The Practical Driving Test

The Practical Driving Test will take place at the DVSA Test Centre located on Earlsfield Close, off Sadler Road, LINCOLN LN6 3RT


The test will last about 40 minutes during which you will be required to:


  • Read a number plate at no less than 20 metres
  • Answer two questions on car maintenance
  • Drive on a wide variety of roads including dual carriageways and town driving.
  • Carry out one manouvre (reverse park/bay park forward or reverse/pull up on the right and reverse).
  • A one in three chance of being asked to do an emergency stop.

What is the examiner looking for?



Eyesight test


At the start of the test the examiner will ask you to read a vehicle registration number from 20 metres. if you are unable to do this the test will not go ahead.


Vehicle Checks


The examiner will ask some safety questions of a ‘show me/tell me’ nature. You need to show a basic knowledge of the checks you should make on a regular basis. These include checks on oil and water levels and tyre pressure and tread depth




These checks are simple but important. Before you start the engine you need to check that the seat is adjusted correctly to allow you to reach all your driving controls with ease. This is because an incorrect seat position can affect your ability to take observations and keep proper control of the vehicle.


Move off


You need to show that you can move away on the level, on a slope and at an angle safely, under full control, taking effective observation. Move off only when it is safe to do so.


Controlled Stop


You may be asked to show you are able to stop the car in good time and under full control, as if in an emergency situation. Remember, when driving in wet or icy weather conditions, it will take you longer to stop safely.


Reversing and turn in road exercises


You may be asked to complete one or more slow speed manoeuvring exercises. You must show you are able to keep control of the vehicle. The exercise must be done whilst taking effective observations and acting correctly on what you see




Throughout the test you need to show you can use all the controls smoothly and at the correct time. This means less wear and tear on the vehicle and a smoother ride for your passengers.



Use of mirrors - rear observation


You should use the mirrors safely and effectively acting correctly on what you see. Where mirrors are not enough, for example to cover ‘blind spots’, then you must take effective rear observation. You must always check the mirrors carefully before signalling, changing direction or changing speed. You need to demonstrate you can use the Mirror- Signal-Manouvre (MSM) routine effectively. 




You should only use the signals shown in the Highway Code. You should signal clearly to let others know what you intend to do. This is particularly important if it would help other road users or pedestrians. You should always signal in good time and ensure that the signal is switched off after the manoeuvre has been completed . You should not beckon to pedestrians to cross the road.




You should give parked vehicles and other obstructions enough space to pass safely. You need to watch out for changing situations such as pedestrians walking out from between parked cars, doors opening and vehicles trying to move off.  You should be prepared to slow down or stop if needed.


Response to signs and signals


You need to show that you can react correctly to all traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. You should obey signals given by police officers, traffic wardens, Highways Agency officers and school crossing patrols. You should watch out for signals given by other road users and carry on only when you are happy it is safe.


Use of speed


You should make safe and reasonable progress along the road.  You need to keep in mind the road, traffic and weather conditions, road signs and speed limits.  You need to show confidence based on sound judgement.  Remember, at all times you should be able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear.


Following distance


You should always keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. You should be able to stop safely, well within the distance you can see see to be clear. You should leave extra distance in wet or slippery conditions. Leave enough space when you are stopped in traffic queues.


Maintain progress


You need to show that you can drive at a realistic speed appropriate to the road and traffic conditions. You need to approach all hazards at a safe, controlled speed, without being over cautious or slowing or stopping other road users. You should always be ready to move away from junctions as soon as it is safe and correct to do so. Driving too slowly can frustrate other drivers which creates danger for yourself and others.


Junctions including roundabouts


The examiner will look for the correct use of the Mirror - Signal - Manouvre (MSM) procedure. They will also be looking for correct positioning and approach speed at junctions and roundabouts. This is because these skills are essential for dealing with these hazards safely. Turning right across busy roads/dual carriageways is particularly dangerous. To drive safely and pass your test you must be confident that you can judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic safely. You also need to look out for other road users emerging and turning at junctions and be ready to alter your course or stop. Be extra watchful in poor light or bad weather conditions for the more vulnerable road user, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.




The examiner will assess your judgement skills throughout the test. You will need to show sound judgement when overtaking, meeting or crossing the path of other road users. You should only do this when it is safe and legal. You should make your intentions clear and be sure that you understand the intentions of other road users.




You should always position your car in a safe position; normally this would be keeping well to the left of the road. You need to keep clear of parked vehicles and be positioned correctly for the direction you intend to take. You need to look for and be guided by road signs and markings. Other road users may judge your intentions by where you are positioned so be aware of where you are at all times.


Pedestrian crossings


You should be able to identify the different types of pedestrian crossing and take the correct action. You need to monitor your speed and time your approach to crossings so that you can stop safely if you need to do so. You should pay particular attention where crossings are partly hidden by queuing or parked vehicles. You should also show consideration for elderly or infirm pedestrians who are trying to cross the road.


Position / normal stops


You should chose a safe, legal and convenient place to stop., close to the edge of the road, where you will not block the road and create a hazard. You should know how and where to stop without causing inconvenience or danger to other road users.


Awareness / Planning


You must be aware of other road users at all times. The examiner is looking to see that you plan ahead to judge what other road users are going to do. This will allow you to predict how their actions will affect you and react in good time. You need to anticipate road and traffic conditions, and act in good time, rather than reacting to them at the last minute. You should take particular care to consider the actions of the more vulnerable group of road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders.


Ancillary Controls


You need to show that you can operate all the vehicle’s controls safely and effectively. The examiner will be looking to see that whilst on the move you keep proper control of your vehicle whilst using secondary controls. These include demisters, heating controls, indicators and windscreen wipers.


The payment to the DVSA of the Test Fee is in addition to the usual lesson charge. Test day is a two hour charge (currently £72). You will be picked up about an hour before the test. This time is spent getting you used to the driving conditions on the day, practice one or two manouvres, and revision of the show and tell questions.

In order to contact us

Select Drive

5 Overton Close
Navenby, Lincoln


Tel: 07766 256303 07766 256303

Phone Calls

As we can seldom take a phone call during the day due to lessons, it is usually better to send a text or email and we can call you back as soon as possible.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Select Drive