For the theory test, your Discover Driving instructor will advise which theory books and CD/DVD to study and practice. Reading the new Highway Code is essential. Your instructor will monitor your theory test preparation and offer assistance as necessary. Prior to your practical test, you should attend regular lessons and follow your instructors’ advice regarding any private practice you may be taking. There is no substitute for experience; the more hours you have behind the wheel the better chance you have of passing your test first time.
Theory and Practical Tests
Stage 1 – Theory and Hazard Perception Test
Your first step is to study for and then take your theory and hazard perception tests. You cannot book a practical driving test until you have passed this stage. With a valid provisional driving licence you can book your theory and hazard perception test on-line at www.direct.gov.uk/drivingtest or by calling 0870 010 1372.
The theory test is in two parts. Part One consists of 50 multiple choice questions.
From 28 September 2009 some car multiple choice questions will be given as a case study. The case study will show a scenario that five questions will be based on. The subject of the senario will be focused on real life examples and experiences that you could come across when driving.
To pass you must answer at least 43 questions out of 50 correctly within the 57 minutes allocated.
After a 3 minute break you start part two of the theory test – the hazard perception. You are shown 14 video clips (approximately one minute each clip) showing driving situations which develop into hazards. There are 15 hazards to identify (on one random clip there will 2 hazards to identify) and you can score up to 5 points for each one depending how quickly you spot them and respond by clicking the mouse button.
To pass this part you need to score 44 or more out of 75 to pass.
You must pass both parts of the theory tests together to be able to apply for your practical driving test.
Stage 2 – The Practical Test
On the day of your driving test, the examiner checks your documentation. You carry out an eyesight check (from a distance of 20.5 metres). You will then drive for about 40 minutes around a route directed by your examiner. The route will test your ability and include one manoeuvre and possibly an emergency stop.
The driving test format for cars will change from Monday 4th December 2017.
1. The Independent Drive.
Currently the independent drive phase last for about 10 minutes and takes the format of following traffics or the driving examiner giving you a series of directions.
The new format will last around 20 minutes (roughly half of the test). During the independent driving phase you will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. If you go the wrong way, it doesn’t matter providing you do not make a fault whilst doing it.
One in 5 driving tests will not use a sat nav. You will need to follow traffic signs for around 20 minutes instead.
2. Reversing Manoeuvres.
During your driving test you will be asked to do one of the following 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 (your driving examiner will tell you which one).
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, then reverse for 2 car lengths and re-join the traffic.
This manoeuvre can be done during the independent drive phase of the test.
The ‘reverse around the corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ will no longer be tested, but you will still be taught them as part of the learning syllabus.
3. Safety Questions.
You will still be asked one ‘tell me’ and one ‘show me’ question.
The ‘Tell Me’ will be asked at the start of the test. For example ‘Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before you start a journey’.
The ‘Show Me will be asked at any time during the test. For example ‘When it is safe to do so, can you show me how you would set the rear demister’.
The pass mark is remains the same. You will pass if you make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
The overall time will remain the same, around 40 minutes.
The driving test cost will also remain the same.