Taking Your Test
You can can start learning to drive before taking the theory test, but have to pass it before applying for a driving test.
Theory Test First!
Many people ask if you have to pass your theory test before starting to learn to drive? The answer is no, you can can start to learn before taking theory test but you have to pass it before applying for the driving test.
All our pupils have FREE access to Theory Test Pro online theory test training. It provides training of the driving questions and hazard perception sections of the test.
Once you are passing the online test regularly then you can apply for the test at the DVLA website
Applying for practical driving test
Once you have passed the Theory Test you can apply for the practical. There is usually a waiting list, but they try to keep this below 6 weeks. At some times of the year it goes higher, such as the end of the Summer when a lot of students are trying to pass before returning to University.
All our instructors are aware of the waiting times and will tell you to apply for the test so that you end up at the test centre with the best chance of passing the test.
Booking the test can be done on line at the DVLA website mentioned above. Its the same process as booking the theory test but you just select a Practical Test.
In our experience we suggest you book a mid morning test slot, for two reasons. Firstly you are not waiting around half the day worrying and secondly the roads are little quieter then as most people are then in work or school.
The best driving test slots we suggest to book are the 9.37, 10.44 or 11.41 as these fit the two above suggested requirements.
The day of the test
On the day of the driving test your instructor will pick you up usually an hour before the test start time. This gives plenty time to go over all the exercises, get the nerves under control and ask your driving instructor and last minute questions.
At the driving test centre
We aim to arrive at the driving test centre 10 minutes before the test is due to start. Your will then be accompanied into the test centre by your driving instructor. Most test centres have a toilet there if you need it! As this is a common question we get asked on the pretest lesson!
Once an examiner calls out your name they will ask you to sign a form and check you provisional driving licence, before enquiring if you would like your instructor to sit in the back of the car during the test.
They will then take you out to the car, but before entering the car you will be asked to read a car number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres. Followed by a question on general car maintenance or safety. You will also be asked another question whilst driving during the test.
The Driving Test
The driving element of the test lasts a bout 40-45 minutes. You will be required to drive on all types of road from 20 or 30 mile per hour housing estates to 70 mile per hour dual carriageways and 60 mile per hour open country roads. Quite a significant part of the drive could be completed whilst following directions from a sat-nav which is provided by the driving examiner.
You will be asked to stop and move off numerous times during the drive, which many pupils find surprising. On a hill, from behind a parked car on the left or right are a few of the typical situations.
You will also be asked to carry out one manoeuvre from the following list.
Reverse park behind a car on the left
Pull up beihnd a car on the right, reverse two car lengths and the move off.
Forward park into a car parking space
Reverse park into a car parking space.
At the end of the test the examiner will ask you to park up, switch off the engine before giving you the result. You will then be offered the opportunity of having your driving instructor present to hear the result and the debrief of any faults marked on the driving test form.