I've put together some information about what happens on the day of your practical test. I hope you find this information useful!
We will have booked your test together through my DVSA Business Booking account. I will forward on the booking confirmation email after I have received it so you will also have the test details - any correspondence about the test will come directly to me.
The DVSA have made some amendments for the process of attending a Practical Test during COVID-19. These details can be found in bold below.
I will pick you up at least an hour before your test, depending on how far away from the test centre you are located. Pupils from Westbury and Trowbridge would generally have a 2 hour session booked into the diary on test day, unless you have agreed you would like a longer pre-test lesson. Pupils from Warminster and Frome will have a 3 hour session booked into the diary on test day, this will ensure that we have plenty of time to transit to and from the test centre before and after your test and alleviates any additional stress of getting caught in an accident or heavy traffic.
I will ask to see your driving licence to ensure that you have it on you – so many students forget their licence! If you forget your licence, the driving test will be cancelled and you will lose your driving test fee. During COVID-19 you MUST wear a face mask or covering when you attend your test, unless you have a good reason not to. This includes if:
We will need to say if you have a good reason not to wear a face covering when we arrange your test.
Your test will be cancelled if you attend your test without a face covering and you did not declare you could not wear one when we arranged your test.
If you are unable to wear a mask and you are from a tier 3 zone or the test centre is in a tier 3 zone, you may have to postpone your test if there are no examiners who wish to share the car with a person who is exempt.
You will have a lesson with me, going over any last minute things you wish to do. As a rule I do not practice manoeuvres in case of any pre-test jitters. Some students like to go to McDonalds and get a coffee! This is YOUR time, and you can spend it however you wish. I will ensure that we arrive at the test centre around 10 minutes before the start time of your test.
If we are more than 10 minutes early, we will wait near the test centre, but not in a location which could hinder any returning tests which were out prior to yours.
Once it’s 10 minutes before the test, I will direct you into the test centre car park, and you will reverse park into any bay near the rear of the car park. During COVID-19 we will not be allowed to enter the car park until 5 minutes prior to your test time.
We will then secure the car and make our way into the waiting room inside the test centre, and take a seat. Ensure you have your licence on you! During COVID-19 the test centre waiting rooms and toilets are closed. Toilets will be accessible for the disabled and pregnant ladies only.
The examiner will come out, call your name, introduce themselves, check your licence, and ask you to sign the declaration on the digital test sheet which confirms that you have lived in the UK for the past 185 days and that the car you are using for the test is insured – rest assured that my car has the appropriate insurance for tests. Please ensure you sign the document with the same signature as is on your licence! You will need to remove your face covering briefly so your driving examiner can check your ID.
The examiner will ask you if you would like me to sit in on the test. If you say no, the examiner will ask if you would like me to join you at the end of the test for the debrief – this is useful so that I can listen to any faults and feedback from the examiner, which will help me to help you later on, should you not pass on this attempt. During COVID-19 no passengers will be allowed to accompany you on test.
The examiner will take you outside and ask you to read a number plate from 20 metres. If you fail the eyesight test, you will automatically fail the driving test. You will not be allowed to take the test, and you will lose your driving test fee.
They will then ask you to sit in the car, but NOT to start the engine.
The examiner will make some basic checks on the car to ensure it’s roadworthy and legal, and then they will join you in the car.
The examiner will set up the sat nav if required and explain what happens on the test.
The examiner will then ask you a ‘tell me’ question.
The examiner will ask you to drive on – don’t forget to start the engine!
The examiner will give clear directions and ask you to make a few stops throughout the test – this is completely normal.
You will be asked to follow a sat nav or road signs as part of the independent drive for 20 minutes. Sat navs are used in 4 out of 5 tests. The examiner will tell you when the independent driving section starts and finishes.
You will be asked to complete one manoeuvre during the test. This could be at the beginning of the test before you leave the test centre car park, during the test en-route, or at the end of the test as you come back into the test centre car park.
You may be asked to complete an emergency stop. This happens on 1 in 3 tests.
You will drive for around 40 minutes and the examiner will direct you back to the test centre. If you have not yet completed a manoeuvre, you will complete a reverse bay park as you come back into the car park. If you have completed a manoeuvre, you will be asked to pull forward into any bay, and you will not be marked for it.
You can carry on if you make a mistake during your driving test.
If I waited at the test centre, I will join you by the car – open your door so that I can listen to the debrief. Otherwise, I will already be in the back of the car, so will be able to listen to the debrief too.
If you make a serious or dangerous fault, which means you’ve failed, your driving examiner will direct you back to the driving test centre, where the test will end. This is to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the vehicle.
The examiner will tell you whether you have passed or failed and they will explain why. They will explain any serious or dangerous faults, and a brief explanation of any driving faults. As I will be listening to the debrief, I will be able to help you understand these faults in more detail later on, and you can review any dash cam footage with me afterwards.
If you have failed, the examiner will mark the digital test sheet accordingly, a copy of which will be sent to me via my email (I will forward this on once I receive it), wish you luck, and leave the car.
If you have passed, the examiner will mark the digital test sheet accordingly, and a copy of the test sheet will be sent to me via my email (I will forward this on once I receive it). They will also give you a pass certificate and a promotional booklet. You have the option of giving your provisional licence to the examiner and they can send it directly to the DVLA to be exchanged for a full driving licence. This will arrive to you by post. If your address is wrong on your licence, or you need your licence for anything in the next week or so, tell the examiner you would like to keep your licence, and you can send your licence off yourself to be exchanged for a full driving licence at a later date – be aware that you need to do this within 2 years, otherwise your pass certificate becomes invalid. You can drive using your pass certificate straight away, you do not need to wait for your full driving licence to come through the post. At the end of your test your examiner will ask you to get out of your vehicle before they give you your test result feedback and ask if you want your instructor to come over to listen to the feedback if it’s safe to do so. This is to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the vehicle.
I will then drive you home after completing any final paperwork and taking a photograph of you with your pass certificate next to my car. Whether you have passed or failed, emotions will be running high, and it isn’t safe for you to drive home.
Take all the time you need to debrief with me, talk about the faults that occurred, and review any dash cam footage.
If you have passed, remember that I will always be here for you in the future, if you decide you need refresher lessons, lessons to get used to your new car, or would like motorway lessons etc.
If you have failed, make a plan with me before you leave the car. Make a plan as to what you'd like to do - you may want to take a break from driving for a little while, or you may decide to carry on your weekly/fortnightly lessons, and you may decide to book another test straight away. You cannot take another test for 10 working days, however you can book another test almost immediately, once the examiner has updated the system.
You must not come for your driving test if:
You have to stay at home (self-isolate).
Change your driving test appointment if you need to self-isolate on the day of your driving test.
You can do this free of charge if you’re self-isolating, including if you do it at short notice (within 3 clear working days of the test).
Side note - on your booking confirmation email you are told to bring your driving licence, and theory test pass certificate. Pupils are rarely asked to produce their theory pass certificate to the examiner on test, however I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't tell you to at least try and find it. If you can find it, brilliant. If you can't, don't worry too much.
I hope this helps you understand what will happen on your driving test day! If you have any other questions or concerns about the driving test, please talk to me!