Typical questions about the test
Q. My dad says it's easy to pass the driving test. Has it changed over the years since he took it?
A. The test is more rigorous than it used to be. It lasts longer, the roads are busier, the marking is tougher and there's more extensive testing of manoeuvres. It takes longer to prepare for today's test but it is still easy to pass for those who are fully prepared.
Q. How long will the test last?
A. About 40 minutes.
Q. Which manoeuvres will I have to do?
A. You may be asked to do any of the following manoeuvres: reversing around a corner to the left or right; turning the car in the road; reverse (parallel) parking; moving off at an angle from behind a parked vehicle; and reversing into a parking bay. You may also be asked to perform an emergency stop.
Q. Is there anything I need to do if I take the test in my own car?
A. Yes - you must fit a rear view mirror for the examiner's use. Your car must also comply with all the normal regulations. You'll find a list of cars that can't be used here.
Q What kind of roads will I drive on?
A. The routes are designed to ensure that you can drive safely in a wide range of conditions. Wherever possible, the routes will include: town centres, suburban roads, dual carriageways and rural roads.
Q. My friend had two examiners - is that fair?
A. A senior DSA examiner sometimes sits in the back to ensure that the examiners are doing their job properly and not failing people who should pass - this ensures a fair test for everyone.
Q. Can I drive an automatic car after I pass?
A. if you pass in a manual car, you can also drive an automatic, however, if you pass in an automatic you will have to take a separate test in order to drive a manual.
Q. My friend told me it's best to drive slowly during the test to show that I am safe, is this right?
A. The speed you drive will be determined by the speed limit, traffic and weather conditions. You can fail for going too fast, but you can also fail for going too slow or being hesitant.
Q. How are my mistakes marked?
A. The examiner will keep track of your drive on a form (Driving Test Report). The form lists a number of items that relate to your control of the car, its equipment and your procedure on the road. There are three categories of mistake that can be recorded. 1. Dangerous faults: these are marked if your actions actually cause danger. 2. Serious faults: these are faults that could be dangerous in a different set of circumstances or are habitual errors that are potentially dangerous. 3. Driving faults: these are less serious errors that detract from 'perfect drive'. A single dangerous or serious fault will lead to test failure. You are currently permitted a maximum of 15 less serious 'Driving faults' although it is unlikely you will make anywhere near that many.
Q. Does each examiner have a quota of passes?
A. No - examiners are checked regularly to ensure that they are doing the job correctly; if you drive well, you will pass, regardless of how many passes the examiner has awarded that day or week.
Q. What happens if I fail?
A. At the end of the test the examiner will explain the reasons for your result and give you a copy of his test report.
Q. What happens when I pass?
A. The examiner will offer advice about your driving and issue a pass certificate – you are now licensed to drive on your own!