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Driving test day

What happens on practical driving test day?

UDrive plus driving school, has put together some information about what happens on the day of your practical driving test. We hope you find this useful.

Test checklist

Eat breakfast
Remember to eat something beforehand. Bananas are good little snack to help with last minute nerves. Generally anything that will fuel the mind and body to keep you going.

On the booking confirmation email. You are told to bring your theory test certificate and driving licence.

Pupil’s are rarely asked to produce their theory test pass certificate. However we would recommend at least try and find it, if however you can’t find it don’t worry about it too much.

Your instructor will pick you up a minimum of an hour before your test. You will be asked to confirm you have your driving licence. – There have been a few occasions when students forgot there driving licence or even on some occasions bring someone else’s.

If you forget your driving licence. The test will be cancelled and you will lose your driving test fee.

You will have a lesson with your instructor, going over last minute things you wish to do. Some students like to practice a manoeuvre, or a certain roundabout. Others like to go to maccy’s and get a coffee! This is your time, and you can use it however you wish. Your instructor will direct you to the test centre around 10-15 minutes before the start time of your driving test.

If you are more than 10 minutes early, you will wait outside the test centre. This is normally a good time to go over the show me tell me questions or even have a quick look under the bonnet to remind yourself where everything is. You could even use that time to just chill and compose yourself for the test.

Once it’s 10 minutes before your test , Your instructor will direct you into the test centre car park, and you will reverse into a bay. (so your starting your test going forward, rather than reversing out the bay)

Follow the instructor into the waiting room, and take a seat, Ensure you have the car keys and your driving licence, and pop them on the table in the test centre. This would be a good time to pop to the loo if needed, nerves can play havoc with the bladder sometimes.

The examiner will come out, call your name, introduce themselves, check your licence, and ask you to read and sign the declaration on the ipad. This 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 all of our instructors will hold the appropriate insurance for the test.

The examiner will ask if you would like your instructor to sit on the test with you. This is something you will have discussed with your instructor prior to your test. If you say no, the examiner will ask if you would like the instructor to join you at the end of the test for the debrief- this would be beneficial, so that your instructor can listen to any faults and feedback from the examiner, which will help your instructor to help you later on if needed.

The examiner will take you outside and ask you to read a number plate from 20 metres. If you fail the eyetest, you will automatically lose your test fee. You will not be allowed to take the test.

They will then ask you to sit in the car and get set up (seatbelt etc), but NOT 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 they’ll explain what will happen on the test.

The examiner will ask you a ‘Tell me’ question.

The examiner will then ask you to drive on when your ready- dont forget to start the engine 😉 .

The examiner will give clear directions in good time, and ask you to pull up on the left a few times throughout the test – this is completely normal.- don’t forget that right blind spot check.

You will be asked to follow a sat nav or road signs as part of the independent driving 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 on the 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 can be nerve racking.. take a breath before you start again to compose yourself)

You will be asked one ‘show me’ question whilst driving.

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.

If your instructor waited at the test centre, they will join you by the car – open your door so that your instructor can listen to the debrief. Otherwise, try and remember the key points which could be used to make you a safer driver.

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 minor driving faults. As your instructor is listening to the debrief, they can help you understand these faults in more detail later on, and you can review any dash cam footage with your instructor afterwards if necessary.

If you have failed, the examiner will mark the test report on the iPad accordingly, give you a copy to keep, wish you luck, and leave the car.

If you have passed, the examiner will mark the test report on the iPad accordingly, and you’ll be emailed the test report. They will 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 DVSA 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 2 weeks 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.

Your driving instructor will drive you home. 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 your instructor, talk about the faults that occurred, and review any dash cam footage if available.

If you have passed, remember that your instructor 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 your instructor 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.

We 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 your instructor!

Useful tips!

– Don’t second guess the result! What you may think is a fail, may have only been marked as a minor fault, or maybe not even marked at all!

– Safe! Remember the examiner is looking for a safe drive – it doesn’t have to be perfect! If you’re unsure, ask yourself ‘is what I’m about to do safe, and/or necessary?’

– Get lost! We don’t mean that in a rude way! If you find yourself in the wrong lane at a roundabout or junction etc – go the wrong way, It’s much safer to go the wrong way and “get lost”, than it is to try and still go the ‘correct’ way in the ‘wrong’ lane.

– This is your test – if you need to stop for a minute and take a breather, this is more than allowed! Just let the examiner know you need to pull over – and ensure you pull over safely (checking mirrors, signalling if necessary etc), and that you pull over in a safe, convenient and legal place.

– Ask your instructor if it’s possible to do a mock test with them before your real test, and ask if you’re able to do a mock test with another instructor! This is brilliant for getting used to different people being sat next to you, and will help you understand how you may feel under the pressure of the real test. All of our udrive plus instructors are happy to do mock tests with other students, where our availability allows us 🙂

Good luck



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