Practical Driving Test

On average, your practical driving test will last for approximately 40 minutes. During this time you will cover a range of different road and traffic situations. You will be asked to complete a 10 minute driving section, one maneuver and maybe perform a controlled stop. 

Independent Driving Section

The driving examiner will ask you to park the car while they explain this section to you. They will then either ask you to drive to a set destination following road signs or show you a diagram of where they want you to go which may include several roundabouts (for example). This is not a test on the local area knowledge, simply that you can follow road signs. If you forget the instruction, ask them to repeat. If you get lost, the examiner will direct you back on course.


You will not fail by going in the wrong direction just stay calm and show complete control of the car.

Practical Driving Test Manoeuvres

During your practical driving test you will be asked to carry out any one of the following.

  • Parking on the right

  • Parallel parking

  • Forward bay parking

  • Bay parking (done in the test centre)

When completing any of the above manoeuvres, you must show good all-round observation and control of the vehicle. During the test, you may have to perform a controlled stop. If so, you will still have to do one manoeuvre from the above list. Always remember to drive as your instructor taught you and don't worry when you do make a minor mistake.

Number of Faults allowed for Practical Driving Test

To pass your practical driving test you are allowed a maximum of 15 minor faults (receive 16 and you will fail). If you commit one serious or dangerous fault during the test, this will also be a failure. On many occasions during a test, people will assume that they have received a major fault. This is definitely not always the case so remain calm and focused for the remainder of the test.

End of Practical Driving Test

At the end of the practical driving test your examiner will tell you whether you have passed or failed. If you have failed, ask them for a debrief of the test so that you know where the faults lay. You maybe asked by the examiner if you would like the instructor to listen to the debrief. If so, answer yes.

Learner to Driver. Cartwrights Driving School

You will begin your practical driving test with a basic eyesight test where you must be able to read a number plate at 20.5 meters. If you fail this part, the examiner will halt the test.

You will then be asked two basic vehicle safety questions (also known as "Show me, tell me"). Don't worry if you get one or both of these questions wrong as it only counts as a minor fault. With advances in vehicle technology showing electronic diagnostic readings from inside the car (tire pressures, fluid levels etc) it is acceptable to show this to the examiner rather than going out of the vehicle. The examiner will now give you a brief on the driving test before setting off.

Ready to get on the road? Contact us to book your Driving Lessons