Once you have passed your theory test and you have progressed through your driving lessons, you will have to carry out a practical driving test. The driving test is conducted by the DVSA (Driver Vehicle Standards Agency) to ensure that you are a safe and competent driver. Your driving instructor will guide you as to when to attempt the test. It is important not to attempt it until you are up to driving test standard.

Learn to drive in Bedford

Make sure that you arrive at the correct date and time of your test, and double check your emails just in case the test has been rearranged. Unfortunately your driving test may not go ahead in adverse weather conditions such as fog, ice and snow. If you are in doubt contact your local driving test centre for further information.

Generally your driving instructor will collect you an hour before your test. It is important that you bring along with you all the relevant documents such as your provisional driving license and your theory pass certificate.

On the hour before, you will have a short drive and perhaps practice a few manoeuvres. You will have to arrive at the practical driving test centre approximately 10 minutes before your driving test. Your not allowed to arrive too early as you will interfere with the learners that are returning from their driving test. But if you arrive later than five minutes your driving test may not be conducted, so it’s important to arrive on time.

Once your in the waiting area a few driving examiners will appear and one of them will call out your name. They will then ask to see your provisional driving licence and ask you to read and sign the residency declaration. They will also ask you if you want your driving instructor to accompany you on the test. It is worth discussing this with your instructor well before. There are benefits of taking your instructor along with you, for example if you did make a serious fault he or she knows exactly where it happened and what fault you made. However, some learners may feel more nervous with their instructor so make a decision that you will feel comfortable with. If you don’t take your instructor with you the examiner will ask you if its ok for the instructor to listen to the debrief at the end, It’s always a good idea to let them listen, as it can help with your development.

Very rarely their maybe an additional person that accompanies the driving examiner. This person maybe assessing the driving examiner or maybe training and observing how the tests are conducted, so don’t feel nervous and ignore the person in the back of the car.

Once your outside you will be asked to read a number plate and asked if you would like some information about the test. If you do, they may say “The test will last approx. 38 to 40 minutes covering various roads and traffic conditions. I will ask you to complete one reverse manoeuvre and possibly an emergency stop. I will also ask you to drive independently for about 20 minutes. All the things you would normally practice with your driving instructor.

The examiner will ask you one ‘show me’ question and one ‘tell me’ question. The tell me question will be asked before you start driving. The ‘show’ me question will be asked while you’re driving.

During the drive you will be asked to pull up at the side of the road on a few occasions. You will be asked to complete one reverse exercise (parallel parking, reverse bay parking, driving forward into a parking bay and then reversing out or pulling up on the right-hand side of the road and reversing 2 car lengths). You will cover a wide variety of road and traffic conditions. Possibly an emergency stop. You will also be asked to drive independently either following traffic signs or directions from a sat nav for about 20 minutes.

In order to pass your driving test you are allowed no more than 15 driving faults, also known as minor faults and not allowed any serious or dangerous faults, also known as a major fault.

At the end of the test you will be given the test result and any feedback.