weekends and bank holidays), and generally lasts around 40 minutes.
The extended test for disqualified drivers currently costs £124.00 (£150.00 for evenings, weekends and bank holidays), and generally lasts around 70 minutes.
Please note that both theory and practical driving tests are available in English and Welsh only.
These changes have been made to improve road safety, reduce driving test fraud, and improve social cohesion.
On arrival at the test centre, your assigned examiner will enter the waiting room and call out your name. At this point you will be required to produce the following documentation:
- Valid theory test pass certificate (Generally not requested by the Examiner, but worth taking anyway);
- Photo-card driving licence;*
Should you be a holder of an old-style paper licence, this must be produced along with a valid Passport; this is the only form of photographic identification accepted in the absence of a photo card.
*Please note that failure to provide the required documents may result in the examiner refusing to allow the test to go ahead and you may also lose the test fee.
You will also be required to sign the DL25 test marking sheet in order to confirm that the test vehicle is both suitably insured for use during the test and also fit for test purposes.
The examiner will also ask if you would like someone; either your instructor or a friend (must be 16 years of age or above), to accompany you. This is encouraged by the DVSA, however the decision to do so is entirely a personal one.
Also, you may find that the examiner’s supervisor accompanies you on test too.
*Please be aware that should this be the case, their presence will be mandatory. If you decide not to allow the examiners supervisor to attend, the test may not go ahead and you also risk losing the test fee. It is important to assure you that their presence is solely to assess the performance of the examiner, not yours. The supervisor will have absolutely no influence on either how your test is conducted or the end result.
Following this you will be asked to lead the way to your vehicle, at which point the examiner will carry out a test of your eyesight whereby you will be required to read a vehicle number plate from either 20 metres (for vehicles displaying new style number plates) or 20.5 metres (for vehicles displaying an older style number plate). On successful completion you will be then given the first of two safety questions known as Show me, Tell me, whereby you will be asked the ‘tell me’ question at the start of your test before you start driving, and the ‘show me’ question will be asked while you’re actually driving.
*Please, note that should you be unable to satisfy the requirements of the eyesight test, the actual driving test will not take place and your licence will be revoked.
The test is designed to be an overall assessment of your ability to safely control the vehicle in various traffic and road conditions, whilst showing evidence, through your driving, a core understanding of the Highway Code.
For a large part of the test, the examiner will direct you around a route suitable for purpose; these instructions will be given in a similar manner to those given during your lessons and should be followed accordingly. You’ll be asked to both pull over and pull away during your test, including normal stops at the side of the road, pulling out from behind a parked vehicle, and a hill start.
There is also a possibility that you may be asked to carry out an Emergency Stop. This is conducted at random (around 1 in 3 tests).
Independent Driving Phase
You will also be assessed on your ability to independently make decisions, whilst safely making progress and maintaining full control of the vehicle. You will be required to drive independently for about 20 minutes by either following directions given by a sat nav, or by following written/illustrated directions, road/traffic signs to a destination or possibly a combination of both of these. The examiner will tell you which you have to follow, and they will also set the sat nav up for you. You can’t use your own sat nav. Please note that the Independent Drive phase is not designed to be a test of your navigational skills.
You will be required to complete one reversing manoeuvre from the list below:
- Parallel park at the side of the road;
- Park in a parking bay - either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do);
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic;
The Marking System
Faults recorded during the test are categorised as follows:
- A fault that is deemed to be of a minor or less serious nature given the circumstances surrounding it at the time. No potential or actual risk to either yourself or another road user. A single driving fault is not deemed severe enough on its own for you to fail the test.
- A fault that is deemed more severe in nature given the circumstances at the time. These faults involve potential danger and possible risk to the safety and wellbeing of either yourself or another road user. Even if this is the only fault recorded on the DL25 test marking sheet, it is deemed severe enough on its own for you to fail the test.
- A fault that involves actual danger to the safety and wellbeing of either yourself and / or another road user; whereby evasive action has to be taken by either the driving test examiner or another road user. Even if this is the only fault recorded on the DL25 test marking sheet, it is deemed severe enough on its own for you to fail the test.
Ultimately, your test will be deemed successful if you make -
- 15 or less driving faults;
- No serious or dangerous faults;
On completion of the test the examiner will tell you if you have been successful or not, followed by a de-brief & assessment of your performance. You will also be given a copy of the DL25 test marking sheet for your records.
To book your practical driving test, use the Official DVSA Online Service.
Factual information contained within this page is, to date of posting, correct to the best of my knowledge. No liability is accepted for errors or omissions.
*Please note that in the interests of both safety and law, I am unable to answer calls or respond to messages whilst conducting driver training sessions. Should your enquiry not be answered swiftly, please leave your name and a brief message (for private numbers, please leave a contact number within your voice message also) and I will contact you at my earliest possible opportunity; your enquiry is extremely important to me. Calling or texting is generally the preferred method of contact as I am able to respond to your enquiry more quickly and efficiently.
An answer phone messaging service is available at all times (24-hours’).