Starting the journey to become a fully qualified driver is a mix of anticipation, thrill, and nerves. For most, the practical driving test stands as the grand finale, the moment of truth where all the hours behind the wheel come to fruition.
But what exactly happens during the DVSA practical test? Whether you’re a nervous first-timer or someone brushing up on their knowledge, this guide will walk you through the process of the practical test.
1. Arrival and Documentation Check
Before you start the engine, the examiner will check your provisional driving licence to ensure it’s valid. You might also need to provide a theory test pass certificate in some places. Ensure you have all the necessary documents ready before your test day.
2. The Eyesight Check
Safety first! During the DVSA practical test, you’ll be asked to read a number plate from a certain distance. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, ensure you have them on. If you can’t read the number plate, you won’t proceed to the driving part of the test.
3. Vehicle Safety Questions
Before you set off, the examiner might ask you a couple of “show me, tell me” questions. These questions test your knowledge about basic car maintenance and safety checks.
For instance, you might be asked to demonstrate how to check the oil level or explain how to ensure the brakes work properly.
4. The Driving Part
This is the core of the DVSA practical test. You’ll be asked to drive in various road and traffic conditions, but don’t worry, you won’t be thrown into anything you haven’t encountered during your lessons.
- General Driving: You’ll be assessed on your general driving ability. This includes your use of mirrors, how you signal, your speed, how you handle the vehicle, and your decision-making.
- Reversing Manoeuvres: You might be asked to perform one or more reversing manoeuvres. This could be parallel parking, parking in a bay, or pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for 2 car lengths, and then rejoining the traffic.
- Independent Driving: For about 20 minutes, you’ll be asked to drive without turn-by-turn instructions from the examiner. This might involve following directions from a satnav or traffic signs.
5. The Emergency Stop
There’s a possibility (usually one in three) that you’ll be asked to demonstrate an emergency stop. The examiner will ensure it’s safe before asking you to stop the car as quickly and safely as possible.
6. Conclusion and Results
Once the driving portion is over, the examiner will provide feedback. You’ll find out if you’ve passed or failed. Remember, minor mistakes are okay, but severe or dangerous faults will result in failure.
If you pass, congratulations! You’ll receive a pass certificate. If not, don’t be disheartened. Consider enrolling in a 5-day intensive driving course to refine your skills. Listen to the feedback, learn from your mistakes, and try again with enhanced confidence and preparation.
Blueprint for Driving Mastery
- Stay Calm: Easier said than done, but try to treat the test as just another driving lesson. Take deep breaths if you feel nervous.
- Ask Questions: If you’re unsure about an instruction, it’s okay to ask the examiner to repeat it. Remember, a 5-day intensive driving course can help instil confidence and rectify common errors, ensuring you’re well-prepared for every scenario.
- Practice Makes Perfect: The more you practise, the more confident you’ll feel. Consider taking a mock test with your instructor.
- Stay Positive: Even if you think you’ve made a mistake, continue driving safely. It might be a minor fault or something the examiner didn’t notice.
Looking for Intensive Driving Lessons?
If you’re searching for premier driving instruction, consider LIDT – London Intensive Driver Training. We specialise in Fast Track, Crash Course, Short Notice lessons, and our renowned 5-day intensive driving course.
With a proven track record of excellence, our fleet of qualified instructors, and a commitment to the best learning environment, LIDT stands as the top choice for many aspiring drivers.