The practical test for new drivers

the practical driving testOnce you have passed the on screen theory test you can apply for the practical driving test. However you must be able to drive with minimal assistance from your driving instructor before you take the test.

Am I ready for the test?

If you can drive and control your car safely and smoothly, with full awareness of other road users and consideration for the road, weather and traffic conditions and can competently perform all the slow manoeuvres, you are ready to pass your driving test!

You should therefore be able to drive with minimal assistance from your driving instructor apart from his or her directions on where to go.

Take your instructor's advice on whether you are ready, otherwise you waste your time and money taking a test, as well as annoying the examiner and needlessly taking a test booking, which someone who was ready for the test could have had. Normally you will have the use of your instructor's car for the test.


I think I'm ready but my instructor doesn't

If you really doubt your instructor's opinion, arrange for an independent instructor to give their assessment - but don't leave it too late!

All you have to do on the driving test is what you should know already - there are no secrets. Your instructor will have taken you over the routes normally used for the test but he/she cannot know in advance, exactly which route you will have to drive. Just drive as you have been taught. Don't worry if you make the odd small error as it wont fail you. Up to a maximum of 15 minor errors are allowed before failure occurs but one major fault will fail you. You instructor will tell you which are minor and which are regarded as major faults.

Please note that nowadays you have to drive for a short while whilst following road signs. This change was introduced in 2010 and is designed to ensure that candidates can find their way as well as driving properly. Taking the wrong road will not fail you but if you make a driving mistake whilst looking at the signs it will count against you.

Attending the test