Driving Test

The day of your driving test has arrived and it’s only natural that as a learner driver you will feel nervous. Remember that I am there to support you and would not have advised you to take your driving test if I did not feel you were ready. You have been under expert guidance and you are more than ready.

Most people prefer to have a driving lesson with their instructor an hour or so before the test, this not only helps to calm those ‘driving test day nerves’ but gets you used to driving a car before the test commences.


This isn’t as silly as it sounds. You are already used to driving the car, it isn’t new and you have been driving it and executing those driving manoeuvres with ease for some time now, however, it boils back down to nerves. Most people benefit from taking at least an hour before the test to drive the car and become familiar in the instant with the car, helping them shed those last minute nerves that may be lingering.

You will be taking your test at a local DVSA driving test centre – I generally use Blackburn and Nelson test centres depending upon where you live. I will make sure you get to the test centre at least 10 minutes earlier than your driving test begins.


  • Provisional Photocard Driving licence – Your driving licence serves as photographic proof of your identity and must be signed. Please note that if you still have an old paper driving licence you will need to bring a valid UK passport with you to prove your identity.
  • Theory Test Pass Certificate – This must be within the two year deadline so if you took your theory test over two years ago, your pass certificate is out of date and therefore you must re-sit your theory test.
Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if you don’t bring the right documents

The current cost of the driving test is £62.

This page is designed to give you information to help you with the practical driving test. If your question is not answered here please fee free to ask me and I will be happy to try and help.

How do I book my Driving Test?
The simplest way is to let your instructor book your test but if you want to do it yourself you can telephone the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency on 08700101372 to book your test over the telephone. The lines are open Mon-Fri 8am until 6pm, sometimes you can catch them on a Saturday morning if your are lucky. You can also book online 24 hours a day.

How do I know I am ready to take the test?
Do you feel ready? Discuss this with your Driving Instructor, remember he is a professional and knows what the examiners are looking for. Can you drive for 40 minutes without any instruction or help? If you answer yes you may be ready.

Do you have any special needs?
If you require any special needs facilities at your practical test you will need to request these at the time of booking.

Can I reschedule or cancel a test?
You can reschedule or cancel a practical test either online or over the phone up to three clear working days before the test without loss of fee. The DVSA counts Saturday as a working day, this means you can rearrange a test for a Tuesday on the Thursday before. If you do it within 3 days you lose your test fee.

Can I take the test in my own car?
Yes, as long as the vehicle has the required requirements.

What are the vehicle requirements?
As follows:

  • a seatbelt for the examiner
  • a passenger head restraint, this need not be adjustable but must be fitted as an integral part of the seat.  ‘Slip on’ type head restraints are not permissable
  • an interior mirror for the examiner’s use
  • L-plates displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle but not interfering with the driver or examiner’s view
  • have a speedometer that measures speed in miles per hour and kilometres per hour
  • have no warning lights showing ie the airbag warning light
  • be legal and roadworthy

What are the test times?
The test times differ at each test centre. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 08:20 and 14:37 Monday to Friday. Saturday tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate which is currently £75.

What will the test include?
The test lasts 40 minutes and will include an eyesight test (if you fail this, your test will not continue). After the eyesight test you will be examined on your general driving and on one reversing exercise.

What happens during the driving test?
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises.

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped. You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.

What will happen if the weather is bad?
DVSA do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. They will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. Candidates should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will go ahead. If the driving test is not completed for reasons attributable to you or your vehicle, you will have to take another test at your own cost.

Will I be told the result straightaway?
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.

How do I get my driving licence?
If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March, 2004 the examiner will ask you if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically. If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within three weeks of you passing your practical test.

What if I fail?
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You can take another practical test 10 working days after your car or motorcycle test. Ask the advice of your Driving Instructor as to what you should do next.

Test Routes

Blackburn Test Routes

Nelson Test Routes