Learning to Drive - Frequently Asked Questions Part 2
This is the second part of our blog post covering the most common frequently asked questions that clients ask when they are learning to drive. If you missed the first part, you can find it here.
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Booking and Taking your Theory Test
How do I book my theory test?
To book your theory test you will need a UK driving licence number, email address (you have to book by phone if you don’t have one) and credit or debit card with £23 to cover the test cost. You can book a theory test here. When you book your test, state if you have reading difficulties, a health condition or disability. More information about the theory test can be found in this video.
What do I need to know about theory test?
Driving theory test is made up of two different parts. You have to complete both of them on the same day. The first part consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and the second is a video-based hazard perception test. You must pass both parts in order to pass the theory test. More information about the theory test can be found in this video.
What do I need to have for the theory test?
You must have your photocard driving licence on the day of your theory test. If you forget it, you won’t be able to sit your test and you’ll still have to pay the test fee of £23.
How do I prepare for the theory test?
It is a good practice to combine your theory studies with on road practice as it allows you to remember things from a practical point of view. There are certain steps that we recommend for you to take in order to prepare for the theory test.
1. Book your theory test. When you know you have a deadline it is easier to focus and dedicate time for study.
2. Study books and other resources. You will need to answer 43 out of 50 multiple choice questions correctly to pass this part of the test. The test question bank consists of more than 1000 questions. You will also need to practice your hazard perception skills in order to pass the second part of theory test. You need to score 44 out of 75 on the hazard perception test to pass.
3. Mock tests. There are a number of ways to practice for the test, however, we recommend you use Driving Test Success online subscription which contains all the questions and mock tests to get you through the test. You also have a choice of practicing on various apps on your phone, however, from our pupils’ experiences we find that it is more distracting as it tempts you to check social media, emails etc instead of focusing on studying.
Booking and Sitting your Practical Test
How do I book my practical test?
To book your driving test you will need the following: UK driving licence number, credit or debit card to cover the test costand driving instructor’s personal reference number to ensure they are available to take you to test.
How do I prepare for the driving test?
You need to bring your provisional driving licence. If you do not do so the test will not go ahead.
The test consists of the following parts: Eyesight check, Show Me Tell Me Questions followed by general driving ability.
Your driving test will last about 40 minutes and if you want your driving instructor can accompany you on test. Before heading on the road your eyesight will be checked. You will be required to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres. You will then be asked one safety question (from the ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ list).
On the road you will need to drive safely and skillfully in various road and traffic conditions. You will also have to drive independently for about 20 minutes by following directions either from the examiner’s Sat Nav or a series of traffic signs. Do not worry if you go the wrong way – examiners are looking for safe and skillful driving, so it is ok to check where you are going as long as it is done in a safe manner.
During the drive your examiner will ask you another safety question. The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
- Parallel-park at the side of the road
- Park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out or reversing in and driving out. The examiner will identify the manoeuvre required.
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and re-join the traffic safely.
You may also be required to demonstrate a controlled stop (emergency stop) during the driving test. This exercise is conducted during one in every three tests. At the end of the test the examiner will let you know if you’ve passed or failed and give you feedback on your performance.
Can I sit a practical driving test before taking a theory test?
Can I book a driving test without an instructor?
Yes, you can.
Do I pay my driving instructor for the time I am on my test?
The general practice is to pay a driving instructor for one hour’s tuition immediately prior to the test and for the hour you are on test.
You can also sit a test in your own car provided it is roadworthy, taxed and insured. To check requirements, click here. If you go to test on your own, you obviously don’t have to pay for any instructor’s time but you will need a qualified driver to take you to the test station and accompany you from the test station if you fail your test.
What if my instructor tells me that I’m not ready for a test?
A driving instructor will give you guidance to let you know when you are test ready. It is important that you do not book your test too early. It is best to ensure that you have the necessary skills to meet the driving standard looked for by examiners.
A well-prepared candidate has more chance of success that one who is underprepared.
Do I need to bring anything with me when I sit my driving test?
Yes, you need to produce your provisional driving licence. If you do not do so the test will not go ahead. Most people use an instructor’s car whilst sitting their driving test although you can sit the test in your own car if it meets the requirements - roadworthy, taxed and insured.
Can I use my car for driving test?
You can sit a test in your own car provided it is roadworthy, taxed and insured. You do not need to have dual controls fitted. To check what is required please check here.