The Driving Test
Once you have passed your theory test, your driving instructor will advise you when to apply for your driving test. This can be booked online, your instructor can book it for you and waiting times can vary through out the year. The best way to book your test is via the official DVSA website, be careful as there are other sites which will book your test for you but charge you a fee. The driving test costs £62 and can only be taken on weekdays in Southport.
The test last approximately 40 minutes and is conducted by a DVSA examiner. Most test routes involve town driving and if possible single and dual carriage way roads outside the 20mph speed limits.
On the day of your test you must bring your provisional photo card license. Your Driving instructor can come on your driving test with you and sit in the back of the car if you wish.
On leaving the test center the examiner will ask you which car is yours and then check your eyesight by asking you to read a car number plate. The examiner will sit in the front passenger seat and will explain how the driving test will work. You will be asked to start the car and move away. In December 2017 a number of changes were made to the driving test. These changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving. The independent driving part of the test has increased to 20 minutes and involves driving without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner. Most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.
One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
The reversing maneuvers have changed and you’ll only be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
parallel park at the side of the road
park in a bay - either 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 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions whilst you are driving - 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
‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers
The Examiner is looking for a competent and safe driver, but 15 driving faults (errors which don’t create an actual or potential danger) are permitted. The Examiner records these faults on a ‘mark sheet’, if you make 16 or more driving faults you will fail the test. If you make a mistake, DON’T WORRY, continue driving and complete the test, it may only be a minor error and might not effect your result. If you make a serious or dangerous fault you will automatically fail your test. At the end of the test the examiner will let you know if you have passed or failed, if you fail a brief explanation will be given as to why you failed. You can reapply to take your test again straight away but you cannot take the test until 10 working days have passed. If you have passed the examiner will give you a pass certificate and you can start driving straight away.
Southport driving test routes can be found here and your instructor will be familiar with these routes.
For more information on our prices and availability, feel free to contact us.